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(more than) 10 motivations to go fair...

For World Fair Trade Day we put the spotlight on an eclectic range of fair trade brands, asking for their wisdom on what it means to be ethical and exceptional!

From Sri Lankan handbags and Suffolk-made hand cream to Malawian macadamias and Keralan coconut oil, with a whole load in between, there are so many ways to do it fair!

(more than) 10 motivations to go fair...

1. ALEAF

A sustainable and ethical fashion accessories brand that aims to reduce waste through circular practices, timeless designs and innovative bio-based fabrics whilst working to uplift the lives of underprivileged communities in Sri Lanka.

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No one deserves to be exploited. If you wouldn't work in an unsafe workplace, tolerate sexual harassment and accept wages that cannot afford you the basic necessities to survive, then why would you treat someone else that way? Buying fair trade products demands that the people making the products are safe, protected, motivated and able to live happy and healthy lives.

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Every year 30% of all ALEAF profits made will be donated to underprivileged communities in Sri Lanka to ensure that they have access to basic necessities, education and employment.
Additionally, with fashion piling up in landfills, ALEAF uses bio-based leather alternatives to create our products. Whilst these materials are not perfect, they will not harm our planet at the end of their lifecycle. All of our designs are timeless, multi functional and highly durable.

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"Leo The Label" is another great sustainable Sri Lankan clothing brand.


2. Bird and Wild

A coffee brand on a mission to help protect migrating birds, support the RSPB, and give you a great tasting Fairtrade Organic coffee one cup at a time. Since its founding in 2018, the brand has already donated almost £40,000 to the RSBP, plus all the coffee purchased is bird-friendly, meaning that it is naturally grown under the rainforest canopy and is organic and certified Fairtrade. 

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Did you know that it's not only food products that can be certified Fairtrade, you can actually buy Gold that's been certified Fairtrade, perhaps something to consider next time you're buying jewellery. 

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By being a champion for the environment, for wildlife and for the producers whilst still producing an amazing coffee.

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We love Seed and Bean Chocolate!

3. Chocolate and Love

A growing family business that supports equitable trade relationships for the purpose of driving social change from crop to consumer in the world of chocolate. These chocolate bars encapsulate everything the business is about: flavours, quality, indulgence; with a strong conscience for the people producing the ingredients and the environment.

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Choosing Fairtrade products ensures that we as a company, individual, and society, all share our global responsibility to ensure fair prices are transferred into better working environments, conditions, pay and lives for the farmers and in turn the planet. We must as a global community ensure that fair trade is more widely acknowledged and purchased.


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Many of our cooperatives are made up of various small family farms and it is really important to us to ensure we use ethically sourced ingredients like cacao, cane sugar, vanilla and coffee from farms certified by Fairtrade.


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As online shopping is becoming more and more widespread, it's great that there are now specialised retailers in ethical products such as Social Supermarket where you can find lots of Fairtrade products.

4. Elements

Elements started in Kerala, India, in 1999, with the aim to 'bridge the physical and emotional distance between a 'sensitive farmer' and a 'conscious consumer', specialising in cashew and coconut products but also offering coffee and spices among other products. The smallholder farmers have an abundance of crops within their small acreage.  

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I don’t think today we can look at commodity and international trade without anchoring it firmly around the concerns for climate change. It’s important to see how we adopt climate mitigation action to make sure that the products coming across the globe to distant lands carry as lower carbon footprint as possible.

This massive haulage of commodities across the oceans is unsustainable and fair trade is probably one system by which we can actually trade our way into climate neutral conditions. Multi-crop farming is important so that you can hedge against both climatic fluctuations and market fluctuations and a fair price across commodities. That is the fair trade promise.

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The biggest difference Elements has made to the reality of farming communites is predictablity which refers to a minimal price they would get for their products, helping them plan for the future, which means, come what may, prices could drop to rock bottom in the marketplace but their fair trade cashew or coffee will at least fetch this minimum. So, they know how much they can spend on the education of their children or what type of investments could be made in their farm, because there is some sort of guarantee on the minimum returns that this produce will bring in. 

Predictability has restored faith in farming as a profession that could still
be viable.
 

5. Mumanu

Mumanu creates a range of certified organic balms with Fairtrade ingredients. Products include massage and body balms, lip balms, decongestants, face balms, beard balms, hand balms, heel balms and personal lubricants.

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Buying Fairtrade chocolate isn’t the only thing you can do to help fight against slavery in the cocoa industry. Many beauty products contain cocoa butter yet so few skincare companies register their ingredients with Fairtrade (or any other fair trade organisation). Buy Fairtrade skincare today; because they’re worth it too.

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All Mumanu products are certified organic and contain Fairtrade ingredients. There are around 200 Soil Association organic beauty brands in the UK but only seven Fairtrade beauty brands, four of which offer both certifications, including Mumanu. Unlike the other three, our entire product range carries both certificates. We’re very proud of that!

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We love Tony’s Chocolonely. They’re rocking the chocolate industry and giving it a well-needed shakeup. Although they’re not organic, their Fairtrade commitment, the quality of their chocolate and the fact you can buy alternatives to Toblerone and Ferrero Rocher, make them our heroes!

6. Mytri Designs

Mytri Designs curate a range of home decor products by working with traditional artisans and social enterprises throughout the world, who focus on sustainable eco-friendly products. Working with these artisans ensures continuity of tradition to create beautiful products that tell a story through their unique design, craft, and background.

