From 29 February to 13 March, the focus is Sit Down for Breakfast, Stand Up for Farmers. While most people are aware that coffee, bananas and chocolate are fair trade staples, not everyone knows the breadth of the range of ethical products available, and the impact on the planet. We love the work the Fairtrade Foundation are doing this fortnight to draw extra attention to the positive effects that fair trade can have.
The time, effort and love that farmers, producers and workers around the world put into what they produce, whether that’s food on your plate or the quality cotton in your new dress, deserves recognition. And the more we think about the people and the processes behind what we buy, the greater impact we can make on our own lives, and the lives of others.
The slow lifestyle
Modern life means we’re often zipping around at 100 miles an hour trying to get everything done and burning ourselves out in the process. It’s reflected in our 21st Century consumer habits, rushing to buy what we’re told is the next big thing – without stopping to think whether we need it, or considering the conditions in which it was made.
Taking the time to Sit Down for Breakfast is the start of breaking this cycle, encouraging you to embrace slowing down and reflect on what you’re buying. By doing this you can Stand Up for Farmers and support their livelihoods. At People Tree, we’re advocates of the Slow Lifestyle. That doesn’t mean we don’t have busy, full and fun lives – but it does mean we take a little extra time to think about our decisions as consumers. Our founder Safia Minney has taken a detailed look at what this means for the fashion industry with her latest book, Slow Fashion.
Considering what you’re buying and looking at the bigger picture has to be a better way of spending your money, and it’s better for the people who work hard to produce the food and clothing we consume too.
Cottoning on to fair trade fashion
Taking a Slow Lifestyle approach to what you wear doesn’t mean bypassing the latest trends or limiting your creativity. In fact, it does the opposite! By investing in a few style staples that are built to last, you can get the most wear out of key pieces that endure while adding in more contemporary accents, allowing you to look current without breaking the bank. Perhaps more importantly, it means caring about the social, economic, environmental and cultural conditions that create everything we wear, and being part of the momentum that is actively improving those conditions. At People Tree, we’re proud to have been pioneering fair trade fashion for 25 years now, building sustainable relationships with our producers and paying them a fair price for their skilled work. By thinking about what we wear as well as how we wear it, we complete the fair trade chain by appreciating the time and skills that went into our clothes. With Fairtrade clothing, you make a difference to people’s lives with fashion you love. Who could argue with that?
Fair trade fashion facts
People Tree was the world’s first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organization Fair Trade product mark. That means we’re dedicated to fair trade principles from the design, to the fabric and the production processes in every garment. Plus, we were among the first fashion companies to put the spotlight on the importance of Fairtrade and Organic certified cotton.
But it isn’t just about our own brand of clothing; we also support other fashion forward-thinkers dedicated to improving people’s lives around the planet, from Fashion Revolution Day and Bangladesh’s National Garment Workers’ Federation to War on Want.
So this Fairtrade Fortnight, why not do your bit, and take a little extra time to choose what you’re consuming? You’ll be supporting economically marginalised, rural-based communities and you’ll look and feel good at the same time!