Ethical: /adjective/- relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.
Fair Trade: /noun/- trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries.
For the last few years, I have been working as a Noonday Collection ambassador. I often get asked questions about the work I’m doing as an ambassador and why I’ve chosen this. I’ve decided to break this blog series into three posts- first, to tell you a little bit about ethical + fair trade practices, second to tell you about my job with Noonday Collection, and the third to tell you how you can get involved. All photos used in these posts either belong to Noonday Collection or were taken by the amazing Emily Megan Photography.
A few years ago, I was invited to my first Noonday Collection trunk show and upon being at the show, I got to listen to many stories of women and men who were coming out of poverty because of the work of Noonday Collection ambassadors creating marketplaces and selling their products. Before I decided I could be all in, I needed to do a little bit of my own research.
Before this encounter with Noonday Collection, I had no idea that there were people being treated unfairly for the things I was buying. (Yes, I was extremely small-brained, but I didn’t understand.) Often, because of the quickness and way of the world, we compromise how we treat workers by paying them cheap labor costs and allow them to work in poor work conditions. But we shouldn’t. We should be concerned about growing a diverse world where people are supported in their jobs, given safe working conditions, and are cared for by their employers. Many, mainly women, clothing workers who create clothing move to an unfamiliar place, to get an income that won’t even cover a quarter of the bills that they have to pay, will work in unsafe work conditions, and sometimes even risk being beaten by their employers, just to have a job. Would you work a job where this was the case? I would think that we wouldn’t, but these women, most in other countries are desperate to make an income.
As we explore fair trade fashion together, I just want to educate you. I want you to walk away wondering who is on the other end of your purchases and what they are getting out of it- income? abuse? heartache? illness? As we continue to venture through this series together, I’ll be praying specifically that we can become women who are thinking of the women, men, and sometimes even children making the items we buy. If you’re curious about how to start shopping more ethically and through fair trade fashion, continue following along on this blog page!