Is the New Fair Trade More Expensive?
Posted on May 25 2019
There is a belief out there that fair trade products, or those made through social enterprise, are inherently more expensive than comparable products made through a traditional business model.
However, when you compare Lotus Sky bracelets- each one ethically handcrafted by a member of our all woman team- with similar bracelets from other companies that lean more toward a “traditional" or "conventional" business model than a true social enterprise model, you see this is not the case.
Those of you familiar with the New Fair Trade movement in Nepal, spearheaded by women interested in creating more equitable economies and gender safe work environments, know that the main tenant is to create sustainable economies that secure MORE than a “living wage” for artisans.
The New Fair Trade assures what we call an “investable wage” that allows investment in communities and improved quality of life for the next generation. What this means is that artisans are paid a wage that allows them to save at least 50% of their income to invest in everything from higher education, to household improvements, to community growth AFTER necessary life expenses are met.
Some of you might wonder how it is possible that this not mean “more expensive.” The reality, however, is that while traditional business relies on supply chains, distributors and countless “middlemen” between the producers and the end consumers (with all the markups along the way), the New Fair Trade cuts all of this out, creating a direct relationship between artisans & designers and the people who love them!
Moreover, while traditional business aims to produce products at the lowest cost and sell them for the highest profit margins, the New Fair Trade aims to increase social value- both for consumers and producers.
At Lotus Sky, we do not “farm out” anything- our designing, our fabrication, our photography, our social media, our website...EVERYTHING is handled “in studio.”
The New Fair Trade aims to provide the highest quality while also keeping things fair for everyone, including consumers!
Tell us, in your experience does fair trade mean more expensive?