It’s a question we get asked quite regularly, “what is Fairtrade Clothing?”. Well, we’re going to try and answer that.
What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is a movement, that has been around for decades. It focuses on providing better working conditions, better pay and more opportunities for those working in less developed nations. Fairtrade ensures that a minimum price for the raw materials is paid by the customers of producers in less developed nations, as well as an additional social premium.
In the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation is responsible for certification (the pretty labels you see on Fairtrade products). But different organisations take charge in different countries.
Fairtrade’s remit focuses mainly on the working conditions of producers of raw materials, like cotton, rather than environmental standards or working conditions in factories. At A.M. Custom Clothing, we would recommend looking for separate certifications if you are looking for products such as organic clothing, or t-shirts made from recycled materials. Our Fairtrade clothing also carries SA8000 certification to guarantee the labour standards in the factories, as well as GOTS organic accreditation, and the EU Eco Label.
The video below shows in greater detail the journey of Fairtrade cotton and the impact it has on farmers.
Why is Fairtrade Important?
It is probably a good idea to say: Fairtrade is not a magic pill. It does not solve the world’s problems, but it does set a standard that everyone involved must meet. This can give those buying Fairtrade clothing, the confidence in knowing that the people who grew the cotton were given a fair deal.
So, what is Fairtrade clothing?
Fairtrade clothing, is clothing made from Fairtrade certified materials. Usually this is certified cotton. It doesn’t guarantee that the product is made from 100% Fairtrade cotton, some brands use cotton blends, so you may find that a garment has been made from 80% cotton, 20% polyester.
The Fairtrade logo doesn’t guarantee that the cotton is organic, or environmentally friendly. Remember to look for other logos to ensure this.
Why is Fairtrade clothing better?
As we’ve already said, Fairtrade clothing ensures that the people who have produced the cotton are treated fairly, paid a guaranteed amount and given more opportunities to better their lives. Generally, because of the nature of the production processes for Fairtrade cotton, the clothing is of better quality. So it won’t just make you feel good on the inside, it’ll make you look and feel great on the outside!
The key benefits are:
- Fairtrade is one of the most recognised ethical labels in the world
- Fairtrade clothes are made from better quality cotton
- A Fairtrade t-shirt feels better against your skin
- Fairtrade workwear and event clothing helps improve your brand’s ethical credentials
Some more of the business benefits are outlined within the video below.
Is Fairtrade clothing more expensive?
A Fairtrade t-shirt from A.M. Custom Clothing is not much more expensive than other non-Fairtrade alternatives available on the market. Along with better ethics, the products are better quality, are a better fit and will last longer. So you may pay a little more, but you’ll reap the benefits from it.