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Fast Fashion vs. Fair Trade - What Are They, and Why Do We Care?

Jen Myhre on
Fast Fashion vs. Fair Trade - What Are They, and Why Do We Care?

Cheap clothing and accessories have become so accessible and popular, we almost don’t even notice when a pair of jeans or a dress costs as low as $10. But be wary: while the item may be cheap for your wallet, someone on the other end is usually paying the price. Often times, the men, women, and children who produce these goods are working in harsh conditions for for little to no wages. Because they are forced to put quantity over quality, these inexpensive items are also almost always poorly made, sending you back to the store for another $10 dress in no time.

This cycle of quickly buying then replacing cheap clothing and accessories is called fast fashion - and it’s increasingly problematic. The fashion industry has become the second largest cause of pollution, behind the oil industry. Impoverished or developing areas are taken advantage of for the cheapest labor possible. Buying "fast fashion" items supports the enterprise of unethical sourcing and unfair wages that harms the environment and most importantly, the people who manufacture the goods. So how do we break out of the cycle? Use your purchasing power on fairly traded items instead. Ethical fashion is slowly but surely gaining momentum and awareness.

Fair trade consists of long-term partnerships between merchants and manufacturers that’s mutually beneficial for both parties. Fair trade supports the farmers and artisans who produce food and goods by providing them with appropriate wages and opportunities that help them out of poverty.

It’s a myth that fair trade items are pricey or of lesser quality. Our pieces are created by world class artisans who are masters of their skills, ensuring that every item is high quality and authentic. Plus, by cutting out the middleman, prices remain affordable for more modest budgets.

We’re working with companies like WorldFinds who make it their mission to fairly trade with global artisans, providing them with sustainable opportunities out of poverty. We consider them and companies like them little gems that we wish there were more of. We make it easy for you to shop fairly traded items handmade by artisans all over the globe. All of our fair trade items are unique and authentic - things no one else will have that you can feel good about purchasing.

Here’ are a few of our favorites. Peek inside for a bio on the artisans that create these items! Each organization has their own unique story and mission.

What are your thoughts on fair trade and ethical shopping? Let us know in the comments!

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