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In Focus: Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a philosophy all about respect between human beings. Our Fair Trade brands ensure that they pay their suppliers a fair price and that their employees are also paid a fair and living wage and provided with job security, development and training. Millions of garment industry workers from cotton farmers to seamstresses are not paid fairly in order to keep costs down and product prices as low as the fast fashion system demands. All of our brands take care of their employees and pay a Living Wage whilst others also work with Fairtrade certified materials. Read on to discover more about each one.

KOWTOW

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As well as being known for producing their entire collection out of Organic Cotton, Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLOI). The benefits are clear. 

The Fairtrade guaranteed minimum price covers the costs of production and provides a sustainable livelihood for Kowtow cotton producers. 

The Fairtrade premium enables co-operatives to fund projects that benefit the organisation and wider community: business and agricultural training; drilling bore holes for clean water; building schools and clinics.

Kowtow fair trade producers benefit from advance payment and long-term relationships with buyers.

Kowtow fair trade producer groups are democratically run and respect the rights of farmers and farm workers.

Fair trade production standards encourage sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment.

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KOMODO

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Since the beginning Komodo's business ethics have always been a priority and it’s always been important that the way in which they manufacture their products be sensitive to the environment and that the people involved at every step of the process are treated with respect, receive a fair wage and are not expected to work in uncomfortable or hazardous conditions. Komodo visit their factories regularly and always discuss logistical improvements with them.  

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No child labour or forced labour
In accordance with the International Labour Conventions (ILO) no child labour will be used in the production of our garments. The factories used by Komodo do not employ any underaged employees. Factories are required to keep an employee register and age certification is mandatory in order to sign a contract of employment.

No Exploitation of Work Force
Exploitation of the local workforce still does occur in today's globalized economy. So it is important to be vigilant. Typically employees work a 42-hour week, their wages being paid regularly with overtime being voluntary and paid. Workers are entitled to a 1-hour break in every 8-hour shift. They also have one day a week off and are allowed to observe religious and cultural holidays of which there are many. Factories work with time cards systems in order to log hours worked by their staff. 

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Regular Meetings are held between the owners of the factories and their staff whereby any grievances or complaints the workforce might have is addressed and resolved.

Additional Employee Benefit
These differ between factories, but include programs like residential dormitories, food allowances and internal medical insurance programs.

Living Wage
Komodo insist that all our suppliers pay their staff a decent living wage.

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EDGE OF EMBER

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Edge of Ember work with workshops and organisations in Nepal, Bali and Cambodia. All of the artisans that work with these organisations are paid far above the minimum wage and respected for the skills they can offer. Edge of Ember's Nepalese workshop spend time training young men and women, empowering them to work independently, whilst also supporting them with outsourced work. They also support the families of their workers as much as they can with health, education and everyday struggles. At the Balinese workshop, the owner provides the artisans with lunch everyday and will support any of the workers with advance payments if needed for personal reasons. The Cambodian workshop provide workers with training in different traditional crafts, as well as computer, management and development skills. They also offer money saving schemes and staff health insurance, empowering them to take control of their finances and providing them with sustainable livelihoods.

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