fair trade & our ethics
Fair Trade is core to our business as we import finished products directly from producers that provide work for women and marginalized communities in Laos and Afghanistan. We have personally met all of our producers in Laos and have teamed up with the Roddy Scott Foundation, a development charity based in North Yorkshire, to build new links with producers in Afghanistan. We have relationships with a variety of different organisations including small businesses, producer associations and NGOs. All of our suppliers have positive employment practices providing good working conditions and pay, and encouraging gender equity. Whilst some producers we work with are already members of the WFTO, many are small, independent organisations with a limited or no experience in international trade. From The Source offer an opportunity to export to the UK for the first time, and assist producers in achieving international fair trade certification.
It is generally women that provide the skills such as weaving and dyeing in making our products, and the producers we work give a vital and secure income for women, often in rural areas. Working towards gender equity and empowering women through good paid work is a fundamental part of development, and we actively encourage this when sourcing our products.
For trade to be sustainable it is essential to manage the environmental impact of production as well as social and economic factors. Our producers use locally available raw materials wherever possible, for example cotton producerd organically in small scale farms in Laos. Many of our products are dyed using natural dyes from trees, plants and flowers, avoiding the impact on the waste stream of chemical dyes.
We aim to build long term relationships with our suppliers that are based on trust and respect, and assist in the design and development of new products. As consumers in the UK are increasingly disconnected from the origins of their purchases, we hope to challenge this trend by demonstrating that an awareness of the source of things you buy can make a real difference to people in some of the poorest countries in the world.