Drink, Eat, Wear & Play - Take a Step for Fairtrade Fortnight (27 Feb - 11 March)

I was wondering what to write about for next week’s Fairtrade Fortnight and the Fairtrade Foundation‘s Take a Step campaign. What brands should I talk about? What steps have I taken for Fairtrade? What steps are our customers making?

Fairtrade Foundation - Take a Step in 2012

Fairtrade Foundation - Take a Step in 2012


What I realised was that there was so much I could talk about, which has got to be a good thing. For one the Fairtrade label is now well known and I can now buy with confidence in so many shops and cafes. From the coffee we freshly make in the office every morning (Sainsbury’s Fairtade So Organic, Percol, Cafe Direct - we do like to mix it up) to the tea and instant coffee I drink at home from Clipper and the bananas and flowers I buy from Waitrose. We can now even nibble on Harry’s Nuts, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and wash ourselves in Visionary Soap. all which makes it easy to take a step for Fairtrade.

Percol Fairtrade Coffee

Percol Fairtrade Coffee

Fairtrade is established in fashion too, writing this I’m even wearing my favourite pair of purple Fairtrade Pants to Poverty and a Fairtrade organic cotton tshirt from SPUK and in my wardrobe I’ve got lots of things from People Tree. And this morning I’ve just read a double page spread in the Metro on Fairtrade fashion including Fairtrade gold jewellery, so it’s easy to step out in Fairtrade style.

Fairtrade Pants to Poverty

Fairtrade Pants to Poverty

We were really excited when the Fairtrade Foundation told us about this year’s theme Take a Step - it fits our Fairtrade footballs and Fairtrade trainers perfectly as both are foot-based. Over the country we have thousands of customers taking Fairtrade steps, everytime they put their ETHLETIC trainers on.

In the office we tried to estimate how many steps people over the years in had taken our trainers, but the numbers got so big and confusing that we had to give up. How often do people wear our trainers versus their other shoes was just the tip of the discussion! It’s safe to say there have been millions and millions of Fairtrade steps in our ETHLETIC shoes over the years.

ETHLETIC Trainers - Fairtrade Trainers

ETHLETIC Trainers - Fairtrade Trainers

Plus there are hundreds of schools and football clubs up and down the country playing with our Fairtrade footballs and sportsballs - so how many steps have there been during those games for Fairtrade? We didn’t even try to work this one out, how many steps do primary school kids take in a game versus a youth club game was just one conundrums we asked?

Fairtrade Football - Premier High Vis Fairtrade Football

Fairtrade Football - Premier High Vis Fairtrade Football

So what steps can you take for Fairtrade? Well there’s no excuse, every time you walk into shop or cafe look out for the Fairtrade mark and buy Fairtrade. If it isn’t there ask the retailer nicely why they don’t stock Fairtrade or even write to their head office - little steps will become big steps and retailers will listen.

Take a step now and get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight - register your steps here

Shop Fairtrade Trainers now

Shop Fairtrade Footballs now



Spotted - Our Fairtrade Balls in Co-op!

I was really pleased that Co-operative Food opened a new store at the top of my road in Brighton, they’re an ethical business like us, and they stock a great range of Fairtrade goods including great Fairtrade wines!

In the past we’ve supplied The Co-Operative with bespoke footballs and rugby balls, but I was surprised when the first thing I saw when I walked in was a big picture of some kids having fun with our Fairtrade rugby balls! We’re going to try and find out who and what this community group is.

Our Fairtrade Rugby Balls - Pictured in our local Co-operative Food

Our Fairtrade Rugby Balls - Pictured in our local Co-operative Food

Supermarkets should do more to stock Fairtrade products but we as customers need to show there is a strong demand for them. So next time you’re in the supermarket, make sure there’s lots of Fairtrade brands in your basket.

Check out our ethical Fairtrade rugby balls.

We also offer a promotional football / sports ball service for orders over 300 balls.

Pants to Poverty!

