We believe that people can support human rights, sustainable community development and the environment through the purchases we make. We believe that most people would do just that if they:
As importers of fairly traded textiles, our work includes educating consumers about the artisans' culture and living conditions, as well as the hidden costs of globalized "bargains" in today’s marketplace. We invite people to ask who makes the products they buy and under what conditions.
Our business practices are shaped by the 10 Principles of Fair Trade, as defined by the World Fair Trade Organization.
Fair trade practices actively encourage a safe and healthy work environment. They also encourage the sustainable use of local resources. This gives communities additional incentive to preserve their environments for future generations.
This all sounds good. But, unlike coffee, sugar and other commodities that are certified fair trade, certifying textiles as fair trade is more complex. As TAMMACHAT co-founder Alleson Kase says, "Classification or certification, whether for fair trade, organic or Canada Customs, always involves standardization; and the artisans we meet and the textiles we trade defy standardization."
Read more of Alleson's thoughts about fair trade and textiles in the April 25, 2008 entry in our Travel Blog.