Fairtrade Football Tournament at Edinburgh University

On Saturday March 3rd People & Planet at Edinburgh University hosted a Fairtrade football tournament to celebrate Fairtrade fortnight.

As part of a programme of events at the university that included Fairtrade chocolate truffle making, a Fairtrade café in the Chaplaincy and a keynote speech from Fiona Hyslop MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, around 45 Edinburgh students shunned a Saturday morning lie-in in favour of the hallowed turf of The Meadows.

With groups as diverse as the Socialist Society, The Student newspaper and the Edinburgh Revue represented on the pitch there were rivalries to be stoked and old scores to settle, but most importantly the tournament brought Edinburgh’s student community together in mutual appreciation of the simple pleasures of a weekend kickabout in the park.

Eight mixed teams competed for the grand prize of a crate of Fairtrade honey ale, with the runners-up happy to walk away with a bottle of Fairtrade South African cava. The final was as close as they come with the skilful but wheezing Edinburgh Revue comedians just losing out on penalties to the tough-tackling and pacy Seager FC after a tense 1-1 draw.

The use of Fairtrade-certified footballs in the tournament was a gentle reminder of how much our everyday lives are intertwined with those of people who may live far away yet whose labour, and often exploitation, we depend on for our nutrition, work and leisure.

Fairtrade Football - ETHLETIC Premier Fairtrade Football

Fairtrade Football - ETHLETIC Premier Fairtrade Football

Football doesn’t have the best reputation as a sport, but that is usually due to the racism, sexism, homophobia and ostentatious materialism that are often associated with it. The provenance of the physical object on which the game depends is rarely considered, yet the tools of the trade of the Premier League superstars are manufactured by workers, usually in Pakistan or China, who earn less in a year than the footballers earn from one training session.

Through our celebration of Fairtrade football we hopefully brought a bit more attention to this fact and demonstrated that there is a fairer alternative. The beautiful game doesn’t have to have an ugly underbelly, and as the most popular sport in the world it is in a unique position to act as a vehicle of social change.

Guest Blog from Joel Sharples, Edinburgh University Student

Check out a Fairtrade Football now

Fairtrade in Scotland

As part of their Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) invited me to Edinburgh for a day of talks and a wonderful junior Fairtrade football tournament. The SFTF has been a good customers of ours, we’ve created bespoke Fairtrade promotional footballs for them on two occasions.

The day kicked off quite literally with a Fairtrade football competition at Hopefield Primary School and involved four other primaries.  The eight teams were all named after African countries and in the spirit of equality every team included three girl players. I saw one girl score four excellent goals and wouldn’t be surprised to see her playing for Scotland in the future! Take a look at some of the photos here

Despite very strong winds and difficult conditions, all games were played sportingly and it was a pleasure to present the first Bonnyrigg Fairtrade Cup to the winning team – Ivory Coast.  Thanks to Jamie Dougal for officiating the contest so well and all the staff at Hopefield Primary.

Plans are afoot to replicate this contest next year nationally; over the whole of Scotland. We are of course looking forward to supporting this.

We then popped into nearby Lasswade High School where I was briefed on all of their Fairtrade activities, I then presented Fairtrade certificates to all of the pupils involved for promoting Fairtrade at the school.

After a lovely lunch provided by the kind people of Nicholas Buccleuch coffee shop, Dalkeith we went on to Newbattle Abbey College were we met by James Dolan, a campaigning student who is doing his best to change the college’s purchasing policy in favour of Fairtrade, After delivering a talk on the Fairtrade football story I left discount vouchers for all of the students who attended my talk. Thanks to James Dolan for setting up the talk and also for showing us around the college and good luck with getting Fairtrade products into Newbattle Abbey College.

Our final meeting of the day was at Penicuik Athletic Football Club, where I talked to the club management about the story behind Fairtrade footballs and we were even joined by local MSP Claudia Beamish.  A photo shoot was arranged on the pitch, thanks to Jim Dick for providing these pictures.

Jamie with the Team Management of Penicuik Athletic Football Club

Jamie with the Team Management of Penicuik Athletic Football Club

So overall a very positive day in and around Edinburgh, it was great to see how many supporters of Fairtrade there were in Scotland. Thanks to Martin Meteyard for organising the whole day and Ian Miller for his generous hospitality.

For more information on the Scottish Fair Trade Forum visit www.sftf.org.uk 

For more information on Fairtrade visit the Fairtrade Foundation

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



Christmas Delivery Times

We realise Christmas can be a chaotic and crazy time – there is, after all, so much to organise and enjoy! Fair Corp are trying to make this frantic, festive season that bit easier for you by offering 1st Class Royal Mail delivery until the 21st December and next day confirmed delivery on 22nd - 23rd (order cut off by 2pm on 23rd) so you can be assured to get your last minute buys in time for Christmas Day!

Why wait?

However, if you want to be organised now, check out our fantastic ethical and eco-friendly gifts in our Christmas Shop!

Grab a great bargain today for the perfect ethical Christmas present for him, the best eco-friendly Christmas gift for her or a fab Fairtrade Christmas gift for kids!

Fair Christmas Countdown!

