October is Fair Trade Month, which means we will shine a collective spotlight on the products we buy and the people we support. Extending far beyond the familiar chocolate and coffee markets, Fair Trade also includes items in floral, produce, clothing, home goods, seafood and consumer packaged goods. Bookmark on home goods.
Whether you’re a home furnishings manufacturer or retailer, Fair Trade is a certification you should explore. Although it is not to be confused with environmental sustainability – which is a grounding pillar of this movement.
Simply put, Fair Trade is a movement dedicated to fairness and transparency in global trade. As a Fair Trade Organization, you buy products at a fair price from producers and artisans in developing countries with an eye towards improving economic development.
Fair Trade organizations hold business standards for income sustainability, empowerment, individual and community well-being and environmental stewardship. And, when you earn certification, you’re free to advertise accordingly.
For example, you’ll find products with the Fair Trade symbol proudly displayed at Pottery Barn. And a search of Fair Trade on Wayfair.com returns more than 3,500 products for perusal. Not only is this a great way to demonstrate corporate stewardship and responsibility, it’s a wonderful way to build consumer trust by working to promote a better planet.
If you obtain certification, take pride in your achievement and display your badge on your website. Just don’t forget to update your Fair Trade status within your product data. When customers search for these products, you want your company’s return to be at the top of Page One.
Another way to promote your brand’s participation is to highlight the people that you’re helping through Fair Trade. If possible, share your sourcing story, include a picture of the artisan or grower, tell your consumers a little about who their purchase is helping and share all the emotions that come along with ethical consumerism.
After all, it makes the world seem like a friendlier place to do business when we all take a moment to reach back in the name of grabbing a hand to pull others ahead.
If you’re interested in learning more about Fair Trade or Certification, October is a great month to find resources and help. Sites to visit for additional reading: FairTradeCertified.org and FairTradeAmerica.org.