In case you didn’t know, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight (23rd February – 8th March)! The definition of Fairtrade is this: ‘Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers’, but I think it’s more than that.
Fairtrade is the start of a conversation about how unethical our rampant consumerism has become. The current trade system is unsustainable (for both the planet and the people working in it), so Fairtrade offers an option for consumers to buy without feeling guilty for supporting that system.
I don’t think it’s a long term solution, but it’s a start! Therefore, I often try to look for the Fairtrade Symbol or WFTO symbol; any product can claim to be ‘fair’ or ‘ethical’ but the mark means it’s been judged by an independent party to be truly fair.
(Side Note: WFTO is actually better than the normal Fairtrade symbol – it means the whole brand, rather than just one product, follows the Fairtrade philosophy eg. Nestle can get the KitKat branded as Fairtrade by switching their cocoa suppliers, but they wouldn’t be able to be certified by WFTO as the company benefits from constantly undercutting suppliers – a big no no!)
Here are a few of my favourite brands that follow the Fairtrade philosophy, and have been certified accordingly:
– Divine Chocolate (aka chocolate of the gods) – this just tastes so good. It’s mostly owned by the farmers themselves, and they’ve got loads of interesting flavour combinations that make it a bit different from the usual ethical chocolate bars! They also do Easter Eggs 😀
– People Tree – this is another well known brand for how ethical it is and the clothes they make are so classic that you’ll keep them for years. The prices are a bit steep, but they have some really great deals in their sale section (in fact I think I’ll treat myself to this – also WFTO certified!).
– Shared Earth – a great find for home accessories, this is the brand I got my A-Z bookends from. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they do have a great selection – the recycled materials are especially interesting!
There are many more of course! Leave your favourites in the comments below – I’d love to discover different ones 🙂