What it means to be Fair Trade
We work with small businesses across the globe who are committed to providing good working conditions, fair pay and continuous employment to their employees.
Being a fair trade business means we conform to the 10 principles of fair trade throughout our entire supply chain, and means we are constantly trying to show transparency and improve.
Our working relationship with India spans many decades, Ian has been visiting since the days before there were cars on the streets. As a result of this, we have long standing relationships with many of our suppliers, some spanning over 30 years.
We work with a range of family owned small businesses in India, Nepal, Thailand & the Philippines. The businesses we work with offer great working conditions for their employees, some work in more modern ways and others remain 100% traditional, they provide consistent work in their communities and are reliable employers.
Below you will find more information about how we conform to each principle of fair trade
Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
We support marginalised small producers and family run businesses who provide fantastic employment and development opportunities to their communities. As a business we want to highlight that through fair trade we can make positive changes in the world.
Transparency and Accountability
We understand that we are accountable for all our actions. We continuously are working on ways to ensure transparency and are forever delving deeper and deeper into our supply chain to ensure that in each stage of production from farm to end user, fair trade practises are adhered to. We will always put people and planet over profit.
Fair Trade Practices
We pay what is asked, when it’s asked. We don’t haggle on price and we pay upfront advance payments of 30, 50 or 100%, depending on what is asked for. For the remainder of the cost of goods, when the order is complete, we pay the balance before the goods leave the country of manufacture. We absolutely do not ever ask for credit or delayed payments.
In 43 years, even through the Covid pandemic of 2020, we are proud to say we have not cancelled one order, as soon as we approve samples and confirm our orders, the order is final.
If we receive broken or faulty goods, they are repaired in house, no charges incurred are ever charged back to the supplier. One or two times we have asked for discounts if it seems care was not taken in the manufacturing process and it was obvious we did not receive what we paid for, but this is extremely rare (twice in 43 years).
We do not charge or request compensation for late delivery of orders, there are many eventualities that can result in order delays such as a longer than usual monsoon which means wood and fabric products cannot dry out in the sun.
No Discrimination, Gender Equality, Freedom of Association
We ensure that all the suppliers we work with provide equal opportunities and do not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS status or age.
Promotion of Fair Trade
We try to promote fair trade as much as we can, through social media and our website. It’s finally becoming more recognised and is something that more and more people are aware of. We strive to keep spreading awareness and educating people on the importance of fair trade.
We pay what our supplier asks, never ask for price freezes, and always agree to price rises if prices rise for our supplier.
We ensure that the people working directly for us and for our supplier's businesses are paid a fair wage, one that at least affords them a decent standard of living which includes education, health care, clothing, housing and provision for unexpected events, for them and their family.
The suppliers we work with are keen to develop the skills and capabilities of the people they employ, providing training and constantly striving to ensure their business is growing and always providing job security.
No Child Labour, No Forced Labour
We ensure there is no forced or child labour of any capacity, at any of the businesses we work with.
Respect for the Environment
We ensure we do not produce any products containing virgin plastic, we re-use all the packaging that enters our warehouse, and buy second hand boxes. Our products are packaged in upcycled sari bags unless they are breakable. We have a compost loo at our office and warehouse, collect rainwater, have solar panels on all our warehouse roofs and have two wind turbines. We only buy products which are made from recycled materials or virgin materials from sustainable resources. We ensure no harmful dyes or chemicals are used in the production of our products. Between 2019 and 2020 we are proud to have planted 18,000 trees at our office premises, and have re-wilded habitats to create wildlife havens, ponds, wetland and woodland, we understand & are grateful for the privileged position we are in, to be able to use the land for this purpose.
Good Working Conditions
We ensure the working conditions in the suppliers factories we work with are good, we visit them ourselves and carry out external audits to ensure that local laws and health and safety practises are met.