Life & Style

5 ways to fairtrade

In a world that’s steering itself towards mindfulness and meditation on one hand and blind profiteering on the other, it makes sense to pause and look at the way we shop. While going organic feeds our health and our environmental responsibility, fairtrade practices help those who feed us.

Fairtrade isn’t just a certification that concerns business owners. Eventually, it boils down to us, to help ensure we are not part of the cycle of exploitation. After having completed four years in India Fairtrade India, launched #SpotTheMark on November 13, a month-long campaign (on till December 20) aimed at helping us identify the symbol and make an informed choice each time we shop. It can also help when picking a hotel: for example, IBIS and Novotel stock fairtrade bath linen and tea.

On why we need to be educated about the movement, Abhishek Jani, CEO, Fairtrade India, says, “We are often not aware of our purchase decisions and their impact on farmers and workers down the production chain, but we would not take a decision knowingly to support exploitative production methods.” Citing examples of Delhi’s air pollution and the burning of crop stubble, he adds, “If we, as consumers, are going to look at the cheapest products, the farmers will also look at the cheapest way of doing things, burning crop stubble being just one. If they get a fair price, they will commit to better practices.”

Here’s a list of Fairtrade-certified food and fashion products you could opt for:

Tea from Makaibari

5 ways to fairtrade

“Fairtrade is in the ethos of Makaibari,” says Rudra Chatterjee, who currently owns majority stake in the company that has manufactured tea since 1859. He talks of how the community has developed because of the association, with a computer centre and library now available to the families of workers. Investments in sports equipment have also led to greater participation in sport. “Tea is not just a commodity; it’s a way of life,” he says. Available at most gourmet stores and on

Casual wear at Tuuda

5 ways to fairtrade

Going the fairtrade way meant a lot to Siddharth Potharaju, who hails from a family of farmers in Andhra Pradesh. Tuuda (cotton tree in Sanskrit) was launched last month and works with freelance designers, sourcing from Chetna Organic and producing in Mandala Apparels, both Fairtrade organisations. “We do everyday minimalistic casuals,” says Potharaju, who plans to expand to the US soon. Available on


by Pascati

5 ways to fairtrade

When Devansh Ashar discovered how the Indian cacao farming community was being exploited, he decided to make chocolate the bean-to-bar way (no alkalising agent is used, so its nature is not changed), go organic and fairtrade. “Parity in the supply chain is important,” says Ashar, who has a degree in hotel management. He began operations in May 2015 with Pascati, derived from the Sanskrit term pascat parivasya, meaning a sweet meal. The brand retails out of speciality stores in the country, and online on and


by Soul Space

Rajat Jaipuria, a third-generation textile-business owner, while on a college project on an organic farm, began feeling strongly about sustainable farming practices. A few years later, he started manufacturing and supplying organic cotton T-shirts to organisations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty and Oxfam. Last year, he opened Soul Space, an athleisure brand for the Indian market. “We are a high-end but affordable brand, with no compromise on quality,” he says. Available online on and and a few stores in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Goa.

Footballs by Indpro

5 ways to fairtrade

The sports goods industry is, for the most part, a cottage industry that employs children. Indpro, set up in 2009, got their Fairtrade certification this year. “We have a close association with our workers and have always followed government regulations,” says Tejbir Sodhi, who manages the company and heard about the certification from a client in France. Call 9216499165 or email for a fairtrade football.

Leisure wear by No Nasties

5 ways to fairtrade

The brand founded in 2011 by Apurva Kothari and Shweta Deliwala, is aimed at making clothes that create a consumer movement. The rise in farmer suicides and the fact that Kothari felt he was living only for himself, propelled him to align with both organic and fairtrade. Available on

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 7:20:38 PM |

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