Press Release: The WFTO Product Label Proves Fashion Is A Force For Change

CULEMBORG, 1 SEPTEMBER 2014 - 24th April 2014 was the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory building collapse that shook the fashion industry. This autumn is the first anniversary of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) Product Label, which is only awarded to companies, like fashion brands People Tree and Pachacuti, who are 100% Fair Trade, dedicated to a transparent and accountable supply chain.

The WFTO Product Label guarantees that practices across the supply chain are checked against the WFTO Fair Trade Standards, a set of compliance criteria based on the 10 Principles of Fair Trade, covering fair wages, working conditions, transparency, capacity building, environmental best practice, gender equality and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. The Product Label also symbolises the fight against poverty, inequality and trade injustices. It sets the standards for conventional fashion companies to improve their supply chains.

WFTO members, Pachacuti and People Tree are the pioneers in revolutionising fashion to work for people and the planet, and not just for profit. They work closely with producers and workers in their own supply chains and ensure that Fair Trade Principles are implemented accordingly.   

“We believe sustainable and Fair Trade fashion can be well designed at the same time as proving that it’s possible to empower workers and protect the planet.” Safia Minney, MBE, People Tree Founder and CEO

“I was working on the third floor when Rana Plaza collapsed. I hid under the cutting table. I was stuck there for nine and half hours. A lot of my friends died or were injured. After Rana Plaza I moved to People Tree production centre Thanapara Swallows in the countryside. Working in Dhaka there is too much pressure, here at Swallows you work in a peaceful and relaxed way. I can earn and look after my two daughters at the same time.” Sabina, Swallows, People Tree Producer, Bangladesh

“The garment industry supply chain is fractured and producers have become faceless. The WFTO Product Label is a symbol of assurance for consumers that the brand is transparent in their producer relationships and adheres to the highest industry standards.” Carry Somers, Pachacuti and Fashion Revolution Day Founder

“Pachacuti and People Tree introduced the WFTO Product Label to the fashion industry. A new Product Label is important as behind the glitz and glamour of fashion, there are people who work hard in dire conditions receiving meagre compensation. The WFTO Product Label distinguishes companies that are transparent and accountable. It is only awarded to companies showing best practice in their supply chain. People Tree and Pachacuti are examples of fashion that promotes change - change that improves working and living conditions and empowers producers, workers and the people in the fashion supply chain.” Natália Leal, World Fair Trade Organisation, Chief Executive

Notes to Editor

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is a global network of organisations from over 70 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Pacific Rim, representing the entire Fair Trade supply chain. Membership of WFTO provides Fair Trade organisations with credibility and identity by way of an international guarantee system; a place of learning where members connect with like-minded people from around the world; tools and training to increase market access; a common voice that speaks out loudly about Fair Trade. WFTO is the home of fair traders: producers , marketers, exporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers that demonstrate 100% commitment to Fair Trade and apply the 10 WFTO Principles of Fair Trade in their daily operations. The works and achievements of its members make WFTO a global authority on Fair Trade and a guardian of Fair Trade values and principles.  

The coming years will witness a whole variety of products carrying the WFTO Product Label, from handicrafts, to fashion, to food products.

Behind the Product Label is a revolutionary Fair Trade system – the WFTO Guarantee System. Consistent with the goal of Fair Trade, which is to enable producers to improve their livelihoods and communities through trading within agreed set of principles, WFTO’s route to equity in trade is ensuring that organisations follows the WFTO’s 10 Principles of Fair Trade.

The WFTO Guarantee System is based on time-tested best practices of Producer Group Internal Control System (ICS), Organic Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) and WFTO membership system experience. To learn more of the WFTO Guarantee System, visit our website .

For high resolution images, interviews and other queries, please contact WFTO
Michael Sarcauga, Communications Officer
E: Michael[@] T: +31345536487