Fair Trade Fashion – The Ultimate Guide

The days when fair trade fashion meant tie-dyed pantaloons and ill-fitting ethnic smocks are long gone. Top designers are now working with new ethical fashion labels to create clothes and accessories that are desirable, not just because they’re associated with a good cause, but because they’re stylish and beautiful.

So what makes fair trade fashion fair? Here is a quick summary of the 5 things to look out for:

1. There are a number of fair trade certification bodies that you should look out for when you’re browsing for fair trade products. A good one is the World Fair Trade Organisation, while in the UK, the British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) is another standards organisation. These organisations help customers know that the products they’re buying are genuinely ethical.

2. Where are the products made? And under what conditions? Do you really want to buy from companies that outsource their production to sweatshop manufacturers with poor conditions and low wages for their workers? Fair trade or ethical fashion companies will be happy to explain where and how their products are made. Rembember: transparency and fair trade go hand in hand.

3. What materials are being used? Fair trade and environmental sustainability are different concepts, though in practice fair trade fashion companies will also engage in eco-friendly sourcing practices. So look out for organic cotton, recycled items and other ‘green’ materials.

4. Fair trade fashion isn’t just confined to the margins of the fashion world. Many mainstream shops have fair trade concessions, and there are now ethical and eco-friendly fashion labels showcased on the catwalk at all the major fashion shows.

5. Price. Ethical fashion is no longer the preserve of the wealthy, with increasingly affordable products available as the movement becomes more mainstream. However, fast fashion goods like T-Shirts for £2.99 are not a realistic price. Someone somewhere will be paying the true cost of that T-Shirt – most likely in a miserable wage and poor conditions. According to the NGO ActionAid, if the retail price of a £6 dress was increased by just 10p it would be enough to double the wages of the factory worker in Sri Lanka who produced it. Ethical fashion can make a real difference.

You might think the global economic downturn could impact on customers’ appetites for fair trade fashion. But according to the Cooperative Bank’s Ethical Consumer report, sales of fair trade and organic clothing grew by 70% to £52m in 2007, and this year is scheduled to see still further growth.

And consider this: in 2007 a survey by TNS Global found that 60% of under-25s said they bought what they wanted, regardless of where or how it had been made. This year that figure had dropped to 36%, suggesting that child labour and sweatshop scandals have made their mark.

The future’s great for ethical consumers and suppliers.

Fair Trade High Fashion

We know fair trade when we shop for food from chocolate to coffee fair trade is now more often to see in the shelves. Sharing profit and NOT to squeeze each cent out of farmers is the thought behind it. So is there a fair trade movement in the fashion industry, where high fashion requires a large part of manual work?

My research shows that there is quiet a movement that has people involved that find a solution to apply skills of local women and men, to wrap fashion conscious women, men, boys and girls in beautiful clothing.

It is an ethical dilemma for many fashion designers: how do they know that their designs are being made under fair labor conditions, when they outsource the production and not subcontracted to other factories that may not meet these standards? To find a solution demands personal engagement and an idealistic stand point.

Organizations are active that are dedicated to improve the lives of these local people, providing jobs, training, health care and accommodation and here with the base of existence.

They take on biggest challenges to train people to understand and deal with the concept of delivery deadlines and international quality standards.
Designing gorgeous designer kids clothes, and complete children seasonal collections, found a market from Australia to the Europe and U.S. The classical look, wonderful colors and immaculate tailoring of exclusive women clothes and stylish men shirts is available for those that do not want to participate in exploiting the tailors in 3rd World Countries but consciously decide that their work entitles them to earn a family’s living and make sure that those people can live from their hands work.

The original reasons for the fair trade fashion is to provide more jobs and ensuring that skills and artisanry does not get lost, which is often locally practiced as a specific style of stitch-work and embroideries. In most cases these will be replaced with solely machine fabricated clothing if fair trade fashion would not exist and finally get lost.

Selling online and present in stores in Australia, USA, Europe and Asia, the fair trade high fashion is for everybody with a conscious and open mind. Wearing exclusive clothing, based on limited edition fabric and knowing that you have contributed to sustain those that made it, will contribute to your feel good factor and you and your kids will look stunning!

Fair Trade Fashion: How You Can Affect Global Change With the Clothes on Your Back

In 2005, cotton was first added to the list of certifiable fair trade products, making way for huge strides in ethical fashion. In the six years that has passed since then, a significant impact has been made on the cotton industry, not only for the workers overseas, but also in consumer demand for fair trade, eco-fashion garments.

Fair trade fashion means being conscientious of workers conditions, wages, child labor as well as the environment in the production process. Before the founding of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) in the 1980’s, slave labor, harsh discrimination, and lower-than-low working conditions, as well as many other similar issues ruled the world of not only cotton, but other commonly imported products such as bananas, chocolate and coffee. This came from many corporations going overseas to find cheap labor and the lowest environmental standards they could find. This left many scars on the workers that slaved away for 14+ hour days in unhealthy sweatshops and on the ecosystems surrounding these small communities.

Around the world, there are 5 million farmers, workers and community members that benefit from fair trade. The fair trade model means empowering communities to take care of themselves and their ecosystems. When farmers are able to produce crops under healthy conditions, the quality of the product is much higher, also meaning they get a better price for it. They are able to support their families, send their children to school and live healthier, more self-sustaining lives away from the fierce grip of unfair labor practices. Even through the purchase of one simple cup of coffee, you are supporting a farmer and his family, as well as his community and the ecosystem surrounding it overseas.

Although the demand for fair trade fashion has grown, many people still assume that concept means paying an outrageous amount for not-so-stylish clothing. Many large retail stores lack transparency, meaning we don’t always know where our clothes come from.

How do you know if your clothes are fair trade? One way is to simply look at the label. Many fair trade certified clothing will have some sort of logo, for instance, UNITE is an international program that makes sweatshop free clothing.

Social Accountability International’s Social Fingerprint (®) program is a program for companies that looks at nine different key categories to determine that company’s level of social responsibility, as well as offering tips, guidelines and resources to help those companies continually improve. Companies such as Gap, Patagonia and Timberland have used the Social Fingerprint program to ensure social responsibility throughout the garment production process.