The Fair Trade apparel pilot program is the first clothing certification with a consumer-facing label that directly benefits the farmers who grow the cotton and the workers who sew the garments. The Fair Trade Certified label is a mechanism for companies to communicate a strong commitment to social and environmental responsibility directly to consumers at the point of purchase. In a Globescan study, when US consumers were asked what new product they would most like to see Fair Trade Certified, the top response was apparel and textiles.
How to Manufacture Fair Trade Certified Apparel and Linens
Please download the Intro Packet for Factories. The steps of Factory Certification include:
- Introduction to Fair Trade USA
- Wage Assessment Fair Trade Training - Workers and Managers
- Governance Structures for Fair Trade
- Fair Trade Audit Performance Improvement
- Traceability of Fair Trade Cotton (FLO)
- Certified by Fair Trade USA
- Produce Fair Trade Certified Product and receive Fair Trade Premium
How to Source Fair Trade Certified Apparel and Linens
- Use Fair Trade cotton. You can either purchase the seed cotton directly from a certified producer group or require that your manufacturer source Fair Trade cotton from certified groups. For non-cotton products, other fibers can be used.
- Produce the garments in a factory that meets Fair Trade standards and has been certified by Fair Trade USA.
- Purchase products according to Fair Trade terms and agree to pay a 1-10% Fair Trade premium to a worker-controlled fund. The Fair Trade premium level depends on wage levels in the factory. Garment workers decide collectively how to spend these funds. Examples include a disaster relief fund for factory workers, a scholarship fund for workers’ children, infrastructure improvements in their local communities, or a cash bonus.