Just in time for Christmas, Fair Corp are offering you a new line of ethical, Fairtrade fashion in the form of organic underwear! We are selling a fantastic range bought to you by our friends at Pants to Poverty who are passionate about making poverty history.

Their Fairtrade pants are cool, classic and completely ethical, so not only will you look great wearing these timeless pants but you will feel great and guilt-free too!

£1 is donated to the Pants to Poverty charity for every pair sold which supports their farmer projects in India.

We are offering a great, new range of the Pants to Poverty’s collection available for both men and women. Take a look at the classic, Fairtrade and organic cotton pants today for the perfect ethical Christmas present.

Top Ten Ethical Christmas Gifts


Fairtrade Fun Ball

1. Fairtrade Fun Ball

A fab ethical Christmas gift for kids, this Fairtrade football is great for younger kids, with its colourful spotty design. This Fairtrade football can also be used as an educational Fairtrade toy or for Fairtrade games at home or at school.

This ethical football is also an eco friendly Christmas gift as the rubber inside the football is made from FSC certified rubber.

So choose an ethical gift for kids this Christmas, buy a Fairtrade Fun Ball as a Fairtrade Christmas gift now.



Kamikaze Airlines Organic T-Shirt

2. Kamikaze Airlines Organic T-Shirt

A fantastic organic t-shirt from our friends at Kamikaze Boarding. An ideal organic Christmas gift for him. The t-shirt is made from 100% certified organic cotton and manufacturers achieved a 90% reduction in their carbon footprint. What better way to buy an ethical Christmas gift than with a guilt-free conscience and a great, green grab!

Check out a great ethical Christmas present with this organic t-shirt now.




Organic Green / Pink / Charcoal Proportional Socks

3. Organic Green / Pink / Charcoal Proportional Striped Socks

These Socks for Happy People socks are a fantastic ethical twist on a classic Christmas gift. Made with organic cotton and recycled packaging this is the perfect eco-friendly Christmas gift for him or for her. Not only are these organic socks vibrant and stylish, they also illustrate a fun and interesting fact displayed through the proportion of each stripe.

Grab this great ethical Christmas gift today to make your Christmas that bit merrier!



Fairtrade Organic Hi Top Trainers Black & White

4. Fairtrade Organic Hi Top Trainers Black & White

For a festive Fairtrade Christmas gift look no further than these classic stylish trainers. Made with Fairtrade certified, organic cotton and FSC certified rubber these eco-friendly trainers make the perfect ethical Christmas present for all.

Make your ethical Christmas merrier with these Fairtrade favourites, take a look at these Fairtrade trainers now!




Organic Turquoise / Aqua Affirmation Socks

5. Organic Turquoise / Aqua Affirmation Socks

These vibrant socks are a brilliant ethical Christmas gift for everyone. These Socks for Happy People socks will brighten up any Christmas stocking with their hidden message reading ‘TODAY I WILL SMILE AND FEEL GOOOOD!’

Grab a fantastic eco-friendly Christmas gift for all the family today and receive high quality, fun socks in recycled packaging. A guilt-free ethical Christmas gift that everyone can enjoy.

Check out this fab organic socks for the perfect eco-friendly Christmas present here.



Fairtrade Organic Low Top Trainers Red

6. Fairtrade Organic Low Top Trainers Red

Take a look at this festive Fairtrade Christmas gift for everyone, these ETHLETIC Low Tops in Cranberry Red are a great, guilt-free buy for your loved ones. They are made with Fairtrade certified, organic cotton and FSC certified rubber with built in arch support for extra comfort. So not only are they the perfect ethical Christmas present, they look and feel fabulous too.

Grab these stylish, ethical trainers today and finish off your Fairtrade Christmas shopping today.



Fairtrade Mini Football Ball

7. Fairtrade Mini Football Ball

For a fantastic Fairtrade Christmas present for kids check out this hand-stiched Team Mini Football. Made with FSC certified and Fair Trade rubber this is a great children’s Christmas gift from toddler to teen. The Size 1 ethical football is a great way to help develop early kicking, catching and throwing skills.

Check out this brilliant eco-friendly Christmas gift now to make your family festivities merrier!



