Fairtrade Fortnight is an important time of year for Zulucow. As a company that is committed to sourcing ethically-sourced products and creating sustainable jobs, we believe in the importance of shopping smart and ethically.
Let me remind you what fairtrade actually is. According to the official fairtrade website, it is a system of certification that ensures a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient. For workers, fairtrade means workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay. For shoppers, it means high quality, ethically produced products.
At Zulucow, we uphold our promise to be fairtrade by creating sustainable jobs. We encourage skills development and aim to give hope to the people in rural KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Here are three ways Zulucow makes a difference:
1. Creating Sustainable Jobs, not only for Fairtrade Fortnight but for life.
When you purchase one of our Zulucow products, you are helping to create sustainable jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is over 50 percent. I work with a team of artisans who rely on this income to put food on the table. By supporting fairtrade, you are supporting these Zulu ladies; you are helping to pay them a fair wage.
2. Trade not Aid: Skills Development which Empower Women
By purchasing Zulucow’s products, you are encouraging skills development. All the Zulu artisans in the workshop are taught how to cut leather, sew, and make Zulucow’s gorgeous cushions, bags, and accessories. When you buy from Zulucow you are helping to empower women; to give them pride in what they do; financial independence and the ability to hand down their skills to their children. They value their incomes as a means to educate their children.
3. Giving Hope and Building a Better Future
You are not only giving a fair income to the artisans in Zulucow’s team, but you are also helping them to plan for a better life. The Zulu ladies I work with in KwaZulu Natal have been able to build homes and plan for a better future, thanks to the incomes they earn from making Zulucow’s cowhide products and now school uniforms etc for other local businesses.
I am really proud that Zulucow is a fairtrade business; the Zulu ladies are treated with huge respect and paid an above average wage. I also keenly support other fairtrade brands who share Zulucow’s values. I think Fairtrade Fortnight is a great way to highlight the provenance of all the goods we all buy; and the impact they have.