We wanted to respond to a fantastic question we received in regards to our blog post on the Bangladesh incident and fair trade. Kelsy asked:
I just have no idea: how do you know which garments are "fair trade" and which are manufactured at a safe factory? If a sweater from Banana Republic says, "Made in Bangladesh" (or anywhere), how do I know if that particular one was made responsibly? It seems retailers get their clothing from various places, and probably are changing season to season as well. Maybe you could send a follow-up email on how/where to educate ourselves on this. With thousands of factories, it seems like it would be very difficult to know, but maybe there is an easy way? Or should we assume that none of the major retailers care about fair trade? Thanks for educating us!
As we've said before, we believe that fair trade principles ensure a good, living wage is given and that no exploitation occurs. When you make a fairly traded purchase, you are supporting farmers and artisans in the developing world and their communities. Your purchase contributes to improved healthcare, education, empowerment (especially for women), as well as minimizing negative environmental impacts of commerce.