How to Support Workers This World Fair Trade Day

support fair trade garment workers and artisans direct giving
Photo by bach hanzo on

It’s World Fair Trade Day

All that “vote with your wallet” and “your purchase makes an impact” stuff has been frustratingly simplistic for a long time, but it leaves a particularly bad taste in my mouth in the midst of pandemic.

While, certainly, our purchasing choices do have consequences, posing purchasing power as a means to progress simply reinforces an unsustainable consumer economy, which is at least partially to blame for the incredible financial devastation of the past couple of weeks.

That being said, a lot of small, fair trade and independent business owners are struggling mightily right now, torn between the desire to keep their businesses viable at all and the need to continue to financially support vulnerable garment workers, both in the US and abroad.

Fair trade companies who have worked to provide living-wage alternatives for garment workers in the Global South are under particular stress because the social safety nets that have the capacity to keep Americans from drowning simply do not exist in these communities.

(Which is not to discount the reality that many, many Americans are drowning right now, as well).

With that in mind, I wanted to compile a resource dedicated to the growing number of relief funds set up to directly support garment workers, no purchase required. That’s not to say that you can’t also support through your purchases – just do what is best for you.

Fair Trade Companies Offering Direct Aid Funds for Garment Workers & Artisans

1 | Passion Lilie

Support the Resilience Fund.

OR Shop the Spring Collection.

2 | Tonle

Give directly to the Covid-19 Resilience Fund (through paypal)

OR Purchase a Sample Box

3 | Amani ya Juu

Support the Emergency Fund (through paypal)

Or, send a check made out to Amani Foundation and noted for the Emergency Fund to:
Amani Foundation Inc.
P.O. Box 28133
Chattanooga, TN 37424

OR Shop the Collection

4 | TELAstory

My friend Hannah’s fair trade factory in the Philippines is making medical supplies.

DM @telastoryphilippines to order product or learn how to donate.

5 | Ten Thousand Villages

Support their permanent Giving Fund

OR Shop products

6 | Global Mamas

Give to the Covid-19 Fundraiser

OR Shop their product selection

7 | Clothed in Hope

Donate directly here

OR Shop products

8 | Sudara

Support the Sudara Freedom Fund

OR Shop the ready-to-ship collection

9 | Mata Traders

Support garment workers in Nepal and India

OR Shop Mata Traders

10 | Ash & Rose

Ash & Rose’s shop and warehouse were totally destroyed by a water main break. Support them directly by venmo: @ashandrose

OR Buy face masks

Other Initiatives

I want to add more companies and organizations to this list, so please let me know of other initiatives and direct giving opportunities as you discover them.

More in the “Strange Times” pandemic series here.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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