by Stephanie Malangone
Have you ever heard of Fairtrade? Maybe you know that it's important - but do you really know why? And how does it affect you?
We all know that child labor is bad, working conditions should be sanitary and safe, and workers overseas are generally underpaid...but where does Fairtrade come in?
(Picking Tea Leaves: https://unsplash.com/photos/beNiTTa8Pp8)
Fairtrade is an organization that strives for the best equality and fairness for the people that produce our products in developing countries. They do this in many ways; from the basic fair working conditions that all workers deserve, to regulating fair pay and prices, gender equality, and everything in between. They also lobby for government change in basic regulation of health and safety, and certify products and ingredients after a thorough, independent check that all economic, environmental and social standards have been met or exceeded.
Economic, environmental and social challenges can all be very daunting to the developing countries that may be producing the cotton or other farm grown fibers that can be found in your kids clothing. This is why fair trade kids clothing matters. Without it, our farmers are being exploited. Fairtrade ensures that our farmers will earn a decent living wage, and provides education on how to cope with climate change and improve upon the farming and harvesting process. Additionally, Fairtrade believes in pushing efforts for gender equality, and will put extra funds toward marketing efforts for female entrepreneurs in the industry.
(Sewing Supplies: https://unsplash.com/photos/Buon-qF7xgc)
Fairtrade is about more than just fair prices - it's about people, and meeting their needs today without compromising the needs of people in the future. Because of this overlap, fairtrade leads to an increase in sustainability. Therefore, fairtrade is sustainable trade. It is far more beneficial to the environment than non-fairtrade, as it sets standards environmentally as well as economically. Caring about sustainable fashion means caring about Fairtrade.
By checking to make sure that you are buying fair trade kids clothing, marked with the fairtrade mark, you are ensuring a woman's right to education. You are supporting a man's living wage. You are standing up for a worker's right to fair and healthy working conditions. You are supporting a family's future, and the Earth's future as well.