Kamikaze Women’s H20 Organic T-Shirt

8. Kamikaze Women’s H20 Organic T-Shirt

This classic, Kamikaze Boarding t-shirt is a lovely ethical Christmas gift for women. It is made from organic cotton and the manufacturers achieve 90% reduced carbon footprint when making it a fab eco-friendly Christmas present.

For a fave ethical Christmas gift, take a look at Kamikaze’s organic t-shirt.





Fairtrade Pro Football

9. Fairtrade Pro Football

ETHLETIC presents their best quality, hand-stitched football - a brilliant Fairtrade Christmas gift for him. This top of the range, ethical football is Fairtrade and FSC certified making your conscience guilt-free when buying this Pro football.

Grab this Fairtrade football to bag the best eco-friendly Christmas gift for the men in your life today!




Fairtrade Organic Kids Hi Top Trainers Black & White

10. Fairtrade Organic Kids Hi Top Trainers Black & White

Here is a classic Christmas gift for kiddies. These stylish trainers are made from Fairtrade certified, organic cotton and FSC certified rubber making them the best ethical Christmas gift for children of all ages. Not only are they eco-friendly and stylish but they have built in arch support for extra comfy running or playing.

Get a fantastic Fairtrade Christmas present for kids this year - check out these classic trainers now to grab an ethical gift bargain.




Check out our ethical Christmas Shop for more fantastic ethical and eco-friendly Christmas gifts for him, ethical gifts for her and Fairtrade gifts for kids!

We offer a great new range of organic socks and organic t-shirts for him and organic t-shirts for her as well as our classic Fairtrade trainers and Fairtrade sportsballs.

So get browsing and get buying in time for a festive and Fairtrade Christmas!

Tavernspite Kick Off Fairtrade Football Challenge

Year 2 Class

Tavernspite County Primary School has taken up a Fairtrade football challenge, after a return visit from Voluntary Fair Trade Wales School’s Speaker, Sharron Hardwick.

During a whole school assembly Sharron shared some football facts, noting the vast difference between the meagre 22p wages paid to some football stitchers per ball, compared to other football workers. Reporting on her experience working for Stoke City FC she comments on the large fees paid for players like Wayne Rooney who are rumoured to earn £120,000 per week.

“Fairtrade and football are often not linked. Working for a Premier League football club makes me feel even more responsible for speaking out about the unfair wages paid to football stitchers. We must act, support and buy Fairtrade in football; otherwise this unfairness will continue to go unnoticed.” said Sharron Hardwick.

The Fair Trade Wales assembly, and a Year 2 lesson, were taught the difference which Fairtrade makes. Fairtrade helps communities by providing premiums, monitoring working conditions and ensuring fair pay. A living wage is given so workers and producers can afford accommodation, health care and school fees; meaning children can go to school, rather than working to bridge the deficit.

Youngsters Working Hard

Sharron has high hopes of promoting Fairtrade in football, supported by Fair Trade Wales and Relief and Development Aid Agency Tearfund. Plans are to ask Pembrokeshire and Stoke–On-Trent schools, Church groups and amateur football clubs to support Fairtrade in football campaigns and use Fairtrade footballs.

If enough support is generated, Sharron will approach the Football Association asking them to consider using Fairtrade balls. The F.A. control which balls are used by football clubs in their games and could be using Fair Corp’s Fairtrade footballs.

“I have a dream to see 100% Fairtrade in football. This is a massive challenge! Local teams like Kilgetty A.F.C, Haverfordwest County and Tenby A.F.C have shown interest; now local schools are getting on board. I hope support will grow, and our desire for fairness is heard.” concludes Sharron.

Blog and photos by Sharron Hardwick.

Check out our range of Fairtrade Footballs or our producer stories to learn more about Fairtrade. 

Salvation Army Rugby Balls

Salvation Army Rugby Ball

Fair Corp is excited to celebrate our collaboration with the Salvation Army. We have made 300 Fairtrade certified rugby balls designed to suit their iconic red and white stripes.

