Fairtrade clothing arrives at Clothes Show Live

By staff writers
December 10, 2007

Fairtrade clothing is making its debut in a big way at the Clothes Show Live this week - and with good reason, for now there are a wide range of good sources for fairtrade clothes:

1. Adili

Adili brings together a community of producers, designers and customers for fairtrade clothes who believe that fashion can be both stylish and ethical.

Adili offers the best brands of fairtrade clothes in the ethical fashion market. You can buy fairtrade clothes that will benefit the people involved in their production or the environment, and in many cases, both.

Adili sells Women's and Children's fairtrade clothes and accessories. They have a range of Organic Clothing and Fair Trade Clothing including Organic Jeans, Fair Trade T-Shirts and much more.

Click here to see the full range of fairtrade clothes from Adili

2. The Natural Collection

The Natural Collection have come up with a stunning range of fairtrade clothing, which integrates fashion, chic and warmth with consideration for the environment and the people that make them.

Sumptuous designs have been made in hemp, wool, felt and organic cotton as well as delicate and jazzy jewellery, glittering handbags, sturdy hemp boots and stylish fairtrade jackets.

Many of the fairtrade products help to supplement the subsistence income of small farmers in Nepal, who knit when the daily work is finished or slow. By supplying year round fairtrade clothes orders to the knitters they are assured of a regular and reliable income.

The collection of fairtrade clothes is also creative and ecologically friendly, including T-shirts dyed with natural clay.

Click here to see the full range of Natural Collection fairtrade clothing

3. The Ethical Superstore

The Ethical Superstore has a great range of fairtrade T-shirts, fairtrade jewellery, fairtrade hats, scarves and gloves. They even have a selection of fairtrade activist wear, for those who are particulalry passionate about the fairtrade causes.

Click here to visit the fairtrade clothing section at the Ethical Superstore

And more about fairtrade clothes at the clothes show live...

Designs carrying the FAIRTRADE cotton Mark are being profiled at The Fairtrade Foundation’s stand in a new area of the show dedicated to ethical and eco-friendly fashion. Pieces made with Fairtrade cotton will also hit the catwalk as the finalists of a Fairtrade cotton t-shirt design competition profile their work as a highlight of the show.

Tamara Thomas, Fairtrade Foundation Business Development Manager said: “We’re really excited about being at the Clothes Show Live - it’s a great opportunity to prove to visitors just how fantastic designs made with Fairtrade cotton can look. We can also help people to understand the reality behind the clothes they buy and the difference Fairtrade is making to cotton farmers in the developing world.”

The Fairtrade Foundation stand, located in the ‘Fashion Conscience’ Black Label area of the Clothes Show Live, will have examples of the latest designs from pioneer Fairtrade cotton brands including People Tree, Bishopston Trading and Hug, alongside designs from high street brands like Topshop and Monsoon that have introduced Fairtrade cotton into their collections. Visitors can experience the story of cotton, from the cotton fields of India, Africa and South America, through the processing and manufacture, to their journey to the high street and their wardrobes.

Ten finalists of the Clothes Show Live Design on a T-shirt Competition will be at the show, where the winning design will be announced on Tuesday 11th after the catwalk preview of all ten shortlisted designs. The Clothes Show Live teamed up with the Fairtrade Foundation last year to launch the competition for students, giving budding young designers an opportunity to take their inspiration from Fairtrade cotton producers’ countries to create their t-shirt design. The winning design will be printed on a Fairtrade certified cotton t-shirts and retailed at the show by Just Trade.

The prize also includes free tickets and transport to Clothes Show Live, £500 to spend at the show, a VIP lunch for themselves and three friends at the event, plus a £1,000 donation to their school’s Art/Design Technology Department, provided by Clothes Show Live.

As many as 100 million rural households globally are involved in cotton production, with small-scale cotton farmers especially vulnerable to exploitation and injustice from international trade rules. Fairtrade certification brings farmers the guarantee of a fair and stable price plus a further premium to be used for community development projects. Fairtrade is offering a positive alternative to thousands of cotton farmers in countries as widespread as Senegal, Burkino Faso, Cameroon and Mali in West Africa and India, Peru and Egypt.

The benefits from the sale of Fairtrade certified cotton have allowed farmers in India to develop basic health insurance schemes for themselves and health awareness programmes for their children. In Mali, farmers have been able to fund the building of storage units for cotton and grain, enabling them to store food all year round and better control the sales of their cotton over the seasons, bringing them a more consistent income.

Products and clothing made from Fairtrade Certified Cotton were launched on the UK market in November 2005. This year the Fairtrade cotton market has seen an eight-fold increase, from an estimated retail value of £6 million in December 2006 to £45 million by the end of this month. Major high street brands have made growing commitments to use Fairtrade cotton over the past months including Topshop, Next and Marks & Spencer, who have pledged to use 4,800 tonnes of Fairtrade cotton in their women’s t-shirts alone over the next 12 months.

Tamara continued: “The exciting growth in sales has set Fairtrade certified cotton off to a flying start, but even with these increases, Fairtrade cotton still only accounts for less than 1% of the total amount of cotton sold in the UK. With millions of cotton farmers still living in terrible conditions in the poorest countries in the world, it is more important than ever that the high street gets behind Fairtrade. We hope that our presence at Clothes Show Live will mean more shoppers will insist on Fairtrade cotton from their favourite high street stores.”

There are now more than 1,000 cotton products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark. They are available from the pioneer Fairtrade cotton companies, independent boutiques, online and from multiple retailers including Marks & Spencer, Monsoon, Next, Debenhams, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

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