Fair trade should not be a radical idea. A living wage, safe working conditions, and voluntary paid overtime should be basic tenets of employment, but too many factories around the world have shown that this is simply not the case.
Apparel workers are among the lowest paid people in the world and because of the lack of transparency in the industry and supply chains, most people don't know (or think) about the poor conditions workers have to endure.
Fair Trade changes the way trade works through better prices, local sustainability, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fair Trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest.
For Patagonia, Fair Trade is the first step on the path toward ensuring living wages in the supply chain. Patagonia doesn’t own any of the factories that make their products, so they have limited control over how much workers receive. But through Fair Trade, they can provide workers with tangible benefits that improve their lives.
Patagonia pays a premium for every Patagonia item that carries the Fair Trade Certified™ sewn label. That extra money goes directly to the workers at the factory, and they decide how to spend it. This is not a top-down program. In each factory, a democratically elected Fair Trade worker committee decides how the funds will be used. Workers have chosen to use the premiums to fund community projects, like health-care programs or a child-care center, to purchase products they could otherwise not afford, like a laptop computer or a stove; or to take a cash bonus.
Patagonia offers more Fair Trade Certified™ sewn styles than any other apparel brand and to date, Patagonia’s Fair Trade program has impacted more than 66,000 workers in 10 countries around the globe.
Like the fashion and textile industries, the coffee industry is rife in inequalities and exploitation.
Bean There Coffee Company takes Fair Trade as serious as we do. They support coffee farms throughout Africa and pays the farmers directly to ensure fair wages for the staff and to keep the farmers' business sustainable.
Celebrating Fair Trade
We teamed up with Bean There Coffee Company to help us shed a light on the importance and value of Fair Trade.
So, for the month of September for every Fair Trade certified Patagonia garment you buy from us, you get a free Bean There Fair Trade coffee.
Where can you redeem your coffees?
44 Stanley, opposite Gone.
Weekdays: 08:30 – 16:30
58 Wale Street, Cape Town
Weekdays: 07:30 – 16:00