Fair Trade ProductsBuying Fairtrade products for your children not only provides them with excellent quality (and mostly handmade) toys and nursery goods, but also fosters a real sense of ‘shopping with a conscience’ from an early age. Seeking out fairly traded goods doesn’t mean compromising on style,(there are some amazing fair trade baby clothes out there) or enjoyment (hand crafted, fair trade toys knock mass produced plastic tat into a cocked hat, on both looks and fun!)

By introducing your family to Fairtrade, you can get them interested and involved in ethical trading and helping deprived communities, and hopefully encouraging a life long commitment to helping some of the poorest nations sell their goods for a reasonable and decent price.

What is Fairtrade?

Fair-trade makes sure that people in the developing world are getting a fair deal for their products, goods and services, as well as appropriate working conditions.

Who is Behind the Mark?

The Fairtrade mark is licensed by the Fairtrade Foundation which was set up in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement.

There are a myriad of companies who sell ‘fairly traded’ products with integrity and sound intention, from hand knitted baby clothes through to hand-crafted nursery furniture, but you should always satisfy yourself of a company’s ethics before you buy.

Buying Fairtrade Products for Your Children

Traidcraft is the UK’s leading fair trade organisation. Through a combined trading company and a development charity they help poor communities work their way out of poverty. Their products are available online and through specialist retailers (see their website for your nearest store). Their gorgeous children’s products not only make a wonderful addition to any toy box, but also encourage learning and environmental awareness through play.

Role Play Toys: check out Traidcraft’s beautiful hand knitted cuddly Chilean dolls, perfect for little girls and boys who want to play ‘mummies and daddies’ with a eco friendly slant!

Educational Toys: Track down wooden abacuses, alphabet boards and pegboards if you are after an educational gift – Gospel House Handicrafts in Sri Lanka makes quality fairly traded children’s toys and sells through Traidcraft. Look out for unusual products like their rainbow striped crocodile jigsaw, designed to make maths fun for little learners!

Discovery Toys: Giving a fairly traded toy can start a journey of discovery in itself – explore the label with older children and talk about where the product came from, who made it, and what makes it Fairtrade. Essentially, any fairly traded product can be called a discovery toy, simply because of its background. Traidcraft provides products from all over the world, and talking to your child about where their new toy came from will stimulate their interest.

Musical Toys: Musical toys are important for young children; they give them the opportunity to express themselves through music and movement, and can help with rhythm and co-ordination. Fairly traded, traditional wooden instruments are available through Traidcraft.

Living the Fair-trade Life!

Why not make a conscious effort only to buy Fairtrade goods as birthday presents and gifts? Choose Fairtrade chocolate at Easter and Christmas, and stimulate your child’s imagination and development through products you know will be going some way to support some of the world’s most deprived and exploited communities.