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Fair Trade: What it is and what it involves

The fair trade movement promotes social, human, economic and environmental equity, establishing a working method with the aim of caring for the environment and respecting human rights. This movement was born in the world of agriculture many years ago and is increasingly expanding to different sectors. In this article we tell you all about fair trade so that you can find out everything you need to know about it, read on!

What is fair trade and what does it consist of?

This global social movement began in the late 1940s, when it began to offer a solution to the failure of the standard trade model. Fair trade promotes productivity, sustainable and responsible marketing. It also encourages the growth of small local and artisan production, during social and economic disadvantages. In short, fair trade is about:

  • Respect the environment, encourage responsible and sustainable production as a means of providing natural resources.
  • Provide small productions with an entry to trade with acceptable and legitimate positions, forming a sustainable, generous and fair trade environment. Consumers and producers are much closer.
  • It guarantees better working conditions, strengthening their production and empowerment. Fair trade is a way to showcase all the hard work of the workers and their entire team. And in this way, it convinces consumers to commit themselves to their community and to ensure a better development of the community.

What are the principles of fair trade?

We will now look at the principles of fair trade (in its traditional definition) that organisations must adhere to in their work. Find out why they are so essential!

Reject child exploitation

The fair trade movement totally repudiates the exploitation of children, considering that the work done by adults should be more than enough to maintain their homes. Furthermore, it is important to stress that education is an essential right for children. However, those with scarce resources are forced to work, circumstances that turn into slavery, as is the case in several plantations.

Respecting the environment

Not using GMOs or harmful chemicals is another of the super valuable principles. Fair trade products come from producers who cultivate with environmentally friendly methods, because they do not use any kind of pesticides or fertilisers that affect the health of nature.

Gender equality

A fundamental principle of fair trade is that there should be equity in wages regardless of gender. Taking into account that the lives of many women and their families change completely when they manage to earn an income. Therefore, it is necessary to promote projects that promote women's empowerment.

Quality production

One of the most important fundamentals of fair trade is to make it a priority to develop quality production, to offer products that come from an optimal production that is free of methods that are detrimental to it.

Worthy work situations

Fair trade provides appropriate working conditions for producers, prevents slavery, as well as circumstances where the health of employees is harmed.

Cutting down on intermediaries

It makes it easier for producers to establish long-term business deals, allowing organisations to take control over the trade of their products.

Fair prices and payments

Producers who offer and sell their products on fair trade channels are guaranteed that the profits they earn from their work will open doors to new opportunities, as well as offering them the chance to become protagonists in the development of a sustainable world.

Democratic elections

Producers participate in various ways to make democratic decisions. The best option to decide during the time spent in the cooperatives. The main objective is to listen to the participation of small producers and the interventions of women at the time of election, because in most cases their opinion is not considered in the elections.

Pre-financing of purchases

This option is a solution to improve farmers' livelihoods. When they apply for pre-financing, they are granted capital assistance to overcome obstacles that arise during crop growth. In addition, the objective of this alternative is to promote entrepreneurial initiatives, which strengthen the economic growth of many rural communities.

Payment of a premium

It is defined as a support that producer groups receive. In addition, they take advantage of extra income to invest in the economic, social and environmental growth of the community and organisations.

Fair trade objectives

The most relevant objectives of fair trade are the following:

  • Social, economic and environmental sustainability, focusing on sharing responsibility among all members linked in the business sequences.
  • Working with dignity with those who have been excluded from direct market entry, promoting partnerships to develop and build fair and supportive deals, which are long-term and enhance the work of many workers. Respecting cultural, gender and ethnic diversity, promoting environmental sustainability.
  • Promoting respect for human and workers' rights and recognising the work of many artisanal and agricultural workers.

What are the benefits of fair trade?

  • Fair trade reduces the number of mediators between buyers and producers in order to obtain a decent price for products, with the aim of acquiring a stable income. It also encourages socially conscious methods in the locations where the commercial circuit takes place.
  • It is a reward for all the effort made by all the producers, motivating them to continue growing, as their production becomes much more profitable.
  • Even if producers are not aware of the end buyer, the trade provides them with great benefits. Producers go from being at the disposal of financial speculation to gaining a better scope for establishing much more optimal sales deals.
  • Fair trade protects the environment by producing raw materials free of toxic chemicals and pesticides. That is why this type of production offers more value to the final product. Even the fair trade seal is usually accompanied by a certificate representing that the product is organic, making buyers more aware and encouraged to protect the environment.

How is fair trade carried out?

The fair trade process is carried out through 4 processes:

Production: goods are produced by small groups of workers. They are locally based and work under fair trade rules.

Distribution: importers purchase the products from producers and distribute them in the shops. The cost of the article is determined in an agreement with the producers and distributors, in accordance with the principles of fair trade.

Sale: conventional shops sell the product directly to the end consumer, advertising the origin of the goods.

Consumption: choosing to be more ecofriendly. This means choosing a more respectful, equitable and sustainable option. The alternative that promotes environmental protection and therefore offers you a better quality of life.


Fair trade was born with the objective of supporting producer associations, with the aim of obtaining a legitimate income that would allow them to have a better quality of life.

However, nowadays it has become a whole movement in different sectors (such as fashion, hence the emergence of sustainable fashion) promoting environmental care, totally sustainable and nature-friendly methods, guaranteeing quality and 100% organic products.

At Clotsy Brand, our sustainable clothing shop, we take care of our production to try to offer all parties the most fair trade possible. We invite you to get to know us and start your life towards sustainability and slow fashion.

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Author: Clotsy Brand Team

Clotsy Brand is made up of a team of committed people with the caring for the planet and ethical fashion production. All Clotsy garments are produced in local workshops in Spain and Portugal, using sustainable materials that take care of both the planet and the skin of their customers. We value the opinion of our community, so we are always close to them and willing to listen to their ideas and opinions through different channels, such as Instagram, Telegram, Email and Tiktok.


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