Since I became involved with Trades of Hope, I have learned more and more about Fair Trade and what it means. Fair Trade companies are held to high standards that ensure that individuals receive a fair, living wage in a safe and secure working environment. That living wage includes enough money for food, shelter, education, and more. The fair trade movement is bringing equitable and sustainable employment and creating opportunities to end the poverty cycle in some of the poorest areas of the world. It is a partnership between artisans and farmers in developing countries where products are traded for fair prices. Prior to learning about fair trade, I really never thought about where my clothes and things were coming from. I had heard of sweatshops, but I never really thought about how my shopping habits affected that. I was basically blissfully unaware. Thankfully, I am now trying to make a conscious effort to buy better. I am also becoming more aware of brands that are socially conscious. These are brands that align with a cause to promote social responsibility as a way to make the world a better place. They are brands that are trying to make a difference. I am actively seeking out companies that are fair trade and are doing amazing things, as well as ethical fashion that gives back and creates employment opportunities. I am searching for artisan and ethically made products. I am more in tune to where the things I buy are coming from and who made them. Does that mean that I am only purchasing fair trade? No, it doesn’t, but I am trying to do better and be more conscious. I will admit that ethically made clothing can be more expensive which makes it harder to justify a purchase. However, knowing that some companies who offer more affordable items operate some of the largest sweatshops out there, makes me not want to buy from them at all. I am willing to pay more if it means that we can put an end to the use of sweatshops and make a difference in the world. Today, I wanted to share with you a few of the companies that I have found that offer some really great products. These brands are either fair trade or socially conscious brands that are making a difference in the world. I have chosen one thing from their website that I love to also share. I encourage you to check them out and choose to buy better for yourself.
Save Lands is a socially conscious brand that plants 12 trees for every item they sell to help fight pollution and preserve the environment.
Mercy House exists to engage, empower and disciple women around the globe in Jesus’ name. They work to empower women and teenage mothers around the world through partnerships and sustainable fair trade product development, as well as, disciple women to be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.
Elegantees is fighting human trafficking in Nepal through employment opportunities. All of their products are ethically made by women in Nepal.
Share Hope’s mission is to transform communities by helping to create secure and decent jobs by bringing garment manufacturing work to Haiti and facilitating the design, production, and delivery of those products.
Reformation’s design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure by sourcing the beautiful, sustainable fabrics to bring those designs to life quickly.
Everlane partners with the best, ethical factories around the world. Each factory is given a compliance audit to evaluate factors like fair wages, reasonable hours, and environment. Their goal is a score of 90 or above for every factory. They also provide what they call Radical Transparency. They believe thier customers have a right to know how much their clothes cost to make. They are radically transparent with the true costs behind thier products—from materials to labor to transportation—then offer them to you, minus the traditional retail markup.
Fair Trade Winds believes that people and the planet should not be exploited for the things we buy. They partner with artisan co-ops and small workshops that are mindful of the materials they use and reuse.
Passion Lilie is a fair trade and eco-friendly apparel brand with a mission to empower artisans in India by creating dignified employment opportunities. They are also committed to using eco-friendly materials throughout the supply chain and preserving the artistic and cultural talents of their artisans.
By purchasing fabric from over 25 countries, Serengetee supports artisans, their families, and ancient fabric making traditions. They give 10% of their profits back to grassroots causes to improve lives in their communities.
Mehera Shaw is an affordable, upmarket, artisanal lifestyle brand for the conscious and sophisticated woman who wants her wardrobe and home to reflect her sustainable lifestyle. They work with artisans in Jaipur, India.
I hope the next time you go to purchase something, you will think about the impact you are making and choose to buy better! Happy shopping!