September 25, 2009, Newsletter Issue #169: Fair Trade Clothing

Tip of the Week

The clothing industry is under great pressure by large companies who want to get their products produced at a minimal cost. Often times these clothing giants hire young people in foreign countries to produce their clothing. They expect them to work long hours under unsafe conditions for very little pay. Fair trade clothing is not made under these conditions. Fair trade clothing is made by people who work in safe factories and are paid a decent wage for their work. Fair trade clothing offers consumers a sustainable alternative to sweat shop made items. The people who make fair trade clothing have a chance to move from a position of vulnerability to one of economic self-sufficiency. One of the first fair trade clothing lines was founded in 1991. They introduced the idea of designers from high income nations working with producers from low income nations for the mutual benefit of both parties. There are numerous fair trade organizations throughout the world. When choosing to buy fair trade clothing make sure you are buying it from a company that is one hundred percent dedicated to fair trade. This will help ensure that the artisans and farmers that make your food, clothing and other goods are involved in a commercial exchange in which they get a their share. Fair trade is a model for global economy. This model is rooted in people to people connections, justice and sustainability. When you buy fair trade clothing a portion of the price goes back into the community where the items was made for the building of health clinics, schools, starting scholarship funds, building housing, providing leadership training and women's programs.

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