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From the cotton field upwards: recognising accountability in the fashion industry

GS Rao is the State Co-ordinator for Chetna Organic for their farmers in the state of Odisha, in the east of India. He represents more than 3,000 smallholder tribal farmers, belonging to 4 organic and Fairtrade cotton farmer cooperatives in Odisha, one of the poorest states in India. Here, he describes why Fashion Revolution Day is a trigger for a more harmonious supply chain.

Following the thread: the start of a Fashion Revolution

Orsola de Castro is creative director at fashion label From Somewhere, which makes clothes from recycled off cuts of luxury materials. She is also co-founder and co-curator of Estethica at London Fashion Week and a co-founder of Fashion Revolution Day. Here Orsola reflects on why following the thread in our clothes from beginning to end is vital and why we need a revolution in fashion.

How to save chocolate

The looming chocolate shortage is making headlines around the globe. Terrible, nightmarish forecasts predict a dark future – a future in which the chocolate we now enjoy will be expensive as caviar, and the rest of us will have to be content with “chocolate” containing so little cocoa that it actually bends.

Farming in an occupied land

A couple of weeks ago I helped lead a group from the UK on a tour of the West Bank, visiting Fairtrade farmers and learning something about how the Israeli occupation affects the lives of Palestinians.

Influencing positive EU change over breakfast

In a previous life I worked with community groups raising money to support people living with dementia. Their passion stemmed from watching their beloved family members change in front of their eyes, ravaged by a disease with no cure.

The future of Fairtrade

Back in 1994, the year that the FAIRTRADE Mark launched in the UK, I was working in southern Africa. After years when civil war seemed inevitable, there was a tangible sense that hope and peace would triumph over despair, as the era of Apartheid came to an end. That same spirit of optimism was present too when three far-sighted brands – Green & Blacks, Cafédirect and Clipper tea – offered the first Fairtrade certified products in the UK.

Fair Trade Lebanon visits the UK

If I were to describe Fair Trade Lebanon in a couple of sentences, I would say it is an organisation that strives to preserve and valorise the traditional Lebanese know-how of food preservation and transform it into an income-generating activity. With the help of other NGOs, Fair Trade Lebanon provides technical training to residents of villages, helps them to form co-operatives and use their know-how to come up with products that achieve export standards and are easily marketable. Along this journey, Fair Trade Lebanon also teaches co-operatives to work according to the values of fair trade, such as transparency, accountability and fair compensation. Finally, it conducts all marketing activities, from packaging to finding markets to exporting.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2014: Make Bananas Fair

Today marks the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight and the Make Bananas Fair campaign. Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, explains why we need to make sure all bananas are sourced fairly and ethically in the UK.

A good gold story…

A recent report has revealed that gold from conflict zones is entering gold markets illegally. Allan Bond of BT Global Services recently travelled to Tanzania with a group of BT employees to see the difference that Fairtrade gold is making to a small group of artisanal miners in Geita.