Fairtrade is an independent certification focusing on human rights. The label helps the world’s most vulnerable societies to escape poverty and contribute to a positive sustainable development. For us, this means that we can create long-term and transparent collaborations with our suppliers, to together contribute to better working and living conditions for producers.
An insight into our Fairtrade manufacturer RCM Organic
One of our suppliers is the company RCM Organic. The company is run by textile pioneer Rajat Jaipuria, who was the first in India to offer Fairtrade-certified cotton. Rajat is an amazing person; kind, humble and incredibly inclusive. One of his employees told us that the company not only helps them, but also their families. RCM Organic finances the children’s education and the whole family’s health insurance. The employees also receive company-sponsored meals, paid leave, and shares in the business. I was completely taken by the warmth and compassion we met on site in Kolkata. RCM Organic, together with our other Fairtrade-certified businesses, really makes a big difference for its employees.
That is why Fairtrade is vital
Conventionally grown cotton growers have a completely different everyday life than growers who operate under Fairtrade. As many as 270,000 Indian cotton farmers have committed suicide in the last 15 years. Their extremely scarce wages combined with poor harvests make it difficult for farmers to make a living for themselves. When the mountains of debt have grown too large, the easy way out is to take your life. Suicide is thus a direct consequence of cotton growers not being paid fairly. That is why Fairtrade makes all the difference in the world.
Fairtrade helps cotton growers gain knowledge about their rights, organize, and sell cotton together, which strengthens their position in the world market. Growers are also guaranteed a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and a Fairtrade premium aimed at social, economic, and environmental development for the local community.
As you may understand, Fairtrade is an obvious choice for us. To treat people fairly – from the farmers who pick our cotton, to the factory workers who sew our products.
I hope you have gained a better understanding of what Fairtrade means. Your shopping habits make a difference and can change an entire industry. You can also contribute by asking three important questions to the trade – who made the product? Where did the production take place? How did the production go? If we all start asking these three questions, we can hopefully contribute to a more conscious world.
If you want to know more about Fairtrade and their important work, please visit their website: https://www.fairtrade.net/.
Anna Wennhall, founder