At SOL Organics, we believe in several important tenants that guide our decisions and make up the very fabric of our company: Fairness; Sustainability; Transparency; Equality; Responsibility. We believe in being leaders in our industry, and providing our customers with only the highest quality organic products. We also believe in being good stewards of our Earth and giving back to those in need.
That’s why we’re celebrating what it means to be Fair Trade Certified™ all month long! Fair Trade means quality products, improved lives and protection of the environment. And these benefits impact everyone—from the farmer to the consumer.
What does it mean to be Fair Trade?
Founded in 1998, Fair Trade USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth.
The Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product means that it was grown (or manufactured) in accordance with strict standards—the goal of which is to ensure safe working conditions and guard the environment, as well as eradicating child and forced labor; the elimination of harmful chemicals and so much more. Companies that are Fair Trade must also agree to transparency in all aspects of their supply chain.
Fair Trade also means communities are empowered. Workers and farmers receive business training, environmental knowledge and resources to build thriving businesses, thus improving their social and economic status and lifting entire communities out of poverty and deplorable conditions.
At SOL, we’re invested in the well-being of our source partners—locally and globally—working with them to grow and prosper. One of our source partners is Chetna Organics, a Fair Trade Certified™ cooperative in India. Together, SOL and Chetna are improving the world by:
- Engaging in sustainable processing that fairly rewards workers
- Guaranteeing income and micro-financing to farmers
- Using only non-GMO seeds
- Using only natural pesticides and fertilizers
- Supporting sustained resource management of soil and water
How You can make a difference
By supporting, promoting and purchasing Fair Trade Certified™ products, you play a vital role in the good being done locally and around the world. Purchasing a Fair Trade Certified™ product helps improve lives and protect the environment; it empowers farming communities to earn additional funds and invest them where they are most needed; and it supports safe working conditions and protects fundamental human rights.
Fair Trade Certified™ products are now more accessible than ever. There was once a misconception that Fair Trade products were somehow poorer quality, as compared to a similar, non-Fair Trade product or brand that had more marketing dollars to promote their items. That just isn’t so! Fair Trade helps to fulfill its mission by supporting and econouraging high-quality products. The list of Fair Trade Certified™ companies and products is in the thousand’s—and growing! We are proud to be among such noteworthy brands.
Celebrating Fair Trade
Fair Trade is a market-based approach to fighting poverty, inequality and environmental issues. That means that it only works when consumers like you show your support by consciously choosing Fair Trade Certified™ products. So make sure you’re holding up your end of the bargain during October (and beyond)! Here are a few ways in which you can commemorate Fair Trade this month.
1. Educate Yourself
This article is a good start. But if you have more questions, do your research. Learn the strict standards behind the Fair Trade Certified™ seal. Identify the companies which sell these products. Read the stories of the communities impacted by Fair Trade efforts. Here are a few resources to help you on your journey:
2. Reach for the Fair Trade Certified™ Seal
Fair Trade helps make the right choices the easiest ones. Look for the Fair Trade Certified™ seal when you shop. Consider adding a new Fair Trade product to your shopping cart this month! Can you make a commitment to purchase at least one Fair Trade Certified™ product every time you shop? In addition to trying new products, you are voting with your dollars by showing your favorite store that you support Fair Trade. You are also supporting the hard working farmers who produced the product. Another approach is to make one swap in your everyday routine—like trading in your daily cup of coffee or banana for the Fair Trade Certified version.
3. Request it Locally
Having trouble finding Fair Trade products where you shop? Sometimes all you have to do is ask! Requesting more Fair Trade products is as easy as filling out a comment card or speaking directly with the manager. Explain that you want to make every purchase matter by buying Fair Trade. It helps to name specific products or product categories and to direct the manager to the Fair Trade USA website www.FairTradeUSA.org to learn more. You can also ask for Fair Trade to be served at your school or office. Encouraging a large organization to go Fair Trade is a very effective way to increase the impact for farmers and workers in more than 58 countries. The consumer dollar is heard by retailers.
4. Shout Your Loyalty Online
Social media spreads news fast. Use if for good and pass on the Fair Trade message! Look for the Fair Trade Certified™ Facebook page and stay connected. Or like, share, tweet and hashtag companies that sell Fair Trade products. Don’t forget to follow SOL Organics on social media:
5. Donate to Fair Trade
Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations in order to expand their reach and impact. A monetary donation supports life-changing work with farm and factory families across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Economic security. Schools. Scholarships. Life-saving medical care. Women’s empowerment. Environmental sustainability. By donating, you invest in a stronger, more equitable market system and a better future for all.
Why the Story Matters to Us
Even when Halloween brings October to a celebratory close, remember your commitment to Fair Trade. While this month raises awareness, the farmers and workers need support year-round for their businesses and communities to thrive.
Fair Trade matters to us because people and the planet matter to us. They are our bottom line. Our Fair Trade Certified™ 100% organic, non-GMO, eco-friendly cotton makes healthy profits for farmers, sets up thriving businesses in their communities and offers luxurious, fair-priced bedding for you. That’s our story.