10 Fairtrade Business' You Should Know About – Ethnic Collective Co.

10 Fairtrade Business' You Should Know About

Fairtrade fortnight runs from 21st February to 6th March, this years' focus is  on standing with farmers to seek climate justice, and the impact of climate change on Fairtrade farmers and producers around the world. You can get involved by joining  the global community for a free festival of online events that will educate and inspire us to choose the world we want to see.

If you have missed out on any of the great talks and presentations they have held, it is all accessible on demand at:


Fairtrade fortnight is the perfect opportunity for me to share some of my favourite sustainable, fair trade businesses that are doing their bit to improve our world for the better. Check out our favourite 10 Fair trade business' and learn more about the good work they are doing, enacting change. 


Yuhme water bottle with bold african design


Founders Alex & Alexandra are a husband and wife team who were looking for an inspiring business venture, one where they could make a difference.

They landed on a water bottle (coming from sports backgrounds themselves) and have created one from a special type of bio plastic, not produced from oil but made of sugarcane.

 Sugarcane has a negative CO2 footprint. For every ton of bio plastic produced, 2.4 tons of CO2 is removed!

Starting out supporting their charity partner Water For Good, they now also have a bottle that donates to the Sewing Together Training Centre in Mombasa.

Each bottle either provides at least 3 months of clean water to one person in the Central African Republic via our partner Water for Good or at least 1 week of clean water to the Sewing Together Training Centre in Mombasa depending on what design you choose.


 Natural Basket with coloured embroidered designs

The Basket Room

Founders Camilla and Holly have worked hard to build up a strong workforce of over 3000 weavers in East Africa.

Mostly female, they are all part of co-operatives, which doesn't just support them financially, giving them independence and the means to send their children to school, but it also gives them a social life as they weave, chat and laugh in the African sun.

Do check out their website as they share so much content about the makers of these beautiful baskets.

This is what transparent sourcing is all about, educating the customer so they know exactly where their product has come from, how it was made and who they are supporting by purchasing.

Their range is extensive too, incorporating so many designs into their ranges, many inspired by the nature surrounding the weavers.


 Silver rings


Founder Dawn has spent her years travelling the globe finding the best places to source amazing handicrafts from. With her young daughter by her side she has built connections with artisans in India and established her brand OMishka. She offers a range of jewellery, clothing, homeware and accessories.

I strive to work ethically and fair trade, supporting the same local artisans and small family businesses that have equally supported me since the start of OMishka. Each one of my products is lovingly designed and consciously created by hand, using a high skill of expertise - Dawn Hardwick, Founder


 founder Sally in her Lucy and Yak Dungarees

Lucy & Yak

A well known clothing brand in the UK, their story comes from humble beginnings. Make sure you check it out on their website, they have a very cute cartoon:


They share a lot on their website about the positive changes they are making, including sharing photos and anecdotes from their tailors in India.

  • 98% of their fabrics are organic or recycled (polyester made from plastic bottles)
  • The organic cotton is GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard)

Organic cotton is good because:

  • It reduces your environmental footprint
  • No toxic chemicals are used when growing
  • It uses 88% less water and 62% less energy to grow than conventional cotton, due to it been grown in high rainfall areas as opposed to farmers needing to irrigate the land and divert water from the rivers.



Green hazelnut chocolate bar piled high on other chocolate bars

Tony's Chocoloney

Acting to eradicate modern slavery and illegal child labour on cocoa farms in West Africa, Tony’s mission is to make all chocolate 100% slave-free. Tony's choose to work in Ghana and the Ivory Coast as this is where the  biggest issues are in cocoa farming. The want to make positive change at the forefront.

Tony’s sourcing principles for slave free cocoa is available on their website:


The amount of information they share about their mission and their impact is seriously impressive, PLUS their chocolate is THEE BEST out there. Don't take my word for it, get to the shops and grab a bar yourself.

"Our large bars become unequally divided because it's strange for a chocolate bar to have equal pieces while the industry is still so unequally divided. We develop our roadmap on the way to 100% slave-free chocolate."


