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How to know if a fashion brand is Fair Trade?

02 June, 2021

What is the definition of Fair Trade?

"Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade". Definition of Fair Trade, International Fair Trade Charter.

Fair Trade organisations aim to

  • work with marginalised producers and workers to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency,
  • empower producers and workers as stakeholders in their own organisations,
  • actively to play a wider role to achieve greater equity in international trade

 

Is Handmade Stories Fair Trade fashion?

Handmade Stories was born to help women in rural communities get an income at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Along the way, we met other artisans who were also struggling and we started working with them. We now also work with a family of traditional jewellery-makers, and men in prison who make traditional textiles using looms.

To work with them, we follow the World Fair Trade Organisation’s guidelines:

  • We have an open conversation with them to set the prices, helping them calculate their costs, the time it takes, and how much they want to earn from it.
  • We travel to their communities so they don’t have to travel far.
  • We support gender equality by helping women achieve economic independence.
  • We give women in remote locations access to the modern economy so they can invest in their families and communities and lead them to a better future.
  • We provide a flexible working environment that allows them to work around their animals, land, and family schedule without having to leave their community.
  • We have a development fund for each community where we save part of the profit from each sale and dedicate it to undertaking development projects chosen by the community.