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That's what teachers told a group of girls when they reported sexual violence in their schools. If they spoke out, they were told, they'd be asked to leave the school, word would spread, and they might be forced to leave their communities.
In this sugar-growing community in South America, toilet facilities in schools are particularly risky places for girls, as are social events organized at school after hours. "The men get us to go behind the toilets and because there is no lighting they force us to do things which we don't like," explained the girls. "We can't tell anyone, as even our women teachers ask us to be silent."
As millions of people across 71 countries are this week asking brands #whomademyclothes, the UK-based brand People Tree are introducing some of the people behind their Fair Trade tees, dresses and jumpers.
At Green & Black’s Organic we can’t wait for Easter (our favourite time of the year) to arrive. Not only does Easter provide you (and us) with the perfect occasion to unwrap that gold foil and break into your favourite Chocolate Easter Egg, it is also a great time to treat your friends and family by introducing them to the delicious taste of our Fairtrade chocolate.
In March, the Fairtrade Foundation started to campaign to raise awareness amongst politicians of the impact of European Common Agricultural Policy reform on small holder sugar cane farmers, their families and communities, who rely on exporting sugar to the Europe. Last year, the UK took around 26% of all sugar cane imports that came to the EU, so the issue is particularly relevant here. Currently, there is a quota that limits the production of European sugar, and the gap between supply and demand is filled by importing cane sugar that is grown in developing countries. According to a report for the Department of International Development (DFID), the reform - which will completely deregulate European sugar production in 2017 - could push 200,000 people in the global south into poverty.
Fairtrade licensees Arthur & Henry believe that every man needs a good shirt. So as Fashion Revolution Day calls on us to ask “who made my clothes?” we ask Arthur & Henry to tell us more about their business and why knowing who grows and makes their shirts is so important...
With Fashion Revolution Day approaching, Fairtrade is calling for brands to pay the true cost of cotton
Cotton is big business, supplying 25.8m tonnes of the raw material to the $294bn global textile trade and the $412bn clothing industry. Cotton is grown by huge agri-businesses in the US as well as by close to 100 million rural households in developing countries, a number that’s more than doubled when workers in transportation, ginning, bailing and storage are taken into account. As well as providing rural employment, cotton plays a major role in the economic and social development of low-income countries, accounting for around 63 per cent of Benin’s export and 72 per cent of Burkina Faso’s.
Do you know where the T’shirt you are wearing was made? How about your favourite pair of jeans? Do you know who cut out the fabric and stitched them together? It’s funny to think that the clothes that fill our wardrobes, that keep us warm and help define our identity are all carefully made by people we’ll never know. Every seam, every zip, every sequin and button was sewn on by someone – those people, the invisible ones, hidden away across supply chains all over the world, whose livelihoods depend on growing cotton, weaving cloth and sewing it into garments for us to wear.
Carry Somers is a pioneer in Fair Trade fashion, creator of ethical brand Pachacuti and the initiator of the Fashion Revolution movement.
It's that time of year: still heady from New Year parties, we all commit to wild new beginnings, reforming ourselves into slim, teetotal nuns dedicated to spreading love and peace. Which is why January can be so depressing: because before long the cold truth dawns that we are in fact much closer to being Bridget Jones than Mother Theresa.
Find answers to some of the questions that are frequently asked about Fairtrade.
Ever wondered how many farmers and workers are involved with Fairtrade? Or how the Fairtrade Premium is used? Here's a snapshot from our latest data.
With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their futures and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.