 Veja trainers in white and green


The Veja trainer has taken the footwear market by storm, since 2005 founders have been working to create environmentally friendly trainers, made with raw materials and sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without using chemicals or polluting processes.

Amazonian Rubber - they pay twice the market price and buy the rubber directly from cooperatives formed by families of rubber tappers.

Find out more here:


VEJA work directly with producers and cut out the middleman .They also pre-finance harvests as much as 40%. In other words, buying organic cotton a year before it's transformed into sneakers.

At the beginning of the year they agree on the price of cotton signing an annual contract with the producers. That way, the producers know how much they will earn from the harvest before planting a single seed.

black tshirt with white winking eye

Origin Africa

ORIGIN's sole aim is raising funds for humanitarian development projects through the sale of ethically produced clothing. 100% of profits are invested in locally driven businesses with a targeted social purpose, and they are run by inspiring local people.

The project directly affects these chosen entrepreneurs, helping them create social mobility, financial independence, job creation & social change in their community

"We know what happens when a woman earns money. She is far more likely to spend her earnings on the health and education of her children and to invest in improving her family's standard of living."

Leila Janah, Give Work 2019

Every project they support must be:

  • Locally Led
  • Sustainable for local people
  • Have a selected Social Impact Goal
  • Be realistic and culturally appropriate in the local setting


beaded bracelets, in white and black

Sidai Designs

Sidai Designs collaborates with Maasai women in Tanzania to create handmade contemporary jewellery and homewares. They to provide economic opportunity for Maasai women and girls by training them to produce unique, high quality beaded designs using the traditional techniques of their tribe.

Their work aims to celebrate and preserve Maasai beading techniques while elevating the traditional methods.

Employing 12 full time beaders, they provide 120 piece-rate beaders with supplementary income that supports their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Profits go towards offering educational workshops twice a month on a range of topics chosen by the women.


 Sustainable clothing white trousers pink jacket


Founder Kalkidan Legesse created Sancho's with a mission of making sustainable fashion accessible - their focus is sourcing through fair, safe and equitable trade.

They sell a range of sustainable fashion brands, and allocate 30% of their budget to Black Owned and Size inclusive brands to ensure sustainable fashion is inclusive. They have a bricks and mortar shop in Exeter and a fabulous website too.

Sancho's has also been one of the first brands I have seen offer transparent pricing. What does this mean?...

Transparent Pricing Is A Method of Selling That Enables To Pay What They Can Afford. They Can Shop 3 price options with their 'Transparent Pricing Collection.'

The lowest price covers just the cost of the item and shipping, the middle price covers the above and our overheads such as the shop and staff wages, and the top price covers all of the above with a bit more to invest into the future of Sancho’s so they can continue to provide the products you love.

Read the article below:



 black and white activewear

 Girlfriend Collective

 This activewear brand focuses on inclusivity and conscious shopping, while also producing ethically made active wear. Their leggings and sports bras are made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex. Using recycled plastic bottles they use 25 in each pair of leggings, stopping them going to landfill.

The brand calls themselves 'Earth's number one fan'

Their fabric is dyed with eco-friendly dyes and the wastewater is carefully cleaned and cooled before it is released. They donate the dye mud to a local pavement facility where it’s recycled into sidewalks and roads too! So eco conscious and we love it.

Really enjoyed learning more about this brand, and even bought a pair of their shorts from Sancho's (our number 9) and love their labelling, informative yet like chatting to your girlfriend.


A bit about Ethnic Collective:

Founded from a desire to bring together hand crafted homeware from differing cultures, we buy in small batches directly from the artisans. Pieces are unique as they are hand crafted, so tell a story of their own. The makers use centuries old methods to produce both traditional and contemporary styles.  We want to share our sourcing process with our customers, transparency is key. Our mission is

Is to educate our community on the traditional techniques and craftmanship, taking you on the journey as we work with the artisans to develop new product.



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