Fair Trade Products: Why Are They Better Than Regular Products?

Fair trade products are very much in demand today in the UK. In 2013, there were over 4,000 products available that carried the fair trade mark in major retailers such as Asda, The Co-operative, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and many more. It’s a continually growing market that us Brits have fallen in love with wholly and truly. Sales from Fairtrade produce have jumped from £493 million in 2007 to over £1.7 billion in 2013. But, why? What is it that makes fair trade produce worth buying over regular products?

What Are Fairtrade Products?

So, let’s begin with how we define ‘fairtrade products’. Fair trade is a social movement that’s all about helping producers of raw materials and products around the globe to gain better, fairer trading conditions and to ensure sustainability for these people. It has even led to higher prices and more income for some of these producers, who may be, for example, cocoa farmers or weavers of fabric. It has also contributed to rising social and environmental standards amongst these producers, many of whom who are working within emerging and developing economies and countries that are starting to tap into the global market. So fair trade products are the finished articles. They have been constructed by sustainable means that are generally, but not always, environmentally friendly, including the usage of locally sourced raw materials. Local workers have used these materials to create the final product. They are then exported to suppliers at a cost that is deemed to be fair recompense for the labour of the producer and its workers, hence the term ‘fair trade’.

So You’re Purchasing More Ethical Products?

Essentially, the plus point for us consumers is that we can buy far more ethical products and ensure that the producers are not being treated unfairly in their trade negotiations. Despite this, many people in the UK have a lot of misconceptions about what the term ‘fair trade’ means. In fact, in 2003, only about 25% of people were able to identify the iconic Fairtrade Certification Mark that is often seen on food products in supermarkets – such as Fairtrade tea or Fair trade coffee. As of 2014, more than three-quarters of the country (77%) now know what the mark means. However, despite this, the Fairtrade organisation in the UK found that over half of the population still doesn’t actively choose to buy fair trade products. This is mainly because they don’t know what Fairtrade means or because they don’t believe buying it will bring about any benefits. Many of us on low income feel we cannot justify paying that wee bit extra for Fairtrade. However, the reality is that the cheapest products usually break the easiest, so we buy the cheapest replacement, leading to a ‘throwaway’ culture. Thus, it’s possible that money could be saved in the long run by buying products that can last.

The Beauty Of Fair Trade Gifts And Items

The reality behind a lot of these cheap products is that, somewhere along the line, people have been commercially exploited due to their geographical location and the economic conditions of that area. Because of this, we have all come to associate, for example, the ‘Made In China’ label with low-quality produce. In reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth as, historically, China is home to a variety of diverse crafting techniques. It is not the people of a country to blame for the ‘sweatshop’ quality of these items; it’s those who are exploiting them, i.e. big corporate multinational businesses. That’s why you pay peanuts for a T-shirt or just a couple of pound for scarves from certain high-street retailers. Helping to put a stop to the exploitation of workers isn’t the only reason why buying fair trade gifts and items is something you should get behind (even though it’s more than a good enough reason on its own!) As a bonus, the products are often wonderful, eye-catching and inspiring. Many producers of fair trade handicrafts and homeware will make the items from scratch and by hand, avoiding the mass-produced route. That means you’re not going to get identical items but a unique piece of art with its own character that only a human could provide.

What Kind Of Handcrafted Gifts Can I Buy?

Now that you’re no doubt sold on the idea of owning fair trade produce, you’re next questions will be ‘what can I buy and where can I buy it?’ The answer is that there are a whole range of handcrafted gifts and products available. Items such as fair trade bags, soaps, dining ware, tea, and coffee and are very popular as ethical gifts for your friends, family, and even for yourself. If you look hard enough, there is always a way to find a product that has a more ethical alternative. So, now that you know options are out there, where can you shop? Where can you buy, for example, such beautifully handcrafted, unique and ethical bags? This is the easy part. In A Strange Land has exactly what you need. But don’t worry, you don’t need to journey anywhere, as we bring it all to you. At In A Strange Land, we source our high-quality artisanal products from all around the world. We deal directly with the people who are making your products, and we have a completely transparent supply chain. We believe that every item we sell has its own unique story. Our items aren’t machine made; they’re made by people with care and love for their craft. We want to preserve that.

For Fair Trade Products That You Can Trust, Journey …In A Strange Land

With more and more people starting to see the ethical and personal benefits of purchasing fair trade products, now is the time to find out what you’ve been missing out on. At In A Strange Land, we’ve taken the time to responsibly source our luxurious, artisan goods. We’ve met all of the suppliers in person to ensure that communities are being fairly paid and to ensure that you are receiving quality, exquisitely crafted items. To see our full range, head to http://in-a-strange-land.com/. If you’d like more information about our products, or how we source them, please contact us via the form on our website or call us on 01296 392699. Unique. Ethical. Crafted. All just a few clicks away.

Get in touch