Your Guide To Ethical Shopping During Fashion Revolution Week 2023

As we approach Fashion Revolution Week 2023, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a preventable disaster that marked the deadliest industry disaster of our times, it is essential to consider the impact our fashion choices have on the world. The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) is participating in this year’s events with the theme “Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution.” The World Fair Trade Organisation and its members are determined to make a revolutionary impact, and you can help us too!

This guide aims to help you make informed and sustainable fashion choices during this crucial week and beyond. 

1.Learn about the principles of Fair Trade
Before you shop, it’s crucial to understand the 10 Principles of Fair Trade outlined by the WFTO. These principles ensure that organisations prioritize workers’ rights, fair wages, safe working conditions, environmental sustainability, and more. By choosing brands that adhere to these principles, you can be confident that your purchases are contributing to a better world.

2. Research your favourite brands
Take the time to research your favourite brands and determine if they align with your ethical values. Look for information on their websites about their commitment to fair wages, worker safety, and environmental sustainability. You can also consult independent resources, such as the Fashion Transparency Index, to compare brands and their ethical practices.

3.Support World Fair Trade Organisation members
The WFTO is a global network of organizations committed to the principles of Fair Trade. By supporting these members, you are ensuring that your purchases have a positive impact on people and the planet. Visit the WFTO website here to find a directory of  verified Fair Trade brands and retailers.

4.Choose quality over quantity
One of the most effective ways to shop ethically is to invest in high-quality, long-lasting pieces. This approach helps reduce the overall demand for fast fashion, which often relies on exploitative labour practices and contributes to environmental degradation. Instead, seek out timeless, well-made items that you can wear for years to come.

5.Embrace second-hand and vintage fashion
Thrifting and purchasing vintage clothing are excellent ways to minimize your environmental impact while still enjoying a diverse and stylish wardrobe. By giving new life to pre-loved items, you can reduce waste and lessen the demand for new clothing production.

6.Care for your clothes responsibly
Extend the life of your garments by caring for them properly. Follow care instructions, wash clothes less frequently, and repair items when needed. When you’re ready to part with a piece of clothing, consider gifting it to a friend, upcycling or donating it responsibly instead of throwing it away.

7.Advocate for change
Use your voice to support the Fashion Revolution and the World Fair Trade Organisation’s goals. Share information about ethical shopping with your friends and family, engage with brands on social media, and sign petitions advocating for improved labour and environmental standards. Sign the Manifesto here or Good Clothes Fair Pay here.

8.Celebrate success stories
Finally, recognize and celebrate the achievements of brands and organizations that are making a difference in the fashion industry. By sharing their stories and supporting their work, you can help amplify the message of the Fashion Revolution and encourage others to join the movement.

By following these practical tips during Fashion Revolution Week 2023 and beyond, you can contribute to a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Together, we can honour the memory of the Rana Plaza disaster by pushing for a world where fashion is a force for good.

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17th international


17-20 SEPT 2024 – CAPE TOWN 

We are thrilled to invite you to our upcoming International Fair Trade Summit, set to take place in the vibrant city of Cape Town, from the 17th to the 20th of September 2024.

The International Fair Trade Summit aims to bring together leaders, practitioners, and advocates from all corners of the globe to collaborate and promote Fair Trade practices. This edition promises to be a unique opportunity for participants to engage in enlightening discussions, exchange ideas, and forge partnerships that will shape the future of Fair Trade.

WFTO Membership & Associate Types

  • Fair Trade Organisations (FTO)

    All trading members of WFTO. This includes all organisations that have more than half of their income and/or more than €100,000 in income from trade.

  • Fair Trade Support Organisations (FTSO)

    An organisation whose primary mission is to support Fair Trade and/or provide services to organisations that are or want to become Fair Trade Organisations.

  • Fair Trade Networks (FTN)

    An organisation which is an association of organisations committed to Fair Trade.

  • Individual Associates (IA)

    Individual Associates are supporters of the Fair Trade movement with limited rights. The WFTO Guarantee System does not apply to them.

  • Associate Organisations (AO)

    Associate Organisations align with WFTO’s values but after their application. They do not undergo monitoring and also have limited rights.

WFTO Guarantee System Monitoring Statuses

  • Candidates

    Candidates have been conditionally approved for membership but have not completed their first monitoring cycle under the WFTO Guarantee System. They have limited rights within WFTO. They may not use the WFTO Member Mark and Product Label or claim that they are monitored by WFTO.

  • Guaranteed Members

    Guaranteed members have met the WFTO Membership requirements and are monitored under the WFTO Guarantee System.

  • Member

    Organisations that have no or little income from trade go through a reduced version of the WFTO Guarantee System that does not include criteria related to trade. These organisations may use the WFTO Member Mark but cannot use the Product Label for any products they may be trading to support their mission. This status only applies to Fair Trade Networks (FTN) and Support Organisations (FTSO).

  • Renewal in Progress

    Members who are in the process of renewing their guaranteed status and are overdue on some requirements retain full rights while they work to meet the demands of the Guarantee System on an administrative or compliance level.

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WFTO welcomes applications from established Fair Trade Organisations as well as organisations that support Fair Trade. Individuals in their capacity as researchers, writers, consultants and specialists in their field who can contribute solid skills, knowledge and expertise to WFTO and members are also welcome.

Add Your Heading Text Initial requirements for organisations:

  • Compliance with the WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade. Please have a look at the WFTO Fair Trade Standard for more specific information on compliance with these principles.

  • All applicant organisations must already be duly registered (as a legal entity) and active for at least one year.

Who can apply?

  • Fair Trade Organisations (FTO)

    All companies, partnerships, co-partnerships and other legal bodies – as determined by the legal provisions of the country of the member concerned – that are directly engaged in Fair Trade. They may be producers or northern or southern based trading FTOs for whom Fair Trade is the main activity. To qualify for FTO membership, income from sales (turnover) must account for 50% or more of the total income. Applications for FTO membership cannot be accepted from organisations with no prior sales history.

  • Fair Trade Networks (FTN)

    Legal entities whose primary function is to serve as national or international associations of Fair Trade producers and/or Fair Trade Organisations.

  • Fair Trade Support Organisations (FTSO)

    Fair Trade Organisations where trading is not the main activity (proportion of trade is less than 50% of total income). These organisations are engaged in Fair Trade indirectly, through activities that promote and support Fair Trade. These activities can include business counselling, finance, advocacy or networking.

  • Associate Organisations

    This is a special category for national or international organisations that are interested in supporting and promoting Fair Trade, including donor organisations. Organisations that do not meet the one-year legal existence requirement also fit in this group.

  • Individual Associates

    Individual researchers, writers, consultants and specialists in their field that can support WFTO. WFTO expects its individual associates to be active Fair Trade supporters whose experience and expertise in their own particular field can be of practical benefit to WFTO's members. To apply, please submit a curriculum vitae.

    While FTO, FTN and FTSO are entitled to full WFTO membership, organizational and individual associates have only limited rights.

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The WFTO Product Label is more than just a Fair Trade symbol. It signifies not only that the practices across the supply chain are checked against the WFTO Fair Trade Standard, but it also represents support to the battle against poverty and inequality. Products carrying the WFTO Label are made and traded by Guaranteed Fair Trade Organisations dedicated to the sustainable Fair Trade economy. Every purchase of products with the WFTO Label supports small producers and their communities.

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