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What Is Fairtrade Fashion? Key Principles and Regulations

Updated: 5 days ago

The fashion industry is growing enormously with increased consumer demand for different fashion products. This has put extreme pressure on the labor community, clothing suppliers and producers, and the earth’s natural resources. 

In such a scenario where fashion trends are shifting in the blink of an eye, the concept of fairtrade or ethical fashion has appeared as a beacon of light. Fairtrade clothing showcases the importance of ethical fashion practices, the use of eco-friendly materials, and ensuring fair labor practices. 

Ethical fashion sounds fascinating and people somehow strive to promote it but they aren’t aware of the actual meaning of fair trade fashion. It has become increasingly crucial to prioritize the welfare of our planet and those who produce our clothing, making ethical fashion the optimal solution.

In today’s blog post, we’ll explore fair trade clothing and its importance. Furthermore, we’ll look into the key principles of fair trade fashion. Without delaying, let’s dive into it.

What Is Fair Trade Clothing in the Fashion Industry?

Fair Trade clothing refers to an international movement prioritizing this golden rule that everyone linked to the clothing supply chain is treated fairly. Simply put, clothing suppliers and manufacturers, labors, transporters, distributors, and others get the most ethical working conditions and fair price deals. This movement also encourages local communities, providing work opportunities where clothes and other fashion products are being manufactured.

Still, there are many countries, where workers aren’t fully aware of their rights.  According to a report published by the British Retail Consortium, most garment workers are paid less than the National Minimum Wage, don't have work contracts, and face tough work conditions. 

This shows why ethical manufacturing and fair trade are crucial for underdeveloped as well as developing countries.

Why Is Fair Trade Fashion Important?

Fairtrade fashion is important because it ensures that garment workers receive fair wages and work in safe conditions. By supporting fair trade practices, consumers can help improve the livelihoods of workers in developing countries, promote environmental sustainability, and combat exploitative labor practices in the fashion industry. 

Fairtrade Fashion also encourages transparency and accountability throughout the fashion supply chain, fostering a more ethical and socially responsible approach to production and consumption. When brands are transparent about where their clothes come from, it builds trust with consumers and holds them accountable. 

Ethical fashion also helps local artisans and communities thrive, preserving their skills and helping them grow sustainably. And it's not just brands driving this change; consumers who demand sustainability and fairness are making a big difference too.

Key Principles for Clothing Suppliers and Manufacturers

World Fair Trade Organization has documented certain principles to ensure fair trade of clothing globally. These principles or regulations should be implemented during the production operations, making fashion world fair and stylish.

Lydia Design Studio highly promotes sustainability and follows these fair trade fashion principles during all clothing manufacturing operations.

Here are the 10 fair trade fashion principles:

Providing Fair Working Conditions

This fair trade principle entails clothing business owners providing the best working conditions to their employees. They must ensure that their employees are working in nice and safe environments. Additionally, they are paid well according to their skill level and their working hours are not affecting their physical or mental health. 

Ensuring Producer’s Accountability

The fabric and clothing production process involves various stages including material sourcing from clothing suppliers, cutting and sewing, transportation, distribution and more. This fair trade principle ensures the producer’s accountability at every stage. 

The potential customers in the fashion industry must know everything behind the scenes. Whether it’s about the type of materials used, manufacturing practices, or work conditions for the employees. Every aspect of the clothing production process should be transparent and honest.

Commitment To No Child Labour

According to the UN Convention, no organization should force children to workplaces under a specific age limit. However, this trend is common in third-world and developing countries.

Clothing producers must abide by the rules and ensure no child labor. This fair trade principle says ‘big no’ to forced child labor. Children mustn’t be in factories, their primary right is to be in schools for their education.

Ensuring Fair Payment To Labor

This principle focuses on ensuring fair payment practices in several key areas. Firstly, it emphasizes the importance of negotiating fair prices that benefit all parties involved, including workers and clothing suppliers, allowing for a reasonable profit margin. 

Secondly, it focuses on the necessity of paying fair wages to workers, which should be in line with the local living wage standards. Additionally, wages should be based on no more than a 48-hour work week to promote a healthy work-life balance.

Providing Opportunites To Unprivileged Producers

When considering the clothing supply chain, not everyone gets equal opportunities. And that’s where this fair trade clothing principle comes in. It offers educational or skill-learning opportunities to individuals so that they become skilful and independent. 

Empowering Fair Trade Practices

Maintaining equitable relationships with clothing suppliers and through every link of the supply chains is paramount in the ethical fashion industry The fashion industry can be unfair to marginalized communities, leading to unethical practices. Fairtrade fashion aims to address this and create a more balanced and just system.

Promoting Fair Trade Practices

Promoting fair trade practices is essential for everyone who respects and cares about social and environmental well-being. In fact, people appreciate and recognize the companies implementing fair trade clothing practices.

No Discrimination Based on Religion and Gender

At the core of this principle lies the commitment to fairness and equality for all individuals, irrespective of their background or identity. It promotes inclusivity and collaboration to address societal challenges collectively. 

This principle upholds non-discrimination in employment, including hiring, compensation, training, promotion, termination, and retirement. Furthermore, it advocates for the empowerment of women by ensuring equal employment opportunities and fair compensation for their work.

Caring Environmental Resources

This fair trade clothing principle showcases the importance of using eco-friendly materials and sustainable clothing production practices. The fashion companies producing fair trade products tend to source local sustainable materials causing less harm to the environment. 

Moreover, they utilize energy-saving techniques and renewable energy resources to control their greenhouse gas emissions.

Encouraging Capacity Building

Fairtrade companies focus on the capacity building of their employees. They encourage them to improve their skills and gain better professional expertise, boosting their productivity in the fashion market.


Fair trade in fashion can be summarized as being fair to the people and the earth. It encourages consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing clothes. It highlights the following principles; providing fair wages to the labors, having equitable relations with clothing suppliers, no child labor, and being transparent and honest.

As a top clothing manufacturer in Atlanta, Lydia Design Studio implements the best sustainable practices in their clothing production processes. We ensure the most ethical clothing manufacturing practices and prioritize caring for our coworkers and the planet. 

If you're seeking a high-quality apparel manufacturer in Atlanta, USA that follows fair trade practices throughout the production process, book a consultation with our experienced team here.

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