We love fan mail! Recently we’ve received lots of great questions from our customers and wanted to share the answers for all to see. By keeping the conversation going about Fair Trade, we’re voting with our wallet to continue the practice of transparency surrounding the business.
What defines a fair wage?
We don’t set the prices we pay our artisans, they set their own prices and are free to change them at will. A fair wage is determined based on the average cost of living in each country. Our entire partnership is based upon transparency, trust, and a mutual respect, and allows for communication from each party to allow for fair compensation.
How do we ensure safe working conditions of our artisans?
Sometimes, there’s no substitution for a face-to-face relationship. Visiting our artisans multiple times per year is the best way of ensuring our artisans have what they need to craft our products safely and sustainably. We pride ourselves on having a close-knit relationship with each group to ensure they are thoroughly supported.
How do Fair Trade goods differ from traditionally produced goods?
Aside from the obvious nature of handcraftsmanship, Fair Trade goods help preserve indigenous culture and respects the cultural identity of the people who create them. Skills are often passed down through generations and providing sustainable buying power helps to keep this craft alive. In addition, Fair Trade products are created using materials that are good for the environment. You’ll notice the products in our shop are crafted using a combination of upcycled, recycled, and sustainable materials.
What is the design process like?
Just as with every other facet of Fair Trade, the design process is extremely collaborative. When we visit our artisans in person, much of the time spent together is used to create new styles for upcoming seasons. Trial and trial again is the best way to create new, on-trend, designs we know our customers will love. This results in LOTS of truly one-of-a-kind pieces that we don’t end up moving forward with. In early 2016, we held our first ever Sample Sale to give our customers a chance to buy these onesie-styles. We were amazed at the excitement it brought! Now we make our Sample Sales an annual tradition, and it gives our customers a sneak peek at the materials we experiment with throughout the year. Our next Sample Sale is scheduled for March 2017.
You can learn more about the collaborative process with our artisan group on our Process page.