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Fair Trade Surfwear: Why Should We Care?

Eco Living NewsletterFair trade. The only trade

The fair trade movement is old news. People have been talking about it for a long time, but have we as surfers and snowboarders really been listening?

Surfers lead the way.

Surfers are usually out there on the front line when it comes to environmental issues but the same cannot always be said for the big Surfwear brands. Young, environmentally conscious surfwear and snowboarding retailer ZooZoo2 is determined to do more.

We are all used to fair trade products such as coffee, tea, and cocoa used in thousands of good cafe's and restaurants across the developed world. But what about surfwear and surf related products? What are we wearing, how was it made and who actually made it?

Fair trade is a system of economic relations in which: sweatshops are eliminated; workers earn a living wage; the rights of workers, producers and local communities are respected; labor, health and safety, and environmental laws are followed; and trade is conducted on a level playing field, truly free and fair'. [extract from / PICA article]

Fair trade works to ensure producers in the developing world receive a fair price for the goods they make and that these goods are produced by workers in sweatshop-free environments. It is no longer acceptable for global brands including surfwear brands to benefit at the cost of poor producers who have no voice of their own.

Fair trade involves practices that give producers a voice, either by collecting them into cooperatives or by ensuring minimum support prices for them which will allow them enough resources to invest in further producing the raw material that goes into producing consumer goods says Fair Trade: Market-Driven Ethical Consumption.

“In simple terms, Fair Trade represents a new approach to buyer-supplier transaction which aims at equality of exchange within a partnership approach, underpinned by a developmental, rather than confrontational, agenda. Fair trade recognises the power discrepancy between the developing and the developed worlds and aims to forge long-term partnerships. A firm focus on the producer rather than the consumer, has been central to Fair trade.” [extract from Finacialexpress India]


Child Labour Facts

The ILO estimates that 120 million children aged 5-14 work full-time, and a further 130 million work part-time. About 61% of working children live in Asia, 32% in Africa and 7% in Latin America. More and more children in Europe are working. Africa has the highest incidence of working children. Approximately 40% of all its five to 14 year olds work full or part-time. In both Asia and Latin America, about 20% of five to 14 year-olds are engaged in the job market. [source:] ZooZoo2 is committed to supporting the principles of third world fair trade.

Prohibition of child labour (children should be children, to learn and play and have fun) Prohibition of forced labour (no sweatshop labour) Prohibition of harassment (no sweatshop labour) Regulated work hours Prohibition of discrimination Health and safety (no sweatshop labour) Preservation of the environment Concern for fellow human beings as well as concern for the health of our planet seem to us to be a natural step for all surfers and snowboarders. Young, environmentally conscious surfwear and snowboarding retailer

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