The two most important weeks of the year have finally arrived for all Fair Trade supporters, creators and consumers! These two weeks celebrate Fair Trade in all it's glory and encourage people to heighten their awareness of the issues surrounding Fair Trade. This years motto is 'Take a Step' to encourage everyone to take a step towards increasing their consumption and awareness of Fair Trade products. Is it just me or around this time of year do you start seeing nothing but bananas..?
I have come to realise over the years, that Fair Trade fortnight tends to focus on food. You'll probably see a lot of bananas and coffee jars over the next couple of weeks but you won't see much Fair Trade fashion. Cotton is one of the largest UK imports from developing countries and yet it's penetration of Fair Trade is extremely low. Take a look at the graph below to see for yourself- the results really are quite astounding:
This graph shows us how incredibly important it is to buy and promote Fair Trade clothing. With such a huge amount being imported from developing countries, it is such a waste to focus on the smaller imports such as food instead of the huge imports of cotton that could make a difference to so many more peoples lives. It is quite shocking that one of the largest (if not the largest) import is so neglected by Fair Trade campaigns. Why isn't more focus being paid to Fair Trade fashion? I would love to know why you think this is.
One of the most important things about Fair Trade Fortnight is the publicity it holds and the awareness that comes with it. There are so many people that don't fully understand the concept of Fair Trade and there are many many more that have no idea that you are able to purchase fashion forward Fair Trade clothes. The most beneficial thing that you can do in Fair Trade Fortnight is to tell a friend all about it- spark some interest in the matter and join the debate! Let them know the benefits of fairly traded items and show them whats out there. So over the next two weeks, make sure you show off your label!