Fair Trade Clothing – Why Use Fair Trade Products?

Fair trade is a social movement to bring about greater equality in trading relationships between the developing and underdeveloped economies of the world.

By buying fair trade products, you help to:

* Preserve Indigenous Cultures
* Support Traditional Artisan Communities
* Invest in Community-Based Development Programs
* Safeguard Natural Resources
* Protect the Earth from Exploitation & Pollution

This trade invests in social programs to uplift the marginalized producers by helping them maintain a sustainable livelihood; a livelihood that not only meets day-to-day needs for economic, social and environmental well being but that also enables improved conditions in the future. Prices and payment terms (including prepayment where required) are determined by assessment of these factors rather than just reference to current market conditions. Additionally, there is a commitment to a long-term trading partnership.

Fair Trade relationships take account of all costs of production, both direct and indirect, including the safeguarding of natural resources and meeting future investment needs. This allows the artisan communities to revitalize the ancient craft techniques which are less polluting for the environment, the producer, and the consumer who ultimately uses these products.

There is a wide economic gap between the people in developing countries, where most products are now manufactured, and those in developed countries, where most products are consumed. Further, as mass-produced items are the mainstay of contemporary society, the traditional hand-crafted items cannot compete in terms of price and volume of production. As a result, the artisan communities who carry on the traditions of their ancestors-through crafts like weaving, embroidery and painting-struggle to continue in their craft, as they cannot earn a sustainable livelihood from it in today’s market. They often do not want to teach their children to carry on the tradition, and would rather send them to work in a factory in the city, where they will at least earn a steady (albeit low) daily wage.

Today, more and more people are realizing the value of buying fair trade products. When you buy fair trade clothes and other products, you are not only ensuring a better life for the artisans and their families, but you are also investing in a more equitable world for future generations, where the environment and indigenous cultures are protected.

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