Fair Trade is Good for Business


Estimated retail sales of Fair Trade products in the U.S. almost quadrupled between 2004 and 2011. Fair Trade goods are projected to have strong growth again this year. Many retailers would like to get involved in Fair Trade goods, but may not have a solid understanding of what they are or where to get them.

Fair Trade is basically the practice of paying “fair” or “appropriate” prices for products developed in other countries. It focuses on honoring the work of the laborers. It is not simply a way of doing business — it’s a conscious choice made to reflect business and personal values. Fair Trade is not about a handout: Fair Trade products are high-quality merchandise created with attention to detail. If these goods sound like the kinds of products you would like to provide your customers, then WeAreDAR, Aloetree Kids, 1 of a Kind (Pebble) and Almirah are excellent choices.

aDARable Clothing Offers Global Appeal

“As a young person traveling the globe, I was struck at how some children had so little while others were blessed with abundance based purely on the family and community where they were born,” explains Martha Montiel-Lewis, founder of WeAreDAR (“dar” means “to give” in Spanish). “It’s one of those fundamental concepts of fairness and justice that always tugged at my conscience.” Montiel-Lewis found a way to combine fair business practices with beautiful clothing and accessories with the aDARable clothing collection. “I’m so lucky to say there is nothing out there like us in the children’s wear industry,” notes Montiel-Lewis.

“aDARable is clothing that tells a new story. The collection is designed by passionate fashion students and made with love by women in Ti-Bouk, Haiti.” The Eloise a-line dress for girls ages 2-6 brings the sunshine: the 100% cotton dress is a tangerine print with ample golden pockets. The Madeline romper is pure joy. A zippered front paired with elastic leg openings makes this piece easy-on, easy-off for the busiest little ones. It sports a blue pocket and is cinched at the waist with a dark blue belt.

Montiel-Lewis adds: “Our 2014 Spring/Summer collection is available and the 2014 Fall/Winter collection is currently being designed.”

Adorable clothing and fair business practices make every season bright: www.wearedar.org

Aloetree Kids: A Helping, Healing Hand

Aloetree Kids
“My background before starting Aloetree Kids was actually in international trade,” explains Anbinh Phan, Founder and “Chief Planter” at Aloetree Kids. This background helped Phan develop the clothing and products that are the hallmark of Aloetree Kids. All their products are organic, reflective of the company’s deep commitment to helping others.

Each piece in the collection is designed to highlight the cute critter on the front. There are plenty of sweet designs to choose from, including koalas, cows, whales, foxes, and (always popular!) penguins. Tiny tots will glow in the Pele Penguin one-piece (sizes 0-18 months), constructed of soft cotton and azo-free blue dyes. The Knox Fox long-sleeved romper is another winner; it’s patterned with alternating blue-green stripes and is machine-washable (0-18 months).

“For our 2014 spring line, we will be introducing several new products. Due to popular demand, we will expand our product line to include matching hats and bibs,” notes Phan. “ We will also roll out our striped grey romper with our “Dive Deep” Jack the Whale and “Be Sharp” Otis the Hedgehog one-piece and tee.”

With a strong focus on helping children and building communities, Aloetree Kids is using smart business practices to spread freedom: www.aloetreekids.com

1 of a Kind: Casting Pebbles to the World

1 of a Kind (Pebble)
You wouldn’t think that $500 could go far in this world, but it has changed the lives of entire communities and launched Pebble products, distributed by 1 of a Kind Ltd. Since its initial launch in 2004, Pebble has opened up 53 production centers in Bangladesh and employs over 5,000 locals. It has become such a force for good that founder Samantha Morshed was decorated with the Order of the British Empire (MBE) Medal.

Great products for every nursery abound. On-trend with its food-themed Mom-and-Pop Store Rattles, a complete line of tiny rattles perfect for little hands come in luscious shapes like little ice cream cones, tiny donuts, and fruit (each piece is constructed from hand-knit cotton). Baby heads won’t go bare with the Coral Monkey Motif hat, designed for tots 1 to 2 years old. Like others in the collection, such as the Star Camo hat and Blue Owl hat, it boasts warm earflaps with ties and is a beautiful knit piece.

Other hot-sellers include the Rainbow Multi Hat and Blanket, handcrafted delights that are a tribute to the wonder that appears after a gloomy storm (also available in a soft pastel version).

Bring one of a kind, fair-trade products to your customers: www.1ofakind.de

Almirah: Childhood’s Wardrobe

An almirah is a type of wardrobe commonly used in India to store clothing. Almirah is New Delhi’s gift to children’s sustainable fashion. The mother-daughter team at Almirah has filled their collection with beautiful, playful clothing that kids love to wear. Divya Bajpai, a 20-year veteran in the industry, and her daughter Aditi, chief designer, created an enrapturing line featuring the rich influence of Indian themes. Many pieces are constructed from 100% organic cotton, and sizes range from infants to 10 years old.

All of the clothing is easy-on-the-eyes, invoking memories of soft summery days. A complete line is available, from dresses and shirts to one-pieces for infants and night clothes. Modern block and hand-screen prints abound. Friendly animals make their appearance, from camels and owls to elephants and sleepy tigers.

Almirah also creates toys, accessories, and footwear. Customer favorites include cheery blankets in a variety of styles, sure to keep baby covered. Soft blue and pink butterflies flutter about on girls’ tops, the perfect match for a pair of light, crisp white trousers. Busy parents will adore generous bags in red and white decorated with thoughtful elephants –– they provide ample space for gear and are chic to boot.

Bring the beauty and elegance of India to your customers at www.thealmirah.com

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