There are still textile workers on this earth that struggle to fight poverty, are drastically underpaid, are treated inhumanely and are exposed to harmful chemicals - all for the sake of making a cotton shirt for a high street retailer on the other side of the world. Worse still, to sell at a discount rate to someone who has ten just like it already. There's a reason why Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin wants us read read his Make Trade Fair
blackstripped hand. This kind of silent activism, and products bearing the Fairtrade Foundation's stamp of approval, help to increase awareness amongst more affluent societies that there are still massive trade issues for developing countries. It also sheds light on those responsible for unfair trade who must be made accountable and transform their practices.
There is another voice the Fairtrade Foundation
campaigns on behalf of and that's the environment. In order for communities to do business using safe and ethical methods sustainable agriculture and protection for the environment must be considered. The Fairtrade Foundation incorporates a social premium in its standards. This is payment the producer receives (in addition to the Fairtrade price) which must be invested into community development. More often than not this goes towards improving ecological practices.
A brilliant example to illustrate the power of Fairtrade is where Indian farmers have developed organic programmes to grow their cotton. They use the manure of their own cows and the oil of crushed neem tree kernels to nourish their crops and keep pests away. As a result the production of organic cotton has increased and so has the quality of soil in which it grows. Plus, we reap the benefits of natural textiles, clothing and other products made from Fairtrade and organic cotton.
Supporting goods that have been fairly traded is not only better for our planet's people (workers and end consumers) it also contributes to protecting our natural environment.