What is Fairtrade? Something you might have asked yourself before. As you might have noticed all our products áre (because we advertise is everywhere on our website, but then come on this is something to be proud of)! And I am pretty sure that you have heard of Fairtrade before in your life. That’s great news because we believe that Fairtrade should pretty much be the standard. But do you also know what Fairtrade really means? Don’t worry this blogpost comes to your rescue if you don’t, plus it provides you with interesting facts for you next birthday party or something. Gosh so valuable.
So Fairtrade. Let’s start of with the official description of Fairtrade as given by the World Fair Trade Organization:
“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 have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, 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. It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.”
Still here? Good! Now Let’s break down why you would choose Fairtrade in some easier to understand points:
Our producers and the people who create the products in the workplace, get fair pay. However this does not mean they receive something similar as we would in the west. It means they receive a fair wage for the work they do according to the living standards of the country.
Safe and no crazy labor
It was amazing being able to visit the workplace in Sri Lanka where our Elephant Dung Paper is made. We could just come by any time we wanted (so no, they did not hide things because we could walk in whenever) and witness the process. So we feel comfortable to tell you the workplace was safe. The working times were 9 to 6 and the workers would get a lunch and tea break during the day for a total of an hour. On top of that we also got to talk to some of the women in the factory who told us they really enjoyed the work they were doing and that they got to do different things. So if one day they would have to cut paper, the next day they got to paint etc. So definitely no crazy sweatshop practices :).
Respect for the environment
Though Fairtrade does not perse mean 100% eco-friendly, to be able to receive a Fairtrade certification, a producer has to do the best they can. Unfortunately since Fairtrade producers are based in developing countries, they do not always have access to the most eco-friendly option. For example our notebooks are wrapped in plastic, to ensure best protection, but the plastic is consciously not made out of PVC (one of the most damaging plastics for the environment). But our notebooks themselves are made out of 100% recycled products and the dyes that are used to color the paper are 100% natural. There’s definitely worse choices out there…
No discrimination and no child-labor
Sound so simple, but in many (developing) countries unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. If you choose Fairtrade however, you can be sure this principle is applied. We can even tell you that at the workplace where our Elephant Dung paper is made, most of the workers were actually female. A big deal in Sri Lanka and very empowering to see!