Lets start off at the root, what is “fair trade”? In short, it is the commitment to provide fairness among all consumers and businesses. This pact ensures all individuals involved in creating, manufacturing, shipping, and consuming the product all pay or are paid a fair wage, have a safe workplace, and practice environmentally ethical methods. This is not new, but now more then ever businesses and consumers are being more cautious about what products are used, and what measures are being taken.
The organization Fairtrade America is committed to fight inequality, using “rigorous environmental, social and economic standards” (2021). They partner with small and large businesses to promote fairness not only in a business format, but fairness to the environment.
Fairtrade America explains how “the price of a $3 t-shirt is higher than you might think—unsafe and unfair labor conditions, unsustainable livelihoods and serious environmental issues. By choosing clothing and textiles made of Fairtrade certified cotton, you are standing up for the rights of cotton farmers and workers”. To find fair trade clothing brands visit: https://www.fairtradeamerica.org/shop-fairtrade/fairtrade-products/clothing-textiles/
“The cotton industry is notorious for its negative impact on the environment—from landfills overflowing with barely used clothing waste to waterways polluted by agrochemicals to the over-use of water and other natural resources. Our Standards protect farmers’ health and safety, ban hazardous pesticides, and don’t allow the use of GMO seeds” says Fairtrade America (2021).
Shopping at places you know practice environmentally friendly acts, can protect others from the pollution affected by fast fashion like manufactures. So next time you go shopping in a store or online, stop and think; How did this piece of clothing get here? Who made it? What is this made out of?
Asking ourselves these questions can help save our planet.