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Why Fairtrade?

fairtrade

What is “Fairtrade”?

Fairtrade ensures that the production of goods is fair and kind to those throughout the manufacturing process. By working with farmers and crafts people Fairtrade ensures that they get paid properly for their time, energy and skills. This in turn allows them to afford to live a decent life and provide for their family. Empowerment of producers is at the core of Fairtrade’s work as they make sure that they have an equal voice.

This video explains the chain of production and why Fairtrade makes a difference.

 

How does something get Fairtrade mark?fairtrade

This Fairtrade mark appears on products when any ingredient within it that can be Fairtrade is. If only one ingredient, such as the cocoa, is Fairtrade then you may see a slightly different mark – like the one below. Fairtrade standards are independently checked by the Fairtrade Foundation to ensure that all within the chain, from farmer to shelf, are following the correct policies.

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Why is it more expensive?

Fairtrade products may have a higher price tag than corporate company products. This is because Fairtrade program’s put policies and standards in place to support farmers to earn a decent wage as well as communities benefitting from Fairtrade premiums. This money enables individual families to live in better conditions and funds safe water supplies, education and healthcare. By buying a Fairtrade product, not only will you have a wonderful gift for yourself but you will also have helped others around the world to experience fairness and kindness.

Fairtrade products at FairKind Child

Everything stocked at FairKind Child is either Fairtrade, ethically made and sourced or handmade locally in Sussex. Many of our wooden toys and games are Fairtrade, supplied by Lanka Kade. Some of the most popular include our alphabet dragons and alphabet dinosaur puzzles, wooden farm animals and wooden wild animals.

To learn more about Fairtrade you can visit the Fairtrade Foundations website.

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What’s so wrong with Plastic Toys?

What's so wrong with Plastic Toys?

I set up FairKind Child soon after having my son and finding it so hard to buy ethical, unique toys that are good for the environment. When I mention that I don’t supply plastics I am sometimes asked why – “What’s so wrong with plastic toys?” There are some good toys out there, such as construction toys, that are made from plastic. It can sometimes be hard to resist them. Thankfully more and more alternatives are being produced. I select my stock based on it’s impact to the people and communities that produce them, as well as the world and the child that plays with them.

Here are a few reasons why I choose not to supply Plastic to children.

Landfill!

The most obvious one..so many broken toys are sent to landfull each day because they cannot be recycled. The only way is to dismantle them into their material parts e.g. remove the metal bits, fabric bits etc. If they are still working you can offer them to a charity.

plastic landfill

Phthalates: What are phthalates?

Have you seen the sign “BPA Free” on baby’s bottles and other plastic items? BPA is a Phthalate. Phthalates are added to plastic to strengthen it. They have been identified as responsible for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development..and if that wasn’t enough – male fertility issues!!
As more and more is known about these groups of chemicals, each Phthalate is identified to cause health problems. Pregnant women and young children are more at risk.

Initally it was DEHP, which was replaced with DiNP only to find that DiNP is linked to male genital birth defects and impaired reproductive function in adult males.

Once BPA was identified as a health risk it was replaced with bisphenol S (BPS). Unfortunately now BPS has been around long enough for health effects to emerge. As these new chemicals are produced, there is insufficient information to identify their hazards over long periods.

HOWEVER, Cotton, Wood, Wool and other natural materials that have been around for centuries, are natural materials that have been tested for generations, so we know these materials are safe and long lasting for children’s products.

The images below show data relating to content of Phthalates in toys intended for children 3 or under.

Phthalates Risks in Children's Toys Quality issues

Unfortunately a number of companies do not comply with the necessary Regulations when exporting to the EU. This means that some high street toys are also subject to health risks. (Data taken from Prosafe website)
70% of the world’s toys are manufactured in China. There is nothing wrong with buying from China. Some tribes are fair trade and produce excellent toys. However when buying mass-produced plastic toys from China, you can never be sure of the production quality.

CE-vs-C-EMore so, China has produced their own verion of the CE mark and named it the China Export mark!! Try to become familiar with the differences between this and the real mark which has larger spacing in between – it’s tough to spot!

Here are some more statistics from Prosafe – a Non-Profit organisation that seeks to strengthen safety in products sold throuought the EEA.

Sadly toys that were least compliant with the legal CE toy Regulations were Rattles and Push along toys (‘O’ is Other).
You can see these statistics in more detail at

http://www.prosafe.org/images/Documents/JA2013/JA2013_Toys_Final_Technical_Report_24-02-2016.pdf