Maggie VanceComment

Fair Trade Matters

Maggie VanceComment
Fair Trade Matters
Photos by Matt Holben

Photos by Matt Holben

Fair Trade Matters

"Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.” – World Fair Trade Organization

I came across Slumlove Sweater Company fairly recently and thought their product was beautiful.  I am wearing their black sweater dress. They are a Fair Trade company from Kenya that uses only organic cotton and low impact dyes.  How good can it get?!? People AND environment are valued in this product.  

I came across Slumlove Sweater Company fairly recently and thought their product was beautiful.  I am wearing their black sweater dress. They are a Fair Trade company from Kenya that uses only organic cotton and low impact dyes.  How good can it get?!? People AND environment are valued in this product.  

  The scarf I am wearing is from a fair trade store in Grand Rapids, Michigan, named Clothing Matters.  If I had to pick one piece of clothing to represent me, it would be my scarf: I love it.  It was a splurge for my college budget, but once I tried it on I remember thinking, "This thing is not coming off!”  To this day, it remains my favorite fall/winter item to pull out. 

 

The scarf I am wearing is from a fair trade store in Grand Rapids, Michigan, named Clothing Matters.  If I had to pick one piece of clothing to represent me, it would be my scarf: I love it.  It was a splurge for my college budget, but once I tried it on I remember thinking, "This thing is not coming off!”  To this day, it remains my favorite fall/winter item to pull out. 

Fair trade matters because the people making our clothes and their quality of life are considered. Fast fashion, a production process that is expedited in order to have new trends on the market quickly and as cheaply as possible, is on the rise.  Companies have detached themselves from having personal relationships with factories and the people working within.  Instead, many companies will hire agencies to find the cheapest (usually unregulated) factory.  These agencies place incredible pressure on deadlines and material cost in order to maximize quick profits for the company that hired them. I will just say it: fast fashion is creating sweat shops where people are overworked, underpaid, and risking their lives every day at work due to unsafe working conditions.  This doesn’t sit right with me and shouldn’t for you either.  Buy fair trade!

When you buy fair trade you are changing the way business is done. Your money is not only supporting companies with a conscience, but you're valuing peoples' jobs and the time they spend working.  You’re valuing their quality of life, their home, their family, and their time on this earth.