Why Is Fair Trade Important?
Why is fair trade important for something as ordinary as microfiber?
China has the world's greatest expertise in textile fiber manufacturing. Because microfiber requires significant expertise to develop, most of the world's microfiber is made in China, from the highest to the lowest quality. However, most of it is not made in fair trade facilities. Please take the time to find out if the product you are considering is made in a properly supervised fair trade facility.
Why is fair trade important? Fair trade companies are committed to equitable pay and workplace safety standards that will benefit developing economies in the long run. Employees work for a fair wage, and never in conditions that put their safety at risk.
Many companies with production facilities in developing nations are looking for ways to make lots of profit for the least amount of money. Therefore, they choose countries where they can get away with the lowest possible salaries and where they don't have a lot of environmental or safety regulations to obey. They take advantage of the people, and pollute their communities. If they are agricultural, they pay the farmers (who take most of the risks and do most of the work) a pittance compared to the eventual market price of their goods.
Supporting Fair Trade is a way of saying that we want to put an end to that practice. It is one thing to do business where it costs less - it is quite another to treat your host people like cattle and their nation like your garbage pit.
A definition of fair trade developed by FINE, an informal association of four international fair trade networks (Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International, World Fair Trade Organization, Network of European Worldshops and European Fair Trade Association): Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. Choosing companies committed to fair trade practices makes a difference in the quality of life for those in developing nations. It can make the difference between children who have to go to work to supplement their parent's meagre income, and children who have the time and energy to school.
I am currently aware only of one microfiber cleaning cloth that is made in a properly supervised fair trade facility:
Norwex Enviro Products.