5 ways farmers and artisans benefit when you buy Fair Trade products
Have you ever thought about the person that made the clothing you’re wearing? How about the communities that weave, dye and package the bags you carry, the sweater that keeps you warm or the blanket that wraps you up before you fall asleep at night?
With the holiday season coming to a close and New Year’s around the corner, we at Gallant wanted to remind you of why it is so important to purchase Fair Trade and Organic products whenever possible. What does Fair Trade mean?
1. To Support Environmental Sustainability
When you buy fair trade, organic cotton you are supporting environmental sustainability through organic practices that reduce and/or eliminate the use of harmful toxic agrochemicals, pesticides and other chemical additives. Many fair trade cotton farmers work with sustainable production methods to help keep the natural environment thriving for generations to come.
2. Fair Prices
The people who make our clothing have families, homes, assets and communities to take care of. They work hard to ensure the products we purchase are beautiful, well made and functional. By purchasing Fair Trade products, you are ensuring that the artisan is receiving a living wage and isn’t getting undercut by the long supply chain of importers, exporters, processors, brokers and retailers before getting to you. WIth Fair Trade, you support a fair price for products that is set by the international Fair Trade Labeling Organization. That way, you don’t undercut the little guy and you can rest assured the item you purchased is doing good for someone’s life.
3. To Empower Local Communities & Workers
When you buy fair trade, organic cotton bags and clothing, you help the workers, organizations and communities involved in the production to receive a living wage. This is a direct support against commodities practices that leave workers without the minimum salary required to have basic food, shelter, medical care and education. A choice for Fair Trade means a choice for empowered workers who can support their families.
4. To Invest in Community Building
When you buy from a fair-trade producer, you also invest a small amount of your money in that local community via a fair trade premium. Whereas many cotton producers live on conventional plantations with child labor, no basic amenities like housing or bathrooms and awful living conditions, Gallant’s fair trade cotton operatives provide artisans with fair wages and living conditions while reinvesting revenues back into local businesses and community development initiatives including housing, healthcare, education, leadership training and women’s programs.
5. Fair Trade means partnership – not exploitation
Fair Trade bypasses “middlemen” and challenges big business. It is a way of working with communities to ensure that they have a say in the products they are creating and that we as consumers aren’t taking advantage of their resources or skills. Fair Trade businesses value the knowledge inherent in local communities and leverages that to create beautiful goods that are meaningful, handcrafted and sustainably sourced. We create long-lasting partnerships and invest in our communities, instead of conventional extractive supply chains that destroy the communities and inhabitants they source from.