Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fair Trade Fashion

Two things I love a lot: fashion and fighting injustice.

These two loves combined drive me to do a whole lot of fair trade shopping. Human trafficking happens all over the world and many of the items we take for granted were made by the hands of slavery.

Did you know...
An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour at any given time
as a result of trafficking 
(International Labour Organization, Forced Labour Statistics Factsheet (2007)) 

32 Billion dollars are made annually because of Human trafficking according to the UN

So here is Jasmine's guide to Fair-Trade Fashion 

 Be a conscious consumer!
Know the facts! There are any online resources about not buying certain products from certain countries because of the child or forces labor that is involved in making the product.

The organization Not for Sale, has a great site that has rated hundreds or companies on an A-F scale based on their policies on and use of forced labor. Company Ratings 

Find the fair and trendy market
There are tons of stores and organizations dedicated to fashion and engaging in fair trade. It sometimes takes a little digging to find them but they definitely exist!

Heres a list of places that I've found: 
Fair trade and trendy:
Unique Batik - Not only do they sell gorgeous clothes, jewelry, hand bags, and other accessories, but they also sell beautiful fabric for those of us who love to sew! 
World of Good- as a branch of ebay, this site supports the philosophy that our shopping shapes the world and offers a wide assortment of fair trade and eco friendly products
Sevya as a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Sevya Fair Tade gets all of their products from artisan community in India. 

Indigenous Designs- free shipping everyday and all organic materials!
People Tree- since the 90s People Tree has been working to ensure the availability of beautifully crafted fair trade garments, and support the artisans who create such products. 
Fair Indigo- A great selection of classic looking outfit pieces, and a great collection of alpaca winter wear. 
The Revive Store 

Revive- an independent boutique located in Ohio (but shopping can be done online) Revive features clothes for men, women, children, and tons of home decor products! 

A lot of these places are fairly expensive, and that is to be expected since fairness costs more than slavery. So do we have to be rich to change the world? of course not! There are plenty of ways to shop conscientiously and still not break your bank.

  • Try local thrift stores, consignment shops etc. Even if the original source was not 100% fair, its better to reuse that buy something new from a source that supports modern day slavery. 
  • Shop etsy for hand made items, and material. 
  • Look around your town for local fair trade boutiques, the locally owned places are sometimes cheaper than the larger companies. 
  • Participate in a clothing swap with friends 

Be Proactive
There are several organizations out there that not only sell fair trade products, but also use the proceeds to benefit others or fight human trafficking. 

FEED- it says it all in the name, every purchase helps feed the world! 
Not for Sale Store- The mission of Not for Sale is to end human trafficking. Buying hand made jewelry and accessories from their online store supports the organization and artisans who craft them. 
Krochet Kids- There motto is "Buy a hat. Change a life" each hat helps support a family in Uganda or Peru. 
Warby Parker- a glasses company that gives a pair to someone in need each time someone buys a pair for themself. 

There are many ways to combat the issue of human trafficking. Making informed decisions when shopping is a small way of letting our actions align with our beliefs. Every purchase counts to making a better world because every human life counts.

1 comment:


    This is a fantastic video that explains about forced labor in the cotton industry and how that relates to our clothes