“Fairness” is a very important concept in every situation and should be taken very seriously in every step we take.
That is no different for trade. In every sector, trade activities should be done fairly. That is where importance of “fair trade” concept comes along.
Based on dialogue, respect and transparency, fair trade movement has been formed to built long term direct relationships between farmers and traders and improve working and living conditions of workers in developing countries.
What is Fair Trade?
Tobe able to dig better, first we have to know the meaning of “fair trade” correctly.
Here are some definitions of the said term:
- A social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions.
- A movement that strives for fair treatment for farmers.
- A trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers.
- An approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.
How Does Fair Trade Make a Difference?
Although more and more people are awakening that there are sustainable and responsible alternatives to choose, there is still not enough knowledge about why to prefer fair trade brands and support fair trade movement.
Here are some reasons why we should support fair trade activities:
1. Fair trade products improve working and living conditions of families in developing counties.
2. In fair trade, farmers know the true value of their products which make it easier for them to negotiate the prices.
3. As they are members of fair trade certificated cooperatives, an organized group of farmers who support each other, fair trade farmers do not work alone and they are able to access credit and able to learn from each other.
4. With higher prices, farmers are able to commit agricultural and sustainable practices.
5. With its social, economic and environmental impacts, fair trade contributes to more secure, sustainable and equal future for the farmers, workers, their families and their communities.
6. Fair Trade certified farms and factories also receive Fairtrade Premium which is a community development premium and thanks to it, million of dollars have been reinvested in developing countries for projects in healthcare, education, sanitation etc.
8. As they are mostly using traditional organic techniques, fair trade farmers have a very positive impact on wellness of the nature.
Why Does It Matter For Fashion Industry?
Asin every industry, fairness in fashion industry is a must for the welfare, security, safety & equality of workers.
More than 40 million people work in the garment industry worldwide and as most of the companies try to maximize their profits, unfortunately they are among the lowest paid workers in the world. A large amount of fashion factory workers in developing countries sadly work in very poor conditions with minimum rights, wages and security.
To stop this craziness, to treat people with respect and to help the workers have more secure and hopeful futures, supporting fair fashion activities is highly important.
We should support it because;
a. Fair Fashion Improves Workers’ Rights
When you support Fair Fashion, you also cast a vote on better & healthier working conditions for textile workers. As consumers start to prefer fair products, more and more brands will adopt fair trade activities and because of this positive switch, workers’ rights and working conditions will improve a great deal.
b. Fair Fashion Provides Workers Better Living Conditions
Fair trade also brings fair pay. With higher wages provided by Fair Fashion, workers will be able to have better living conditions and support their families better.
c. Fair Trade In Fashion Improves Education & Healthcare Activities in Developing Countries
Fair trade prevents child labor and as it provides better wages, it helps parents to support their children’s education better. Most of the fair trade certified garment factories also provide day care programs for the children of their workers and help the kids to have better social and educational skills.
Fair trade also helps to improve health care in several ways. As it is a must to earn fair trade certification, factories comply with Fair Trade Standards which includes requirements for occupational safety and health, including building safety, proper handling of hazardous materials, use of protective clothing and access to appropriate secondary healthcare.
d. Fair Trade Protect the Sustainability of Environment
Fair trade standards also include environmental requirements, such as access to clean drinking water, use of less harmful pesticides. With its more sustainable activities, Fair Fashion also protects environment and provides a greener and a more livable planet.