What is fair trade?
Simply put, fair trade is paying a fair living wage for the work a person is doing. This means they are able to pay for basic necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education. Factors for determining a fair wage include minimum wage for the area often using NGO information, as well as the time, material, and skill level that is needed. It is achieved by working directly with the producer or artisan.
The Fair trade Federation outlines* the following principles for fair trade practices:
1.Create opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
3. Build Capacity
4. Promote Fair Trade
5. Pay Promptly and Fairly
6. Promote Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
7. Ensure the Rights of Children
8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
9. Respect Cultural Identity
*The principles above are found and explained in further depth at fairtradefederation.org [2015]

My item is not a certified Fair Trade item. Is it still fair trade?
Identifying an item as fair trade works in two main ways:

There are a few organizations (Fair Trade USA, Fairtrade International, and Fair for Life) that certify a specific item that a company sells as fair trade. They are made in Fair Trade Certified factories ensuring safe labor conditions, no child or forced labor, and fair living wages. In addition, a percentage is paid to the factory, called a premium. The workers democratically determine through a democratically elected board how to spend this money to improve their community. It is more commonly used for agricultural items such as coffee, tea, cotton, chocolate, rice, fruit, etc). However, it is starting to see more involvement in clothing, sports, cosmetics, and other industries.
There are other organizations that evaluate a company as a whole such as the Fair Trade Federation, World Fair Trade (WFTO), and Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA).

A large number of Fair + Simple partners are members of the Fair Trade Federation


How does the Fair + Simple Card Work?
For the mindful giver, purchase a $40 “Fair and Simple Card" to give to your friend. The recipient can then choose any single item from our quality collection of responsibly made items, and have it shipped directly to them.