Fair Trade is a term used to describe items purchased ethically from developing countries where the artisans, farmers and factory workers are paid a fair wage for their work. This term is not well understood by the masses in our world, but to those who feel passionate about using their spending dollars for good, it is a term that means a way of life and great satisfaction. It can be very difficult to find fairly traded products on the internet, so we have put together a list of top sites known to be Fair Trade certified.
Each of the companies listed is passionate about offering hope and empowerment to the people they work with by providing sustainable incomes and not simply offering charity. The act of creating sustainable businesses in under developed countries proves to be a step in the right direction in giving people a hand up out of generations of poverty and quite possibly changing the world. If we would all educate ourselves on the importance of socially responsible spending, we could be part of the change we wish to see in our world.
Eileen Fisher is a designer offering comfortable clothing for women in natural fabrics. Her company provides grant programs for women offering leadership training and business opportunities.
Good & Fair Clothing
Good and Fair Clothing produces certified organic cotton clothing and accessories in India and is certified fair trade from farm to factory. Good & Fair Clothing gives you the opportunity to tell a story of respect, dignity, fairness and ultimately, love when you wear their merchandise.
Noonday Collection is a fair trade company offering a large selection of accessories made in under developed countries. The artisans making the handmade items in this line are paid a fair salary for their work and their lives are forever changed by the generosity of consumers who are looking to make a difference in the world with their purchasing dollars.
Open Arms Boutique
The Open Arms boutique is located in Austin, TX. The artisans at the Open Arms boutique are Ugandan refugees from the Acholi tribe who now live and work in Austin. The women work beside American women to create clothing and accessories from donated t-shirts making each item unique and limited edition. The refugees are paid a living wage and are breaking free from the chains of poverty.
Patagonia is one of the first large companies to begin the process of becoming fully Fair Trade Certified. Patagonia offers a very large selection of clothing and gear for active lifestyles. This company is working hard to improve the world around them.
Prana helped pioneer fair-trade certified apparel and became the first major company in North America to produce and market Fair-Trade Certified styles. Prana was founded in 1992 in a garage in California. Today, Prana, is a very well known name among yoga enthusiasts and athletes with many famous names backing their products.
Sole Rebels is a shoe company manufacturing shoes from discarded tires. This company was founded and still operates in Zenabwork, Ethiopia. Not only is this company providing sustainable incomes for its artisans, it is also environmentally savvy by repurposing items that are very harmful to the environment when left lying around. Website: www.solerebels.com Sseko is a shoe company that employs young women in Uganda paying them wages that go directly toward their college educations. This company is empowering these women to follow their dreams in a country where most young girls aren’t able to attend universities. Website: www.ssekodesigns.com The Timberland company was once accused of using child labor to produce their products. Since that day, Timberland has become an industry leader in social responsibility and transparency. Many of the products sold by Timberland are certified fair trade. Website: www.timberland.com Trades of Hope is a fashion and home accessory company based in Florida. Trades of Hope works with artisans from all over the world buying their goods at a price much higher than they would make in their own villages and selling them in the United States. This company is providing a sustainable income for many artisans around the world. Website: www.tradesofhope.com