Ethical shopping is increasing and trends like Fairtrade and organic will continue to grow as people want to know more about the provenance of their food, fashion and jewellery and the people who produce it.
Leading experts from across the fashion, jewellery and food sectors took part in a panel discussion on 11th July 2017 at the Good Housekeeping Institute chaired by the Fairtrade Foundation’s Head of Campaigns Jonathan Smith, and debated how and why people are increasingly seeking out more ethical choices.
New TNS research released today by the Fairtrade Foundation reveals that 77% people in the UK now say they care about Fairtrade, and 78% say they trust the label. One in four people (25%), are actively choosing to buy Fairtrade products when they shop.
By selecting Fairtrade, shoppers have created change through their everyday actions. They have supported farming communities to feed their families, fund ambulances, maternity clinics and health centres. Remote, marginalised communities now have infrastructure that didn’t exist before – schools, electricity and clean water.
Today, increasingly equitable ways of doing trade are needed more than ever. Many farmers in countries such as Malawi, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire all contribute to the tea, coffee and cocoa we enjoy in the UK, but are still living in poverty: Tea pickers in Malawi earn less than £1.46 a day, not enough to provide decent food, education or healthcare for their families. 1 in 3 people in Kenya’s coffee and tea growing regions live in poverty. The average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire lives on around 38p a day.
The expert speakers agreed that sustainable products, services and behaviours are the future. They are better for business, consumers and the planet, and increasingly asked for by consumers. They explored some of the sustainable and ethical trends for Christmas and New Year and how people can make a small change to help more people around the world.
The panel agreed unanimously that working conditions, transparency, supply chains, and the environment must be put at the heart of each industry in order to gain momentum. Only then can we can start to tackle consumption habits, and how brands communicate the positive steps they are taking.
Liz Earle, MBE, founder of Liz Earle Wellbeing and Fair and Fine Jewellery talked about the importance of building ethical brands and how this spills over into the world of wellbeing and sustainable sourcing. “If we can achieve an ethical and fair provenance for goods as transient as a T-shirt, surely we can also work towards creating a fairer and more transparent journey for the gold that we wear as jewellery – something also worn next to our skin and so often given as a symbol of eternal love. Fairtrade gold gives us that opportunity.”
Food writer Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley & Hemsley shared her experience of food trends and what’s hot now. The healthy eating movement is becoming more than just what we put on our plates, it’s crossing to fashion and lifestyle too as it becomes a whole way of life.
Lucy Shea, CEO of change agency Futerra said: “The Fashion Revolution campaign spear-headed the need for change to fast fashion to a more conscious creation. This echoes many of the trends in food and wellbeing. With so much media, the internet and constant scrutiny everywhere people have the means to ask questions and businesses must provide the answers.
“We can, and we must, imagine a better world. Because mindset is fundamental to creating change. The fashion industry will play an important role in making this happen. Let’s get to work!”
Award-winning chef, food writer, food-waste campaigner Tom Hunt prioritises people and the environment within his work and believes in a fair global food system where our actions benefit community, biodiversity and wildlife.
“People are more aware about where their food comes from, whether it’s local or has a longer supply chain – things like coffee, tea and cocoa that aren’t grown in the UK. It’s all about how to cook sustainably, enjoying the things you love without feeling bad!”
Press release from Fairtrade