Since 2004 Oxford has been a fairtrade city thanks to the work of the Oxford Fairtrade coalition. Their idea is to promote the fairtrade philosophy all around the town. Oxford has successfully achieved the 5 goals defined by the Fairtrade Foundation (you can find the details of each goal here). Thanks to their work, the city council is involved in promoting fairtrade products all around the city. In Oxford, you can also find fairtrade shops such as Fairtrade at St. Micheals or Headington Fairtrade in Oxford.
What is Fairtrade?
It is based on a simple idea: creating an economic model fairer to the producer. It is another way of doing business, a more sustainable one. The company is not only concerned about the economic part of its business, but also about the social and the environmental impact of its products. It is based on the sustainable development concept.
Nowadays, with the globalization, we know that the supply chain of a firm is more and more complex. Firms tend to have many different production sites and subcontractors, which has created incidents. We all have heard about the appalling accident in Bangladesh in 2013 at the Rana Plaza. This event has alarmed consumers, but also governments and companies. The G7, in 2015, all agreed about the importance of improving the work conditions throughout the supply chain and implementing some due diligence procedures (you can find some more details about the G7 commitments here). In the UK, the Modern Slavery Act, requires companies to report their actions in order to prevent modern slavery in their supply chain and to increase transparency (you can find more information about it here).
- Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
- Transparency and Accountability
- Fair Trading Practices
- Fair Payment
- Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
- Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
- Ensuring Good Working Conditions
- Providing Capacity Building
- Promoting Fair Trade
- Respect for the Environment
Focus on the fashion industry:
« The clothing industry is the 2nd largest in the world. The fashion industry could actually be used to galvanise livelihoods amongst the most rural and economical marginalised population in the world » Safia Minney
She showed us that business can also be ethic and sustainable throughout its supply chain. She is committed to create a more sustainable fashion industry by developing the first organic and fairtrade clothing supply chain. Now, she is also a managing director of a fairtrade company which manufactures fairtrade shoes, Po-zu. In the meantime, she campaigns to raise awareness of modern slavery in the fashion industry via a book « Slave to fashion »
Here is the trailer of the True cost, a documentary about the fashion industry in the world: