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Fair Trade and Sustainable Production
Some companies practice Fair Trade and Sustainable Production when they make their hiking boots and backpacks. What do fair trade and sustainable production practices mean? What do they have to do with hiking clothing and gear? Also, does it even matter how a company makes their hiking gear and clothing? Or does it matter how companies trade with their partners?
Osprey is just one example of a company with defined fair trade and social responsibility practices. Read about the Osprey commitment to social responsibility.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade means a product meets certain rules. Companies that follow the rules want to help developing country’s companies. The companies have a goal for their trading partners to have more equal trading conditions. Fair Trade rules include fair pay and a safe workplace. When a company sells a product that meets the rules, workers earn money. Workers spend their money to improve how they live and where they live. Trading ideas similar to Fair Trade include Direct Trade and Co-op Companies.
Fair Trade’s three main ideas include:
- First, the producer and the consumers act as partners.
- Next, world trade does not pay everyone fairly.
- Finally, fair prices provide a better way to have a higher standard of living than giving aid or charity provide.
Companies that use the system to make hiking clothes and gear show they want to pay fair prices to partner companies. Fair Trade companies also want to pay workers a fair wage. Fair pay allows workers to have more and protect where they live. The system looks at the products a developing country sells to developed countries. Developing countries also buy products. Some of the products include crafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, fruit, chocolate, flowers, and gold. So, everyone gains with this system.
- Workers earn fair pay.
- Workers have a safe workplace.
- The workers have a clean place to live.
- Workers invest in where they live.
What is Sustainability?
According to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), important sustainability issues include supply chain issues like:
- Chemicals management
- Animal welfare
- Social responsibility
- Factories’ fair labor practices
- Microfiber pollution in oceans and waterways
- Carbon reduction strategies
In the OIA July 2018 report about the outdoor industry’s sustainability status, the report outlined these goals:
Companies need to understand their environment and social impacts. By understanding their impact, companies can make informed decisions to reduce negative impacts.
An index called the Higg Index offers companies a way to check the impacts of materials, products, and supply chains. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition developed the index. The index’s information helps companies make manufacturing strategies and design decisions. This data also lets companies move toward longer-term goals.
The goals cover a closed-loop economy. This type of economy keeps materials in use for as long as possible. This kind of economy also lets outdoor companies move toward zero impacts. Yep, a grand goal and the index’s data helps decide how to move forward.
The report found that outdoor companies want to use sustainability practices because they believe the outdoor industry has a role to play in environmental and community stewardship!
Protecting the places we play
Outdoor industry companies need access to public lands. Water and air pollution, less snowpack, and more wildfires threaten outdoor spaces and recreation. Lessening harmful results connected with manufacturing is an important way to care for our environment and protect where we play.
Laws and regulations that impact materials continue to increase. Not meeting this legislation may mean those products cannot be sold into certain countries or states.
Sustainable Production Benefits
- Increase company profits.
- Reduce the company’s energy costs.
- Lower the company’s taxes.
- Improve worker morale and get more worker ideas to improve manufacturing.
Fair Trade wants fairness between trading partners to help keep trade fair. Fair Trade gives companies and workers fair profits and more rights. For more information, click here, and visit Fair Trade USA ©2018 FAIR TRADE USA.
Fair Trade provides workers many benefits. Communities also benefit from Fair Trade methods. Worker benefits include:
- Fair pay
- A safe workplace
- Cleaner communities
- Community investments
Sustainable Production creates goods and services using processes and systems that:
- Do not pollute.
- Save energy and natural resources.
- Cost little.
- Keep workers, communities, and consumers safe and healthy.
Sustainability benefits where we live, workers, communities, and people who buy products. These benefits lead to profitable and productive businesses.
Sustainable Production benefits are clear. Companies make more money, we have a better environment, and workers have a better workplace. If you want to read more, this is a good U.S. Department of Commerce article. Five Sustainable Production Benefits
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