Updated: May 5, 2021
Fair trade products offer an affordable, high quality alternative to mass-produced items for the conscious consumer. Purchasing fair trade products directly supports a more equitable international trading system, and provides numerous benefits to both the producers and the consumers.
Fair trade is a social movement that seeks to bring greater equality and justice to the system of international trade. These trade products are made in small production units and cooperatives and the producers are paid a fair and sustainable wage for their work. Further, the traditional production methods ensure that these trade products are made with the least amount of environmental impact. The use of natural fibers, dyes, and other materials means that both the producers and the consumers benefit; the producers are not exposed to toxic and hazardous materials and the consumers can rest assured that the products are non-toxic for the person that is using or wearing them.
Developing countries are increasingly becoming sources of cheap labor multinational companies. Most of the internationally established businesses have their presence in either one or more developing countries and cheap labor is the main reason for which multi-national corporations flock to these countries. More competition in the global market often leads to increasing exploitation of producers in the developing nations.
There are many fair trade organizations that work in developing countries to provide an alternative system of international trade. These organizations work with the local cooperative and non-profit organizations to keep the artisan traditions alive and provide sustainable livelihood to the producer communities. Apart from investing in social programs to uplift the marginalized producers by helping them maintain a sustainable livelihood, it also safeguards the natural resources and helps the cooperatives to grow and meet future investment needs.
As consumers, we can support such a movement by buying wisely. There are multiple contributions that you can make by buying wholesale and retail fair trade products. You can help:
· Preserve Indigenous Cultures
· Support Traditional ArtisanCommunities
· Invest in Community-BasedDevelopment Programs
· Safeguard Natural Resources
· Protect the Earth from Exploitation& Pollution
If you are curious about the availability of these trade products, you can just do a brief search on the internet to reveal the nearest supplier in your neighborhood. You can order many types of these trade products from the various online stores that provide them.
These trade products have a wide range, from home décor to personal accessories and clothing. Such items are handmade by artisan communities that come from a long lineage of master craftspeople. The traditions of weaving, embroidery, block-printing and tie-dye are ancient art forms that will go extinct if they are not supported. These traditions involve deep knowledge bases and this knowledge will only be passed on to the next generations if there is a market for their products.
Fair trade products are fashionable, affordable and uniquely blend the classical art traditions with contemporary style. Fair trade clothing is made with numerous art forms combined in a single garment. For example, a fair trade cotton tunic can be made from hand-woven fabric that is then hand-block printed in a particular motif, hand-embroidered and finally stitched in small cooperatives. This means that four different artisan communities are directly benefiting from that single piece of clothing. Further, the dyes that are used are often plant-based dyes, and these natural dye techniques are elaborate systems that only particular communities have knowledge of.
By purchasing fair trade products, you not only support fair labor practices, you also get products that are made under high ethical standards with substantial savings and uncompromising quality. Anyone can make a difference by shopping with a little more awareness and effort. So if you haven't yet thought about it, start by buying fair trade clothing and other fair trade products. You will be a part of a movement that truly makes a difference.