UNICEF Market was conceived as an online store for people shopping for unusual, well-designed and beautifully crafted items. It is also a marketplace where people who believe artisans should be fairly compensated for their work can shop with confidence, knowing that UNICEF Market is committed to improving conditions for vulnerable producers around the world.
UNICEF Market is proud to be part of the Fair trade movement, making its core principals part of everything we do.
What does that mean and why is it important?
Fair Trade organizations aim to create safe working environments, fair compensation and minimal impact on the environment in developing countries. From clothing manufacturers to farmers, Fair Trade makes sure that people and natural resources are not being exploited in an unsustainable way. By shopping Fair Trade, we help to fund these goals and make these practices the norm. Here are 10 reasons why prioritizing Fair Trade products can be beneficial to people and the environment.
1. Safe Working Conditions
Unfortunately, it’s no exaggeration to say that unsafe working conditions can be fatal. Bangladesh has suffered both a factory collapse and fire which were responsible for over 1,100 deaths combined. When large corporations squeeze their profit margins by paying as little as possible for these manufacturing costs, the manufacturers themselves are forced to cut back too. This is usually to the detriment of the workers’ well-being. Factories are expected to have a high volume of output, so it’s no wonder that people are crammed into unsuitable working spaces, using sub-par equipment.
2. Comfortable Working Environment
Not only should a workplace be safe, it should also be a pleasant place to be. All work spaces should have comfortable work stations, with appropriate lighting, a well-maintained temperature and should be clean. Especially for people who are carrying out physically demanding work.
3. Fair compensation
One of the main reasons that Fair Trade initiatives were introduced was the rate that workers were being paid. They were working for an unlivable salary, especially considering how much work they do. By choosing Fair Trade brands over others, we can be sure that everyone involved in the process is receiving an honest wage.
4. Environmental Impact
In general, developing nations produce a lot of pollution. They don’t dispose of enough resources to invest in greener practices. Fair Trade works with companies and individuals to reduce the impact their manufacturing processes have on the environment. They not only oversee that these standards are met, but they work with producers to find and implement safer strategies. When we invest money in these brands, it can go into research and development for environmentally friendly methods.
5. Water Usage
Did you know that just one pair of jeans takes almost 10,000 gallons of water to produce and maintain? Some communities in the world experience long periods of drought while clothing factories are using millions of gallons of it to meet their orders. Ethical brands are trying to reduce the large churn of clothing so that demand decreases.
6. Waste Reduction
Clothing from ethical brands tends to be a little more expensive which should discourage consumers from throwing items out so often. Products are usually made to last in terms of durability and style. Fair Trade also counts ‘Waste Management’ amongst its important principles and is trying to find sustainable ways to destroy waste as well as trying to reduce it in the first instance.
7. Community Impact
Pollution and waste are global issues but there are also local implications. The majority of the waste produced in Western countries is dumped in developing countries. Fair Trade helps to reduce the waste and pollution that is created by workers but also helps to find solutions for the impacts this can have on their communities.
8. Investment in Local Communities
A lot of the profits made by the sale of Fair Trade products, is able to be invested back into the local community. Schools, roads, medical infrastructures and clean water are all projects which Fair Trade initiatives fund.
9. Safer Products
In terms of food produce, Ethical practices apply not only to providing fairer practice to workers, but also making products safer in general. Fair Trade oversees operations and works with producers to help find alternatives to pesticides and agrochemicals. The use of GMOs is also prohibited, making the products completely natural.
10. Better Quality Products
The absence of pesticides, agrochemicals and GMOs makes food safer, but also tastier!