Today is day 13 of a 14 day blogging series about Fair Trade. Tomorrow is World Fair Trade Day and with over 10,000 people signed up for events, there will be a world of celebrating going on. I myself will be heading to Ten Thousand Villages for some ice cream sundae's, a treasure hunt and to put my markings on the Fair Trade Wall! Tomorrow will not just be about celebrating, but mostly educating... so I challenge you, (if you haven't registered for an event) to share with at least two people tomorrow, the Fair Trade message of hope and empowerment.
Tonight, I will pull it all together with some imaginary producers. I got the idea from Just Shirts, a Fair Trade retailer out of Canada. With information from their site, I was sparked with an idea that gets the message across clearly of what the Fair Trade movement does to help those in developing countries move forward. So without further ado....
Let's Talk T-Shirts
"My name is Runako and I am a shirt maker in my country. The shirt your wearing was made with lots of care and possibly by one of my neighbors. The co-op group that I work for allows me health benefits, proper safety equipment and a safe working environment. I receive safety training and equitable wages and I’m allowed the opportunity to participate in the decision making process. I also receive .40 for every shirt that I produce. My co-op group works with a Fair Trade North American Importer who cares about us and our community. All of my children are able to go to school and eat healthy meals. We have a total partnership with complete transparency.
With the help of my co-op and educational opportunities, myself and several others in my village will be starting our own co-op next year, closer to our home. I'm very excited and appreciative of all that I've learned. Becoming a partner in my own business, will allow me to do even more for my family, better our living arrangements and continue education for our children.
I hope you enjoy your product and we thank you for your business and continued support. "
I would tell you my name, but it probably wouldn’t matter. I am a shirt maker in my country, but I really have no idea if the shirt you’re wearing is one that was made in my production sweat shop,or another or even in my country to be honest. I really don’t enjoy my job, but I have no other opportunities. Here we don’t get benefits and the work space is cramped with poor ventilation. Sometimes I am the victim of Harassment from the supervisors. I’ve been working here for 7 years, but I have no voice or input into anything. Wages are poor; and, I only make .10 per shirt that I produce, so I’m guessing the American Importer and the production facility makes most of the profit. I barely make enough to support my family and my children have no education.
I have to go now my boss is coming.
Fair Trade Makes a Difference!
Visit tomorrow when I'll share with you photos from Ten Thousand Villages, until then.....