Friday, 21 June 2019 | Joanna
Principle Two of the Ten Principles of Fair Trade is Transparency and Accountability.
Fair trade is all about short supply chains and knowing where the goods come from. I love the fact that when I shake hands with one of my suppliers at a trade show, the last hand she shook could have been the hand that made the product I am about to buy. We value the skills of the people who make our products and on this blog you can see some photos of producers making the items on sale. This is important to us and we know it's important to our customers.
Things like transparency and accountability are invisible when they are done well, but when they are missing you start to see why they are so important. When the Rana Plaza complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed in April 2013 the big fashion brands were keen to announce that their garments were not being made there. This was not true. The garment industry in particular is prone to outsourcing. This is because big buyers are keen to get large volumes of products delivered quickly to ride the trend. But this leads to them setting unrealistic timescales, and the producer, instead of saying "No, I cannot do this" will say "Yes" and then worry about how they are going to fulfil the order later. This will almost always be through passing on part of the order - and taking a cut. The more stages there are in the supply chain, the more middlemen will be taking a cut and the less the garment workers will receive for making the garment.
Companies like M&S are starting to realise how important transparency is and their website has an interactive map of all their suppliers so you can check where their goods come from. Other success comes through campaigning: Traidcraft Exchange is running a vitally important campaign to improve the lives of Assam tea plantation workers, with the first step being the big 6 tea companies publishing details of which plantations supply their tea. Within less than a year all 6 had done so. Because of people like you and me asking them to take action.
We aim to be as transparent as we can be, explaining where our goods are made, giving details of our suppliers and telling their stories. We know this is important to our customers and - to be honest - it's fantastic to be able to tell you how much of an impact your purchase can have.
If you want to know more about how All's Fair goes about business, you can always just ask us. Find us on a stall or send an email.
Friday, 14 June 2019 | Joanna
The Ten Principles of Fair Trade as set out by the World Fair Trade Organisation govern how we operate as a fair trade business.
But what are these principles and what do they mean in practice?
The first principle is all about creating opportunities for disadvantaged people. But what is a disadvantaged person?
This is the official WFTO definition:
“The economically marginalised are people or communities who are restricted to the lower or peripheral edge of the economy, who are prevented from participation in mainstream economic activity by factors beyond their control.” Factors in any country or society which might cause a person to be ‘economically marginalised’ vary greatly from place to place but, for the purposes of a WFTO definition, it would include minimally one of the following:
• Living in a region or country with lack of job opportunities - a place with persistent high unemployment;
• Having a lack of, or lack of access to education or professional training;
• People with disabilities (either mental or physical) that hinder conventional employment;
• Suffering from discrimination (eg caste, race, religious or gender based) which prevents one from taking advantage of existing dignified employment
• Being unable to engage the market as an equal trading partner due to unfair trade rules, dominant monopolies or political restrictions.
• Organisations working for economic integration of marginal/disadvantaged people and creating opportunities for them;
• Craft producers, which are not able to secure a dignified life to their family;
• (Recovering) Victims of violence;
• People escaping from organised crime and illegal economic practices;
• Social and solidarity enterprises.
So you can see that fair trade is all about finding the people who really need our help and working with them to make their lives better through trade. Some of the world's poorest people are being helped out of poverty by fair trade. From the people with disabilities who make our handbags in Vietnam to the women making our jewellery on the bus taking their sick children to hospital, and the people who make our toys trying to rebuild their lives after civil war in Sri Lanka, we support disadvantaged producers wherever we can. Thank you for your support and custom to help us make these lives better.
Over the summer we'll be looking at the rest of the ten principles in turn and seeing how the goods we buy make a difference to people's lives.
Thursday, 23 May 2019 | Joanna
We had a blast in Manchester at the BAFTS Conference and AGM.
Wednesday, 1 May 2019 | Joanna
Introducing our brand new recycled aluminium ornaments in a range of colours.
Choose from blues and greens in our nautical, marine themed dishes, or pinks and purples which feature elephants, cats and mini vases.
Friday, 26 April 2019 | Joanna
Fashion Revolution Week gives shoppers the opportunity to tackle the fashion brands and ask how they can make fashion fairer. Watch our video with top designer Katharine Hamnett and find out how you can take action.
Thursday, 25 April 2019 | Joanna
Fashion Revolution are partnering with Traidcraft Exchange to ask YOU to add your signature to their petition on Modern Slavery.
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 | Joanna
Fashion Revolution Week helps us tackle fast fashion and understand how fair trade fashion supports workers.
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 | Joanna
Most clothing on sale in UK shops is made in factories in the global south (for example Bangladesh) where workers' rights and conditions are not as stringent as they are in Europe.
Find out how choosing fair trade instead can help.
Monday, 22 April 2019 | Joanna
It's Fashion Revolution Week. Find out how you can make a difference with the clothes you wear and buy.
Friday, 8 March 2019 | Joanna
Dan (despite her name, as you can see she is definitely a woman!) is one of the workers at the Vietnamese fair trade project where our fair trade bags are made.