Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Fair Go for Fairtrade

We see it advertised everywhere - Fairtrade this, Fairtrade that but what exactly does it mean?

Firstly it's important to point out that anyone can put "Fair Trade" (2 words) on something and it means bugger all. 

You’ve probably heard of green washing, where a company claims they or a product are enviromentally-friendly when really they aren't any more than the anyone else.  Calling a product Fair Trade when it’s not audited by the Fairtrade Association (FTA) is Fairtrade Washing – it’s misleading.

"Fairtrade" (one word) means an independent auditing body has guaranteed that the entire supply chain is sustainable, and best practice for decent working conditions and pay standards are adherred to.  

Take Earthlings, their Waiheke Island based childrens clothing range, is Fairtrade.  The FTA audits their supply chain from the cotton field to the end product.  Companies like Earthlings, that are comitted to this process, pay 2% quarterly to Fairtrade and only after a completed audit do they have the right to use the Fairtrade logo.

What about supporting NZ Made? 
Of course we should buy NZ made where we can.  The thing people forget is that cotton is not grown in NZ – the majority is grown in the Third World and is sent here as yarn to be made into garments.  It's in the cotton fields where the worst injustices are faced and that is why it's important to look for and purchase  Fairtrade when you can.


Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

It's great to have this written in such a clear manner, it's easy to read and put so very well. Thanks Lou and Heidi for adding this post and also - if you are keen in taking a look, there's a great video on Organic/fairtrade cotton on youtube -
Again thanks for your honest and clear post on a subject which often has the parametres blurred. In New Zealand Fairtrade fortnight is between 1-16 May and they will be following in the footsteps of the UK fairtrade association with their campaign called "The big swap" here's a cool video about that too:


Related Posts with Thumbnails