About Fair Trade

Who are we?
Fairtrade Lifestyle is a family-run retail business owned and managed by Peter Knight and Shirley Wilson, who manufacture and import a range of lighting, furniture and ethnic craft products from a variety of countries. Our unique offerings are all hand-produced by indigenous crafts people.

The business was founded by Peter when he returned to live in England after living and working for more than 20 years in various countries across the Middle East and Asia and seeing firsthand the effect that some non fair trade business had on local communities and the environment. Peter and Shirley both travel extensively each year supporting the crafts people and communities they work with and developing new products to support the business involved.

Fairtrade Lifestyle has dedicated its business to creating a positive change for the poorest of the poor. This means that fair trade is at the core of every business decision we make.

Committed to Fair Trade
Our suppliers are highly skilled, and many of the families and crafts people we work with pass on their traditional expertise from generation to generation. Our policy is to bypass the middleman and pay the communities and families producing the products direct. This ensures crafts people receive a fair price, and the money we pay is channelled directly into local economies.

What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.

Fair trade supports farmers and crafts people in developing countries that are socially and economically marginalised. These producers lack economic opportunity and often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.

Fair trade is much more than just trade. At the core of the fair trade model is a direct, cooperative, and in-depth relationship between buyers and sellers that keeps all of the principles of fair trade at the forefront.

What Does that Really Mean?
Fair Trade is about making an impact on crafts people and farming communities as well as individual lives while offering great products to the public.

Fairly traded clothing, coffee, food, furniture, home decor, housewares, jewellery, tea, toys, personal accessories, and many other products are available from Fair Trade Organisations. Communities are improved; nutritional needs met; health care costs are covered; the poor, especially women, are empowered; the environmental impact of production, sourcing, and transport is mitigated to the fullest extent possible. 

FAIR TRADE PRINCIPLES

CREATE OPPORTUNITY for crafts people and farmers who live in poverty and lack access to long term, well paying jobs. Fair Trade suppliers act in the interest of these producers to improve their quality of life.

DEVELOP TRANSPARENT & ACCOUNTABLE RELATIONSHIPS with crafts people and farmers, to ensure that they have long-term jobs. Fair trade buyers and fair trade producers are honest with each other and work together to solve problems.

BUILD CAPACITY of farmers, crafts people and their communities. Fair Trade buyers invest time and resources to help producers build their businesses and improve their communities.

PROMOTE FAIR TRADE by raising awareness about fair trade, educating customers and producers, and inspiring other businesses to adopt fair trade practices.

PAY PROMPTLY & FAIRLY and discuss prices openly and honestly, so that producers understand their costs and earn a fair wage. Fair Trade buyers also offer advance payment to help cover the cost of production.

SUPPORT SAFE & EMPOWERING WORKING CONDITIONS that are healthy and free of discrimination. In these workplaces, producers and employees have a voice in the decisions that affect them most.

ENSURE THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN by never using exploitative child labour. Fair Trade buyers support children’s right to security, education, and play thus respecting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

CULTIVATE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP by encouraging responsible use of resources and eco-friendly means of production. Fair Trade suppliers reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible.

RESPECT CULTURAL IDENTITY Fair trade products and production methods reflect the history and traditions of crafts people, farmers and local community identities around the world.