Fair Trade, learn more!1
To be honest, at first I really didn’t have a great understanding of what fair trade was even though it sounds pretty self-explanatory. It wasn’t until after my usual Harry Potter character stalking, that I came across an interview with Emma Watson and became a lot more interested in what it actually is. Watson spoke about fair trade, explained how it works, the importance of why we should all buy fair trade products and her new line featured at People Tree, her fair trade certified clothing company. After watching that video, I started doing a little more research on it.
What is fair trade?
In my own words, I would describe fair trade as the positive movement of social and economical change keeping the best interests in mind of the buyers, workers and consumers who are all working towards creating a fair and sustainable living means for everyone, especially in disadvantaged and developing countries.
Still don’t get it?
Your job at minimum wage in California is $8 an hour. If you work 40 hours a week, you’ve earned $320 that week (minus some taxes). Not the best especially when living in California right? But compared to many other places, you’re making good money! Now imagine, making $2.40… a week. That is only a FRACTION of your hourly wage! Well, that is the average weekly paycheck of an “employee” in developing countries. They are being paid by big corporations and businesses that not only pay terribly for a rich country, but also force their “employees” to work under terrible and unsanitary conditions where their health and lives are constantly at risk. Fair Trade is fighting against this.
Did you know that, “For every $1 given to poor countries in aid, they lose $2 to rich countries because of unfair trade?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drvPrMtXcaE)
So, how do I feel about Fair Trade?
I believe the standards and principles of fair trade are extremely beneficial to the world and that people should definitely be more aware and informed about Fair Trade. However, in doing research, I’ve found that almost everywhere you will find unfair trade. So, I’m not trying to persuade anyone here to stop buying their regular products, because the reality of it is almost all retailers use sweatshops and unfair trade, but we shouldn’t be okay with that reality. Again, it comes down to the KWD core belief that if you have the power to do something you should.
I’ve attached a bunch of links, one on what you can do, a few places you can shop fair trade, and a couple on some Unfair trade stories. It’s up to you decide what you want to use your power towards, so if this is something that strikes you, I encourage you to dig deep, spread awareness and become an activist of fair trade.
Fair Trade Practices, Principles, Facts & Resources
Fair Trade Clothing:
Disney Child Labor
Third World Traveler