Whitehorse City Council

Fair Trade & Ethical Shopping

Whitehorse celebrated Fair Trade Fortnight from 5-21 May 2017 with a focus on Fair Trade Fashion. Find out what happened

Make a difference by switching to Fair Trade today

FairTrade - IndiaWhat is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is about better prices, good working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries. By requiring companies to pay fair prices, Fair Trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the most vulnerable producers. With greater financial stability, producers can plan for the future and improve their livelihoods.

 

What is Fair Trade fashion?

The Fair Trade fashion movement aims to transform fashion supply chains to have minimal impact on the environment; and to advocate for the rights of the people who make our clothes, ensuring they are paid fair wages, have safe working conditions and access to fundamental human rights.

 

City of Whitehorse is a Fair Trade Community

The City of Whitehorse became a Fair Trade Community in 2011. This status means that Council supports farmers and workers in developing countries through a range of initiatives, including awareness-raising events such as the annual Fair Trade Fortnight program.

Ethical Shopping

FairTrade productsShopping ethically takes into consideration many factors. Thinking about the human rights record, corporate accountability, farming methods, distance the product has travelled to your supermarket, what is paid for the raw produce and much more.

By buying products that you believe are produced ethically you can support companies that demonstrate ethical practices. There is no right or wrong way to shop ethically. If you consider the use of animals as unethical then you can choose to avoid products that do this. Others may consider human rights records of companies more important and shop accordingly.

There are five principles used in ethical shopping:

  • Ask yourself 'Do I need it?'
  • Remember that your choice can make a difference
  • Don't be overwhelmed. Do your research and learn about issues behind shopping. 
  • Go for the best buy. There are many products available but it doesn't mean you'll always find the one you want. It's ok to take the best available at the time
  • Make it a habit to pick ethical products every time you shop. Even if its just one product from your whole shopping list 

The Ethical Consumer Guide (published by the Ethical Consumer Group) provides useful information on the environmental and social record of companies behind the brand names of common supermarket products. The information is based on assessment gathered from organisations such as Greenpeace, Choose Cruelty Free, Corporate Monitor, Reputex, Responsible Shopper and Sustainability Victoria.

Council has produced the pdf icon Every Choice Matters – Fair Trade Groceries booklet (1.36MB) so you can find out how your purchasing choices can help communities in developing countries. Council also launched a new booklet with information called the PDF icon Every Choice Matters – Fair Trade Fashion booklet (5.50MB) which showcases some up and coming Australian ethical fashion brands.

For more information, contact the Sustainability Team on 9262 6155 or email green@whitehorse.vic.gov.au

For details on Fair Trade initiatives around Australia, visit www.fairtrade.com.au or download the Fair Trade Association's pdf icon Fair Trade Shopping Guide 2015 (2.76MB)


Project Partners

Fairtrade logo   Fairtrade Association