In honour of World Fair Trade Day today, Saturday 13th May 2017, I had to write a blog piece about this subject which I have become very passionate about.
Many of you may not know a lot about fair trade. I didn't myself until I had my little girl, Layla, in 2015. Having Layla has really changed my way of thinking about the world, especially with regards to children. Setting up BabyChic has also made me more aware of the origins of what I buy, both for BabyChic & in my personal life.
Definition of Fair Trade:
'Trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers.'
The area of Fair Trade that I am going to focus on for this blog entry is the part closest to my heart - child labour.
Fair Trade means zero tolerance of child labour, and the organisation works to bring an end to such practices. Fair Trade certified producer organisations and traders are committed to preventing and effectively eliminating all forms of Forced Labour, Child Labour and human trafficking, in accordance with the principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Fair Trade is committed to fighting the root causes of child labour and proactively preventing the abuse and exploitation of children.
Around 168 million children are in employment around the world, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Definition of child labour:
'The employment of children in an industry or business, especially when illegal or considered exploitive.'
Children work at all stages of the supply chain in the fashion industry – from the production of cotton seeds, harvesting, yarn spinning, right through to the different phases of putting garments together in factories.
Many of these child labourers work within the fashion supply chain, making the textiles and garments to satisfy the demand of consumers in Europe, the US, & beyond. Fast fashion is pushing companies to find ever cheaper sources of labour. That cheap labour is freely available in many of the countries where textile and garment production takes place. Child labour & slavery are so entrenched in the production of goods and services from so many countries, that it can be an enormous challenge to avoid it.
Focus on cotton:
Conventional cotton is cotton produced using a heavy input of chemicals to control pests, and accounts for most cotton production worldwide
Fairtrade certified cotton is cotton that has met the international Fairtrade standard for production of seed cotton, and is therefore eligible to carry the fair-trade mark.
Organic cotton is cotton grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
What can we each do to stop child labour?
1. Educate yourself. Then share what you learn with family & friends. Raising awareness and educating people on why child labour needs to be stopped is one of the best ways to end this practice. People need to know that it’s happening, where, how and why.
2. Buy fair-trade products whenever possible.
3. Use your consumer power. Research brands that are being accused of child labour practices & avoid them. If there's no market for the products being made by children, then there won't be any point producing them.
Other reasons to buy fairtrade:
• Fair Trade means fair pay and working conditions for farmers and producers.
• Fair Trade is better for the environment
• Fair Trade means high quality goods
• Fair Trade means better tasting food
• Fair Trade is safe
• Fair Trade supports communities
• Fair Trade is trade farmers can count on
• Fair trade connects you with other cultures
• Fair Trade means sustainable local economies
• Fair Trade means what you buy matters
At www.BabyChic.ie our fair-trade brands include Holztiger, Piccalilly, & JNY. We are also looking to buy in other fair-trade brands in the future.
There's a lovely quote by Mother Teresa, & I think it's a good one for people that feel one person can't make a difference:
I hope that you've enjoyed reading my blog entry, & that you found it informative. This is a subject that I am still trying to educate myself on, & will cover this again in the future.
Follow this link if you would like more information on World Fair Trade Day http://wfto.com/events/world-fair-trade-day-2017