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Choosing fair trade is more than anything else about valuing humanity.It’s ensuring that small artists in a corner of the world aren’t exploited by middlemen and the value of their product isn’t unfairly taken away from them by underpaying sellers. It’s about preventing dangerous working conditions for people who have few options for earning a living with their skills. It's the way forward to ensure that small scale business units, especially in developing countries, find a sustainable way to produce their goods and make a living showcasing their crafts.

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We work with artisans who create products using traditional methods that are passed down through generations. The products we buy are responsibly sourced and created by partners that take the environmental impact of their products into consideration, as well as their employees' well-being.We pride ourselves in working with a social enterprise that provides employment to more than 50 women and is run by 90% female employees.

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One of the brands we really admire is Goethical. A platform that aims to bring together brands that are fair trade, ethical, and artisan into one marketplace, giving producers a market to thrive in, and consumers a market they can fully trust.

7. Nutcellars

Nutcellars is a macadamia nut-focused company that brings macadamias from smallholder farming cooperatives in Malawi to the UK market. The Emmott family have a rich provenance in Malawi dating back 4 generations, which includes setting up the Neno Macadamia Trust to support the farming co-ops, specifically the Highland Macadamia Cooperative Union (HIMACUL).

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By paying farmers a fair price for their produce, along with our work with Neno Macadamia Trust, they are encouraged to plant more trees - macadamia nut trees being a very effective carbon sink. NMT's CDMC (Carbon Damage Mitigation Certificate) system pays farmers for maintaining their trees. You can mitigate your carbon footprint through the NMT Carbon Calculator

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We are the only macadamia brand in the UK that has a direct, sustainable link with smallholder farmer co-operatives, and we will be embedding carbon mitigation within our products in the very near future.

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We’d recommend Cajuu who have a similar family business to us, importing cashews from Tanzania! We met at SFFF in 2019 and have supported each other with collaborations over the years. 

8. Odylique

Odylique is a British (Suffolk) company that makes skin and hair care, especially for sensitive skin. Founded by a Mum/Daughter duo, Margaret & Abi whose ethos has always been ‘to do the right thing’. They knew there was a better, healthier, more ethical way of making cosmetics and were using Fairtrade oils, shea butter and sugar long before it became possible to certify cosmetics to Fairtrade standards (in 2009).

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 A great focus of why Fairtrade is so important is the independence and choice it brings to women who would otherwise struggle with feeding their families, or even be subject to slavery and violence. Around 27% of all Fairtrade members are female and this figure rises to 50% in the Tea sector. In the Fairtrade shea butter cooperative we have worked with for the past decade, around 90% of the workers are female. The empowerment that the Fairtrade movement brings to women can be a game-changer.

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We make the only lipsticks certified to both Fairtrade and organic standards.

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Divine Chocolate’s mini eggs made my Easter this year!

9. Quinola

"Making Eating Right, Easy"; which means making tasty and healthy quinoa-based products that are good for you, the planet and the people that grow and pack the grains. They use Fairtrade quinoa from two small cooperatives in Peru and know the farmers very well, meaning that they can guarantee the quality of the quinoa.

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Choosing fairly traded products is not just important, it’s essential. People deserve to be paid fairly for the efforts they have gone to in order to grow/produce your product. We believe that when you buy a product you buy the world that goes with it. With our Fairtrade quinoa, we have managed to double farmers’ income by guaranteeing a minimum price that is above the market rate, as well as giving them the Fairtrade premium.

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The biggest impact we think our brand has, over and above Fairtrade, is that our products taste good and are good for you. We’ve won lots of awards that attest to the taste and we’re confident that if you try them you will like them!

Aside from that, our grains are packed in a facility in France which employs 19 adults with learning difficulties, where there is a 94% unemployment rate. We offset our maritime carbon emissions, and work with a project in Peru called Pur Projet which aims to prevent deforestation and, since launching in 2010 a total of 1.6m trees have been planted in San Martin, Peru. We are also plastic neutral through a partnership with RePurpose who collect single-use plastic from the environment in India.

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Hampstead Tea are doing great things – we like their plastic-free packaging and compostable teabags! Simple things that can make a huge difference, especially with the average Brit drinking as much tea as they do.

10. Traidcraft

Traidcraft is the original fair trade pioneer in the UK - challenging the norm, fighting injustices and breaking rules. For over four decades, Traidcraft have led the way in proving that fair trade could work commercially, pioneering the first fair trade chocolate, coffee, tea, fruit juice, wine, rice, honey, charcoal, rubber, palm oil… In fact, almost everything we know today as fair trade began with Traidcraft.

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Fair trade farmers and artisans respect and care for the environment. These producers are both among those who are seeing the most damaging effects of climate change and those who have the smallest carbon output.

We take soil for granted and assume it will be there forever. In fact, some scientists are warning us that soil is being eroded so fast, we may only have between 60 and 100 harvests left before it’s gone completely. By investing in products from small-scale farmers, who practice organic methods of farming, you are genuinely supporting frontline heroes who are fighting climate change.

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We are on a mission to make capitalism fair and will do everything in our power to fight for trade, social and environmental justice. Transparency is at the heart of what we do; it is part of our mission, part of our DNA, which is why we’ve made every single Traidcraft-branded product, 100% transparent – making this, to our knowledge, a world-first! We are laying bare, good or bad, the true costs of your favourite products and actually how little (rightly or wrongly) of that cost goes towards the ingredients in our products.
You can view our transparency information here.

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Eat Your Hat Coffee is mixing together political savvy, uncovering hidden truths about the trading world, and protecting the environment – behind each sip is the incredible story of a small group of ethical agriculturists on a quest of their own, whether it’s bravely pioneering bio-dynamic land cultivation, or fighting child-slavery.

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