There’s nothing quite like the feeling of weaving your way through a bustling, colourful market. Of being pulled this way and that, cajoled, sweet-talked, harassed and harangued– only to bust out your travel-savvy, hard-nosed, no-nonsense, don’t screw me over, I will bargain you down to a fair price if it kills me, all-time haggling moves. We've all been there. The problem is, when you’re elbow-deep in a market far from home, you have no way of knowing what the “fair” price actually is.
And if we're not paying a "fair" price for the gifts and additions to our home that we purchase while travelling, in department stores or while shopping online, there is a high chance that someone, or some people, somewhere have paid an absolutely "unfair".
The figures on modern slavery are somewhat murky - because the crime is largely hidden, data is relatively scarce. But the estimates don't paint a pretty picture. The Global Slavery Index puts the number of people trapped in modern slavery at 35.8 million. And a more conservative estimate from the International Labor Organization in 2012 suggests 20.9 million - with over half of the victims (11.8 million) reported to be subjected to forced labour in their place of origin or residence. So with over 10 million people trapped in forced labour - men, women and children, I don't know about you, but as a consumer, I feel like I have a responsibility to ensure I am not contributing to people remaining trapped in slavery and possibly even growing this industry by increasing demand. In fact I want to do the opposite! I want to use my consumer power to take a stand again modern slavery and to provide fair, meaningful and sustainable employment for vulnerable communities.
That's why Wanderlust People is committed to making sure that all of our treasures are not just beautiful, but also fairly traded. We have done the legwork to make sure that all of our goods are ethically sourced, providing a fair price for the craftspeople and produced under safe conditions. To this end, most of our goods are certified Fairtrade, which guarantees a fair prices for producers as well as decent working conditions, sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Fairtrade means that farmers and producers in the developing world get a better deal through:
- A fair and stable price for their produce
- Security of long-term contracts
- Investment in local community development
- Improved working conditions
- Environmentally sustainable farming methods
- Support in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to operate successfully in the global economy
You can read more about our philosophy here
WHY IS ETHICAL SHOPPING IMPORTANT?
The unfortunate truth is that injustices within the conventional trade system have seen the poorest producers discriminated against. In conventional trade, we see issues like sweat-shops, child labour, big business and global brands monopolising markets, and poor farmers and producers getting priced out of the markets. Under this system, the rich get richer and the poor remain the poorest. As consumers, one of the most practical ways we can make a difference to this equation and see the gap between rich and poor diminish is by making ethical consumption choices. Buying Fairtrade certified products is an easy way to be sure you are making an ethical choice.
HOW DO I KNOW WANDERLUST PEOPLE PRODUCTS ARE ETHICAL?
We guarantee that all the items we stock are ethically sourced, with most Fairtrade certified. For a product to display the Fairtrade Mark it must meet the international social, economic and environmental standards which are set by the certification body Fairtrade International. These standards are agreed through a process of research and consultation with key participants in the Fairtrade scheme, including producers themselves, traders, NGOs, academic institutions and labelling initiatives.
THAT’S WHY WANDERLUST PEOPLE IS COMMITTED TO:
- Treating producers with respect at all levels of our interaction, including ensuring all artefacts are ethically produced and sourced
- Pursuing sustainability - for people, communities and the planet
- Upholding the traditional craftsmanship of our producers and supporting skills development for future generations
And the thing is we know it's impossible to get it right all of the time! We don't want you to never make a purchase at an overseas market again. But we also firmly believe that we can make a difference. We don't have to turn a blind eye to slavery and as consumers we do have the power to make a difference. And actually we have really beautiful, authentic, alternatives for you! So, you're welcome :-)