Welcome to Fairtrade Fortnight!
The world of fair trade can be a bit confusing at times, but we are here to help you get to the crux of it all.
So first of all let’s answer the elephant in the room – what is fairtrade and why is it important?
Fair trade is a social movement to help producers in developing countries achieve fair trading conditions. This movement is very important as it enables these producers to earn a living wage, improve their lives and invest into their families and businesses. This investment in return can promote better sustainable and environmental practises for everyone involved. This way everyone wins!
How is Fairtrade regulated?
Fairtrade is a tricky thing. How do we know if a company is actually sustainable and provides fair trading conditions throughout their processes? This can sometimes be difficult to find out, especially because there are currently no government regulations on fair trade. Hopefully this will change in the very near future! However, there are some trustworthy independent organisations that monitor brands and companies that claim to be fair trade. The World Fairtrade Organisation or the British Association of Fairtrade (BAFTS) are independent regulatory bodies which companies and brands have to apply to. During the application process, the businesses undergo a very in-depth audit of their entire process, production, manufacturing, supply-chain, working conditions for workers and so. Once the audit is complete and all requirements are met, businesses are given the official fair trade approval.
What is Fairtrade Fortnight?
Fairtrade Fortnight is the time to celebrate those people at the bottom of the supply chain who farm, mine, cultivate and process the raw materials that we turn into our food, clothing, technology and everything else that we use in our daily lives. For two weeks each year (usually at the end of February, beginning of March), companies all over the UK celebrate those incredible people who are often underpaid and exploited by sharing their stories. Fairtrade Fortnight is an opportunity to bring awareness to this situation and for us at From Belo it is an opportunity to show that there is another way in which business can be done.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 brings awareness to the poor working conditions workers have to put up with. Some work in really unsafe and unhygienic conditions that can cause serious illnesses, sickness, life threatening conditions and disabilities. As well as inhuman working conditions, Fairtrade Fortnight highlights the issue of climate change and the negative effects this can have on working conditions. Many of the communities that work at the bottom of the supply chain live in climate vulnerable countries. Fires, droughts and even flooding are becoming a constant threat to their lives. Fairtrade Fortnight highlights these issues and encourages businesses to make a difference by providing decent working conditions, pay fair living wages and be more sustainable and put less strain on the environment.
How is From Belo Fairtrade?
At From Belo, we believe real beauty never comes from pain. Maria and I started From Belo with the goal to give people the opportunities that we were lucky to have in our lives. These opportunities include safe working spaces, respect and being paid a fair wage for our work. We believe that working together as a global community has the power to create a positive impact for both people and the planet. We are passionate about finding innovative ways to work with materials that are destined for landfill such as plastic bottles, fabrics offcuts or car tyres. This helps reduce the impact on landfill waste and is one of our ways to respect the environment and do our part in fighting climate change.
We are very proud of the work that we do with and for our workers and we want to show the world that we care and celebrate each individual member of our From Belo family. So we are currently applying for our fairtrade certification with the British Association of Fair Trade (BAFTS). We cannot wait to have it printed in black and white that we are a company that respects and celebrates our team.
Every time you purchase a From Belo bag or accessory, you support our mission to help those in need by providing meals, recycle and upcycle used materials and provide work and opportunities to our incredible team of artisans. With your help and support, our team is constantly growing – we started with 3 artisans and now we have a team of 30 incredible people.
What can you do to help?
Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Join the online Fairtrade Festival
- Buy Goods which are certified Fairtrade
- Do your research! Some businesses don’t have a Fairtrade certification yet but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fairtrade. Most companies proudly provide you with information on their website about their goals to be more sustainable and fairtrade.
- Write to your government or local MP requesting to put the voices of the most vulnerable at the centre of the climate change fight.
- Use the power of your social media to spread the word. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook where we will share some ideas on how to create ethical and sustainable businesses and how we celebrate our working all day every day – not just for Fairtrade Fortnight.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read if you want to learn more about From Belo and fairtrade click here.
Char and Maria