Christmas is all about giving and here at Fair Corp we are feeling very festive. We are giving away a prize a day from Monday 5th December till Friday 23rd December which is our last day of ordering before Christmas!

Keep your eyes open on Twitter by following us @ETHLETICshoes and Facebook  for your chance to grab a last minute freebie to give to your friends and family this Christmas! We’re giving away everything from fantastic organic socks to our classic Fairtrade trainers and sportsballs.

Don’t miss out – comment on our daily Facebook notices or retweet us on Twitter to enter in our regular Christmas competitions.

If you fancy giving your loved ones an ethical gift anyway – check out our fantastic Christmas Shop and order before the 23rd December* to receive your gifts in time for Christmas for those last minute buys. 

We wish you a very Merry Christmas from everyone here at Fair Corp Towers!


Terms & Conditions:

  • Prizes are subject to availability
  • Restricted to one winner per day
  • All competition entries will close at midnight of the day they were posted
  • Winners will be announced the day after the competition is posted
  • One winner will be selected at random from either the Facebook or Twitter entries
  • Last day of competitions is 23rd December 2011
*We are offering standard delivery (Royal Mail 1st Class) until 21st December then next day confirmed delivery from 22nd to 23rd by 2pm.

Celebrate our Website Launch and Save 25%

To celebrate the launch of our fantastic new website we are offering you a huge saving of 25% on all our products. All you have to do is use voucher code SAVENOW at the checkout.

Our ETHLETIC Fairtrade trainers are a great Christmas present for kids at the bargain price of £7.50 with our 25% off voucher code. Or grab some eco-friendly, organic cotton Adult Low Tops for just £33.75 (normally £45).

If you’re football crazy, or know someone who is, our ETHLETIC Ethical Funball is also just £7.50 when you use voucher code SAVENOW.

Hurry though - this offer is only valid till Sunday 6th November 2011 so get your ethical Christmas presents early and shop today.

Welcome To Our New Website - Tell Us What You Think?

We hope you like our new imagery

Welcome to our brand spanking new website!

Over recent months you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been going through some changes, we’re no longer Fair Deal Trading UK, we’re now called Fair Corp and we’ve just launched this our new website.

Fair to people & planet

Putting people and the environment first is still at the heart of everything we do, and we still offer you our range of ethical and eco footwear, homeware and sportsballs.

We think you’ll like our new website because…

  • It’s easier to move around than our old website
  • We’ve improved all our imagery
  • Special offers – everyone likes a deal after all
  • More information on our products including better sizing information
  • Easily accessible information on how your purchases help people

Late nights – any mistakes?

We’ve had a few late nights getting the website ready, and we’ve done our best to try to get everything working first time. But we are only human, so if you spot anything you think is wrong or something doesn’t work like you think it should please let us know, by emailing us.

Please include as much detail as possible and the name of the page that your looking at. We will then look at the problem as soon as we can.

Win a pair of ETHLETIC trainers

As a thank you we will be selecting a customer at random who sends us feedback to win a free pair of ETHLETIC trainers.

So tell us what you think good and bad by emailing us here.

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.


Funky Festival Wellies & Eco Friendly Flip-Flops

We’ve been to a few festivals in our time, and for some reason we’ve never had the right footwear! Either it’s raining and we don’t have any funky festival wellies, or it’s sunny and we haven’t packed our eco friendly flip-flops. A good comfortable pair of trainers is a must for any festival especially Glastonbury where the average punter must walk 10s of miles as day.

Fear not, we’ve got your festival wellies covered! We’ve got eco wellies that are made of fairly traded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) rubber, they’re very comfortable wellies made from soft natural rubber, no nasty plastics here. They’re funky festival wellies as they’re a bright green coloured wellington boots – both a fashion wellie and as we pay a Fair Trade premium to producers an ethical wellie too! These are an unusual wellies that were the first Fair Trade FSC eco wellies in the world.

Now if by some miracle this year’s festivals are bathed in sunshine we’ve also got eco friendly flip-flops too. Again they’re made of natural rubber that is fairly traded in Sri Lanka and are eco FSC certified, meaning they’re very soft rubber flip-flops.

We’ve made them in a number of colours making them great flip-flops for festivals. The flip-flops are both men’s flip flops and women’s flip-flops – so there’s something for everyone. Next year we’ll be making more funky flip flops with prints on them and some bright wellies – so watch this space.

We’re very proud of our ethical trainers so our ETHLETIC Fairtrade Organic shoes are a must for anyone who wants a stylish trainer and cares about the environment and people. Our earth friendly trainers are eco as they use organic cotton and they’re vegan shoes too. They are Fairtrade trainers as they use Fairtrade Foundation certified organic cotton and they’re construction is under a Fair Trade project, this means the producers receive a premium that they can choose to spend of healthcare and welfare programmes. So there ethical trainers truly are sweatshop free and guilt free shoes.

For a limited time to celebrate the summer we’d like to offer you a 15% discount off all our footwear, so pop along to The Fair Corporation website and use SUMMER11 at the check out to make your saving now.

Fingers crossed for the summer weather, hope you have a great festival whatever the weather, it’s about friends, fun and music after all!