10 Principles of Fair Trade

Updated: May 9, 2020

By Alex Berryman

In our opinion, Fair Trade is the only way to do trade. And that is why we are a member of the WFTO.

Maintaining and advocating for the rights of workers in the supply chain is not only good business but it is the right thing to do. At the end of the day, whether we are buying or sewing an item, we are all a part of the system and should be protected.

In honor of WFTO Fair Trade Day, we are celebrating the 10 principles of Fair Trade, highlighting how Purnaa upholds these principles every day.

WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade
10 Principles of Fair Trade

Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers

This is the reason Purnaa exists - to provide dignified employment to create fresh starts and fulfilled lives is why Purnaa was established. Every day, we produce high-quality goods so that Purnaa can expand and provide more opportunities for marginalized people in Nepal. Read more about our impact!

Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability

Transparency is important to us. Whether it's material sourcing or how the product is made, we build systems to increase transparency in the supply chain.

As a member of the WFTO, we receive an audit every 2 years to ensure we are being held accountable to these principles.

Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices

Never has 'treat others how you want to be treated' been more true. Upholding our core values of integrity, we see each vendor or brand as a partner. We exemplify fairness and mutual respect through fair pricing and timely payment.

Ethical manufacturer in Nepal

Principle Four: Fair Payment

Much like principle three, Fair Payment is due to mutual respect and integrity. Divided into Fair Payment's 3 parts, Purnaa implements Fair Prices with our brands and vendors, Fair Wages with staff, and even pays above the living wage in Nepal.

Read more on what the living wage is in Nepal and how Purnaa exceeds expectations.

Principle Five:  Ensuring No Child Labour and Forced Labour

As a member of the Freedom Business Alliance, Purnaa actively advocates against forced labour and also child labour in the industry. We ensure all staff receives an adequate wage and has access to all rights afforded to them by the law.

Principle Six:  Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association

At Purnaa we have a collective bargaining committee, elected by staff, which speaks on behalf of employees to ownership about salaries and benefits as well as initiates proposals that consider the concerns of employees. For example, the CBD recently held a meeting with owners to discuss how to best handle payment during lock-down. They decided to give a full month's salary right at the beginning and then a modified amount if the lockdown continued longer than a month.

Manufacturer Sewing Room

Principle Seven:  Ensuring Good Working Conditions

Another one of our 5 Core Values is Beauty. We make sure our facility is not only clean but also a pleasant and beautiful place to work. Often you will see drawings made by Purnaa staff adorning the walls, with messages of love and hope.

With big, bright windows and clean environments, it is important for all of Purnaa staff to enjoy where they work.

Principle Eight:  Providing Capacity Building

Knowing we are only as good as our staff, we are constantly building capacity and training. Two years ago, we hired Suzanne Allibone, a master sewing trainer, who works with our sampling and sewing teams to increase their capabilities.

Principle Nine:  Promoting Fair Trade

We actively participate in the conversation about Fair Trade. Just last month, Purnaa also celebrated Fashion Revolution, promoted Fair Trade online during a FB Live interview, and created content to spread awareness about fair trade practices in Nepal.

Recycling waste in ethical manufacturing

Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment

Fair Trade is about advocating for each level of the supply chain, and we recognize that that first link is the environment from which we get our resources. At Purnaa we do our best to preserve the environment around us but partnering with Doko Recyclers to ensure most waste from our facility is recycled.

I want to know more!

Want to learn more about what it is to be a WFTO Member? Check out their website.

What Can I do on Fair Trade Day? -- Find out

How can I make the most of certifications? -- Great question! Read more here