Featured image for blog post: "FAIR TRADE MOVEMENT - History And Impact" by State of Matter, depicting a cotton harvester in a field, representing the agricultural side of fair trade practices.

A Brief History of Fair Trade and Its Impact on the World

Fair trade as a modern concept was introduced in the late 20th century. This movement was born out of a response to the disadvantages experienced by marginalized producers and workers, especially in the Global South.

Fair trade has been around for centuries, and its impact on the world has been profound. The fair trade organization began to help farmers in developing countries get a fair price for their products and ensure that they were treated fairly. Today, the fair trade model is more important than ever as we work to create a more equitable world economy. This blog post will explore the history of fair trade and its impact on today's world.

What is fair trade?

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach aiming to help producers. The goal is to achieve better trading conditions and promote sustainable farming practices.

The ultimate goal of fair trade is to empower producers and workers in developing countries and to create a more sustainable and equitable global trading system. The movement advocates the payment of higher prices to exporters and improved social and environmental standards. It also promotes fair labor conditions, equal access, and transparency in supply chains.

Many fair trade businesses are certified by third-party organizations that audit supply chains and verify compliance with fair trade standards. Consumers can look for the fair trade certification mark when shopping for coffee, chocolate, sugar, fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, spices, flowers, cotton products, wine, golf balls, and more.

When you choose fair trade products, you support farmers and workers striving to improve their lives and build more prosperous communities.


Who benefits from fair trade?

When it comes to shopping for food, fashion and other products, more and more consumers are looking for items that have been produced ethically. One way to ensure that workers are treated fairly is to look for products certified as fair trade.

Fair trade certification means the product has been made according to certain standards. This includes providing workers livable wages, ensuring safe working conditions, and supporting sustainable practices. While fair trade certified products may cost a bit more, many consumers feel it is worth knowing that their purchase benefits the workers.

In addition to supporting workers, fair trade also helps to promote sustainable development and protect the environment. By buying fair trade, consumers can play a role in making the world a fairer place.

Fair trade can lead to better quality products. When farmers are paid a fair price, they are more likely to be able to invest in high-quality materials and methods. This means fair trade products often have superior quality compared to their conventional counterparts

The fair trade movement began when?

The concept of fair trade has been around for centuries, but it wasn't until the late 20th century that the term began to be used. Fair trade is an international movement that seeks to promote more equitable and sustainable trading relationships between developed and under developed nations.

In recent years, the modern fair trade movement has gained significant momentum, with major retailers beginning to offer fair trade products. There are over 1,200 fair trade certified organizations in more than 70 countries. The goal is to help producers in developing countries access better prices, working conditions, and environmental protection.


What does fair trade certification mean?

Fair trade certification is given to products made according to certain standards set by fair trade organizations. These standards aim to protect workers' rights, promote sustainable production practices, and provide a fair price for producers.

Fair trade certification also ensures that producers have access to resources and support that helps them to improve their operations. As a result, fair trade certified products are typically better quality and more environmentally friendly than those not certified.

 Furthermore, buying fair trade certified products supports the growers and workers who produce them, helping to ensure that they can continue to do so in the future.


Fair trade in fashion

As the fashion industry continues to grow, so does the need for sustainable and ethical practices. Unfortunately, the vast majority of clothing today is made in factories without regard for the workers' welfare.

Employees are often paid very low wages, forced to work long hours, and given no benefits or protections. As a result, they cannot live decent lives or support their families. The only way to change this is to invest in fair trade practices. Fair trade fashion brands work directly with artisans and craftspeople, ensuring they are paid a fair wage.

In addition, these brands often provide training and opportunities for advancement, helping to improve the workers' skills and provide them with a better standard of living. By shopping fair trade labels, we can help make the fashion industry more sustainable and ethical.


How State of Matter Supports Fair Trade

We are committed to supporting fair trade and sustainable development at State of Matter. We work with several fair trade certified partners, including Fair Trade USA and the World Fair Trade Organization.

All of the products in our collection are made according to strict fair trade standards. We ensure that the workers who made them were treated fairly and paid a living wage. Furthermore, we constantly strive to improve our supply chain and reduce our environmental impact.

When you shop with us, you can be sure that you are supporting a brand committed to making a positive difference in the world. Together, we can help to build a fairer and more sustainable future for all.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Fairtrade and why is it important?

Fairtrade is a global movement aimed at empowering producers in developing countries by promoting better trading conditions and sustainability. It's important because it ensures fair wages, safer working conditions, and more ethical production practices. Fairtrade's significance lies in its ability to combat poverty, inequality, and unjust labor practices, making it a key driver of social and economic development.

How does Fairtrade affect the world?

Fairtrade positively impacts the world by fostering more equitable global trade. It helps reduce poverty, supports ethical practices, and promotes sustainable livelihoods. By prioritizing the welfare of workers and farmers in developing countries, Fairtrade contributes to a more balanced global economy and encourages environmentally friendly practices, making a significant difference in global trade dynamics.

What is the main goal of Fair Trade?

The main goal of Fairtrade is to achieve fair prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. This goal is central to addressing the power imbalances in traditional trade, helping producers in developing countries to improve their lives and communities through ethical and sustainable practices.

Why is Fairtrade important to globalization?

Fairtrade is crucial to globalization as it introduces ethical standards and practices into global trade. It ensures that the benefits of globalization, such as expanded markets and diversified goods, are shared more equitably. Fairtrade's role in promoting ethical practices and sustainability makes it a key component in shaping a more inclusive and responsible global economy.

How does Fairtrade benefit us?

Fairtrade benefits consumers by providing access to ethically produced goods, ensuring that our purchases support fair wages, better working conditions, and environmental sustainability. It also fosters a sense of global responsibility and connection, as consumers can positively impact lives in developing countries through their choices. Fairtrade's approach to responsible consumption resonates with growing consumer awareness about global socio-economic issues.

Why is Fairtrade better for the environment?

Fairtrade is better for the environment because it promotes sustainable farming practices and reduces harmful agricultural chemicals. It encourages biodiversity, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, contributing to environmental conservation. By supporting Fairtrade, consumers help protect natural resources and combat climate change, ensuring a healthier planet for future generations.