Fair Trade Certification Finally Available for Clothing

So, for the past 11 years we’ve been able to get certified fair trade coffee, chocolate, and other goods. But never clothing.

Until now.

TransFair USA has recently launched the world’s first apparel program that certifies clothing and other fabrics as fair trade. From now on, brands that attain certification will be able to put TransFair’s logo on their clothing to prove to consumers that the fabric, is indeed, fair trade.

Now that’s something to cheer about!

Currently Transfair is working with about a dozen clothing companies who are trying to attain certification. But, as the San Francisco Chronicle points out, only two have attained certification: Hae Now, and Tompkins Point Apparel.

Image courtesy Tompkins Point Apparel

So what’s in the Certification program?

  • Factories commit to uphold internationally recognized labor standards and to provide greater benefits to workers. Factories must also be held accountable through inspections and grievance processes.
  • Buyers commit to sourcing plans that include longer-term business relationships and prices that help factories consistently uphold labor standards and provide lasting benefits to workers.
  • Consumers should be able to easily identify products that meet these standards. Evidence shows that they are willing to pay more for Fair Trade Certified products—pushing more money back into the value chain.
  • Worker empowerment and development is at the core of Fair Trade certification. In our efforts in this industry, the primary focus on achieving this is through the rights of freedom of association and income that meets workers’ basic needs. The Fair Trade standard seeks to go above and beyond the norm in the industry on these and other issues consistent with the Fair Trade philosophy.
  • This standard is not meant to apply strictly to factories with hired labor; cooperative organizations are encouraged to participate as well.
Of course, these are the goals of the program. If you’d like to find out about the requirements for attaining fair trade certification, click here.
The great news about this is that, as consumers, we’ll be able to tell at a glance if a garment or fabric truly is fair trade (and sweatshop free). This will give us peace of mind when we shop because it will take the guesswork out of our purchase decisions.
I’m excited to see what other brands make it through certification. Hopefully we’ll begin seeing more TransFair labels on our clothing in the months to come!
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5 Responses to “Fair Trade Certification Finally Available for Clothing”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rachel Lee Holstein, Delina Osmond. Delina Osmond said: Fair Trade Certification Finally Available for Clothing | Earth …: So, for the past 11 years we've been able to … http://bit.ly/bXe9FO [...]

  2. This has been a long time coming and I’m glad to see that it is finally here. I hope brands embrace it and that it has the desired effect on consumers. Thanks for blogging about this.

  3. @NY Label- I know, I was super excited about this. I think as people get used to seeing the label it will definitely help them make better decisions. Thanks so much for writing in!

  4. This is a great leap forward, but those “sweatshop-free” clothing manufacturers should be advertising it on their own without the need of an official label. Still, this is great news. now we just need some designer brands to get on the bandwagon and start putting out stylish options for the conscious consumer!

  5. @SweatfreeShop- I hear you. I think more designers and brands will hop on the bandwagon now the option is available.

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