The Salvation Army aim to help and advise those who need it the most. Whatever their circumstance or background, the Salvation Army will listen and provide support. It is a great charity and Fair Corp are thrilled to join forces with them.

Our bespoke sportsballs have been made with Fair Trade construction, making them the perfect ethical alternative for club and school’s use.

Check out our other Fairtrade rugby balls here.

If you are interested in our bespoke sportsballs please find further information on our Promotional Footballs page.

Foals, Stars & Fairtrade Footballs

Foals and Seye Adelekan with Village Team (Photo Joe Impey)

Netball matches and football tournaments are generally far from the mind of most UK festival-goers, but then again the Lake of Stars festival nestled on the shores of Lake Malawi in Africa is no run of the mill event. This 3-day international multi-arts festival, which has been held in Mangochi on the southern end of Lake Malawi for the past 3 years of it’s 8 year history, welcomes artists and audiences from all around the world, and is almost entirely run by volunteers. This year’s festival hosted headliners including the Foals, Beverley Knight, Freshly Ground, The Very Best, Lucius Banda, The Black Missionaries, Baio (Vampire Weekend) and another 60 acts from various countries.

One of the most important areas of the festival’s work, and what makes it so unique, is the Lake of Stars Outreach programme; a series of musical, educational and sporting activities and events amongst the local community. The festival site lies within the boundaries of the Chipoka Village, and every year the festival team plan a range of outreach activities to happen in the village itself. We were hugely grateful to ETHLETIC who kindly responded to our request for help by donating an array of netballs and footballs – greatly valued in Malawi - and here’s how we used them!

The activities started with the much-anticipated annual ‘Nkopola Netball’ match between all the key partners in the festival. There was a team from the Village, a team of Lake of Stars staff, a team from Sunbird (the venue staff) and a team from the Bookbus (an educational initiative who took part in this years event). Netball is huge in Malawi, and is taken incredibly seriously. The team from Sunbird and the Village both took 2 netballs back with them to continue their dedicated practice in order to humiliate Lake of Stars’ team next year!

Girls from Lilongwe's Tililanu Orphanage (Photo Joe Impey)

The big event for the Outreach is a Saturday football tournament; the ‘Pamudzi Cup’. Coordinated alongside the Mangochi Youth Sport Association, it welcomes teams from all the surrounding areas and is a highly competitive event. The festival atmosphere extends out to the pitch with artists and press from the festival coming out to get involved. There were several performances using a sound system on the back of a truck; even headliners Foals and Seye Adelekan got stuck in and had a kick-about with one of the teams. The ETHLETIC gear was a much sought after prize with all the teams taking away a couple of Fairtrade footballs. The winning team took away an International Match standard ball as well.

Some of the ETHLETIC balls also found happy homes in the MOET Orphanage, a fantastic organisation in Mangochi. Many festival-goers visited the Tililanu Orphanage Choir from Lilongwe along with some of our star performers of the weekend as well. Our thanks go to everyone at ETHLETIC for the donations – netball and football are a national obsession and good quality balls are hard to come by, especially in rural areas. Your donations were much appreciated by many children across Malawi – and all of us at Lake of Stars!

Post by Eddie FitzPatrick, Production Manager for The Lake of Stars Festival

Observer Ethical Awards 2011

Wow what a night! We were lucky enough to attend the Observer Ethical Awards 2011 at the stunning Victoria & Albert museum in London a few weeks ago. After setting off from Brighton on the train, Jamie and I walked from Victoria to the V&A in the bright evening sunshine, which was a great way to start the evening off.

Ben Ramsden and Lily Cole

We arrived and were offered some fab canapés and a glass of bubbly, after a while we bumped into Lucy Siegle, Observer Ethical Living Columnist, One Show reporter and author of To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World. Lucy lived in Brighton (our hometown) for a while, so she knows all about our ETHLETIC Fairtrade Trainers and our Fairtrade Sportballs as well.

