Why is fair trade important? Mainly because of its effectiveness of providing safe + sustainable working conditions to people around the globe. As it has come to pass, capitalism --- gaining the most profit for the least expense (often to the detriment of the people who work in factories) --- is unquestionably the most dominant global thought for conducting business. And, when allowed to run unchecked, capitalism inevitably leads to a majority of workers being left ripe for exploitation.
Generational poverty, irreversible environmental damage, and unethical working practices are just some of the harsh realities facing people on a day-to-day basis. While fair trade is by no means a singular cure, it is nevertheless impactful as part of a long-term solution. Why? Because it shifts the onus of doing something about an imbalanced system to consumers as well as regulators and suppliers.
At the very least, fair trade is important since it raises awareness of mindful shopping. Awakening consumers to the fact that their spending habits have an impact, both good and bad. But with fair trade, they can create a positive change within the capitalist system.
Here are some of the positive changes that fair trade has been able to propagate:
Fair trade provides an adequate source of income, not just to address basic needs, but also to give access to better life opportunities.
Around the globe, minimum wage barely covers the basics of what people need in order to lead a healthy life. If you are struggling to pay for food, shelter, clothing, and medicine in the present, then you will scarcely be able to plan for the future. These include what many take for granted such as education, preemptive healthcare, and savings.
Livable wages are undoubtedly intertwined to an improved quality of life. When fair trade practices are implemented, workers and producers are protected from being underpaid in relation to their work. This results in financial security from a stable source of income and means the chance to pursue other opportunities and plan for a secure future.
Fair trade assists in building capacity and increasing knowledge.
One of the hallmarks of fair trade is to encourage the creation of cooperatives. By coming together, the work of an individual aggregates within a cooperative. This partnership provides makers the means of fulfilling the quantity-quality aspect of orders so they can become legitimate, competitive, and reliable manufacturers in the global supply chain.
In addition to this, cooperatives can share information, knowledge, and best practices among themselves or other cooperatives with regards to their product. Cooperatives are also beneficial for its members as an equal platform for voicing their opinions and concerns in terms of decisions and issues. This way all members have a voice and are made by local leaders, rather than foreign entities.
Cooperatives also make it easier to implement initiatives such as training, certification, and education, due to its centralized nature.
Fair trade is an effective means for highlighting social inequality and promoting significant change.
As you may well know, there are countless problems that the world urgently needs to address today. When taken collectively, these issues are practically impossible to solve. But if we tackle them one step at a time, solutions begin to arise and setbacks become valuable learning experiences instead of debilitating failures.
Fair trade is far from being perfect, but it is a significant step towards the right direction.
With this in mind, here at Fair Anita we believe fair trade is important because it allows us to be a resource for women to feel safe, valued and respected, while creating beautiful accessories our customers love to wear.