In order for an organization to be fair trade, they must meet a number of environmental standards that adhere to the tenth principle of fair trade; respect for the environment. Cooperatives and their artisans work together to formulate innovative and eco-friendly practices that are not only advantageous to the planet, but people too. Here are three ways fair trade helps the environment.
Less Waste: Artisans are dedicated to keep a low environmental footprint by sourcing recyclable materials. Artisans get creative and find ways to repurpose materials or reuse scraps that would have otherwise ended up as waste. For example, primary modes of transportation in India are bikes, motorbikes, and scooters leaving an abundance of bike chains. Artisans use this opportunity to create one-of-a-kind pieces such as our upcycled bike chain frame. Beautiful and environmentally friendly.
Non-Toxic/Hazardous: Fair trade organizations avoid toxic chemicals, and commit to using materials and dyes that do not pose a risk to the environment or the health of the artisans. Our cotton throw is handwoven by artisans in Burkina Faso, West Africa. To achieve the rich, deep tone of the throw artisans use indigo powder extracted from the leaves of the indigofera tinctoria plant. Utilizing and embracing nature is a common practice for fair trade artisans helping them become better stewards of the land.
Sustainable Materials: When you purchase a fair trade product, you can be sure that the materials are sourced in a environmentally responsible manner. Natural materials such as cotton, wood, and clay are often organic or sourced locally. For example, artisans source olive wood and mango wood only after the trees have ceased to produce their fruits making them an ideal choice to design and create products for your home.
The health and safety of our planet is something we all have in common. As a consumer, realize your power in making conscious choices that can have a positive or negative affect on our planet. We hope you found value in this post and will consider supporting fair trade to reduce your own environmental footprint.