After speaking to Lucy we ran into our good friend Ben Ramsden from Pants to Poverty and the supermodel Lily Cole (pictured). Lily is well known for her support of ethical fashion. She was one of the judges of the Observer Ethical Awards and has her own ethical knitwear brand The North Circular. Lily told us she’d just finished her History of Art degree at Cambridge Uni and was waiting for her results. Ben and I chatted to her about some of the great Fairtrade projects Pants to Poverty and The Fair Corporation are involved in, so we hope to see her walking down the catwalk in some of our ethical trainers and eco friendly flip flops very soon!

We also ran into Rick Edwards, Channel 4’s T4 presenter, he was well qualified as a judge for the awards as he studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge Uni and is a keen supporter of environmental causes. He’s over six foot tall so when I, Ben from Pants to Poverty where all standing together (all of us being over six foot), a girl said we were all too tall to look up and talk to!

Heading back to the bar we chatted to the lovely guys and girls from Pachacuti who went on to win the coveted Ethical Fashion Awards. Pachacuti help Ecuadorian panama hat manufactures and they were the first company in the world able to put Certified Fairtrade on their hats. Hats off to them (sorry terrible pun), they are taking the fashion world by storm.

The awards began and it was great to see so many people and projects that work hard to try to make a difference. We loved the mix of grassroots projects, companies and campaigns. Highlight for us was the guys from the Bristol Bike Project winning the Grassroots Award, they’d just won the award so we went to go and congratulate them. Jamie and I love bikes and cycling so we were keen to find out more about the project. These guys do an amazing job helping provide bikes for drug addicts and marginalised people, engaging the community at all levels to promote cycling and self esteem.

Pachacuti Winners

Colin Firth announced The People’s Supermarket as the winner of the Local Retailer Award, his wife Livia ‘Queen of Green Clothing’, Vogue.com Blogger and Creative Partner at Eco Age announced the winner of the Global Campaigner Award as Greg Valerio the pioneering campaigner who set up the jewellery business CRED, and with the Fairtrade Foundation launched the first Fairtrade Fairmined gold.

Rob Da Bank, Radio 1 DJ and Bestival curator (plus another judge on the night) was spinning the tunes on the night, some of the Bestival team already wear ETHLETIC ethical shoes, so we think Rob will be a new fan very soon (watch this space!).

It was a great night out, we met some lovely people and heard about some great businesses and initiatives making a real difference in the UK and across the world. Fingers crossed we’ll be invited back next year!

Congratulations to all the winners: Thameside Nature Park (Conservation Award), Savvy B.O.B. (Ethical Kids Award), James Lovelock (The Observer Lifetime Achievement Award), The Bristol Bike Project (Grassroots Award), Pachacuti (Ethical Fashion Award), Greg Valerio (Global Campaigner Award), The People’s Supermarket (Local Retailer), Riverford Organic Vegetables (Online Retailer), Compassion in World Farming (Campaigner of the Year), The Co-Operative Group (Ethical Business), Shirahime.com (Ethical Blog), Pavegen (The Big Idea).

Click here for more information on the Observer Ethical Awards 2011 including videos.


Johnathan Lewis, Co-Founder, The Fair Corporation

The Chelsea Flower Show 2011 – Greentips Eco Wellies

Greentips Wellies on the FSC Stand

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) UK were kind enough to let us share some of their stand at The Chelsea Flower Show this year, allowing our Greentips wellies to take centre stage as the heavens opened over SW3.

The FSC had a lovely stand in the corner of the main Pavilion showcasing a range of products made from FSC certified wood and timber. Greentips ethical wellies were of course by far the most original product being made entirely from FSC certified and fair trade rubber. They looked resplendent and attracted a lot of interest from visitors and other businesses alike.

Touring the show in my Fair Trade wellington boots it was clear the ethical sector has not quite arrived at Chelsea. A notable exception were our friends from Pachacuti panama’s hats who had a gorgeous stand, however,there were apparently no other Fair Trade businesses or products on offer. Check out our eco wellies now!

Thanks to our friends at the FSC for letting us share your stand.

Jamie Lloyd, Co-Founder, The Fair Corporation.