There is a myth out there stating that Fair Trade products are overpriced, low quality items. Let’s examine these two outfits. The one on the left is all Fair Trade while the one on the right is comprised of products from companies that have been accused of using sweatshop labor. Both outfits contain a chiffon top, a crocheted headband, a flower clip, a pair of brass earrings, a metal floral bangle, and red leather sandals.
Myth #1: Fair Trade items are more expensive than their counterparts.
The Fair Trade outfit costs $140.00 while the Sweatshop outfit costs $200.00. Fair Trade products are, for the most part, priced competitively to their sweatshop counterparts. How can that be? Fair Trade cuts out the middle man (or middle men in most cases), working closely with artisans to ensure you get a good price and the artisan receives a fair wage. Fair Trade seeks to create a sustainable income for its artisans, which would not be possible if the items were overpriced. Customers would not buy the products and in turn the company would not order more. Fair Trade companies want to have a steady supply coming in and going out.
Myth #2: Fair Trade items are lower quality than their counterparts.
Fair Trade indicates that it was hand-crafted by an artisan. Take the Eternal Threads headband: it was crocheted by a woman in India. For generations, women in India have passed down this skill, and the work is unsurpassed. Second, Fair Trade means that there are no harmful chemicals used in the making of the products. The Red Thread Movement tank is made using organic cotton and the headband and hairclip is dyed using natural dyes which stay better than their counterparts. Finally, Fair Trade indicates that every material used to make it is ethically sourced. This results in knowing exactly what a product is made of as well. For instance, the Gaiam bangle bracelet is made of brass, but the Macy’s bangle bracelet says it’s made of “mixed metals,” whatever that means.
Overall, Fair Trade products are competitively priced and of a higher quality than their sweatshop counterparts. Fair Trade is fair for all, INCLUDING the consumer. Remember that next time you are looking for a new addition to your wardrobe.
Red Thread Movement Yellow Floral Chiffon/Cotton Tank ($18.00), People Tree Cropped Button Leggings in Black ($38.00), Eternal Threads Red Crocheted Lace Headband ($6.00), Eternal Threads Gold Crocheted Flower Hairclip ($5.00), Eternal Threads Brass Xee Earrings ($12.00), Gaiam Bastille Bracelet ($16.00), SoleRebels Red Fauna Sandal ($60.00)