Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Faire was founded to promote and expand Fair and Ethical Trade practices by exclusively selling ethically sourced items online. Faire is an effort to change the way people everywhere think about, and respond to, global poverty — and to change the way we buy things online everyday.
Fair Trade and other ethically sourced products are not about charity. They are about story telling, empowerment, sustainability, shared prosperity, and community. Ethical Trade is about humanity and origins. It is about a global exchange of ideas, and the currency of culture. Faire was built from the ground up based on the principle that sellers and producers are the most important part of what we do.
Our Mission is to create a higher standard of living for marginalized communities around the world, by supporting trade relationships that reflect a higher ethical standard.
A world without poverty.
One where every person can thrive in a dignified, economically sustainable way. As part of making this vision a reality, Faire dedicates 20% of our revenue to supporting current sellers, and to fostering entrepreneurship in developing regions.
What does “Faire” mean?
Our name –– Faire –– may look and sound like the “Fair” in “Fair Trade,” but it’s actually a common French word. Faire means “to make,” or “to do.” It’s a way to remember the human beings behind the things we need, and buy, everyday. Faire Shops are the crucial link between conscious customers in growing markets everywhere, and the communities behind the ethically made products they sell. Every time you purchase an item from a Faire Shop, no matter what part of the world it comes from, you are weaving a small piece of a maker’s own story, and of their community’s unique history, into your own journey. We think our name is a way to remember that when we do what’s right, we can make anything possible.
What Does “Ethical Trade” or “Ethically Made” Mean at Faire?
What constitutes an ethically sourced product? How are ethical standards reflected in the practices, and products, of Faire Sellers? What exactly is “Fair Trade,” what is “Ethical Trade,” and is there a difference between the two?
With so much confusion (and at times, controversy) surrounding international Fair Trade certifiers and labeling organizations in recent decades, many consumers are understandably asking these questions across industries –– from agricultural goods and artisan handcrafts, to fashion and textiles, and everything in between. People want to know if a trustworthy way to locate ethically made and Fair Trade items even exists. At Faire, answering these questions is as easy as going shopping.
“Fair Trade” or “Ethical Trade”?
One of the standard bearers in the Ethical Trade movement, the internationally active Ethical Trading Initiative, puts it this way:
“[Ethical Trade and Fair Trade] have distinct origins, but their approaches are complementary: both focus on helping make international trade work better for poor and otherwise disadvantaged people.”
Ethical Trade “involves retailers and brands taking a series of recognized steps to improve the conditions of the workers throughout their supply chains, wherever they are in the world.” This work is done through global companies respecting “workers' rights” throughout supply chains.
When we use the term “Fair Trade” we are referring to the related, but different, approach of promoting the standards established by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), which are applied in their concrete certification and labeling process. This approach promotes and enforces the WFTO’s 10 Principles of Fair Trade –– a standard promoted here at Faire, and one that depends heavily on consumer awareness.
Faire’s Core Principles of Ethical Production:
Central to Faire’s Vision, is the belief that everyday consumers can help empower disadvantaged communities by purchasing the ethically produced goods they make. More ethically sourced goods in the international marketplace not only provide sustainable incomes for the producer-communities who make them, but can also place buying ethically sourced products front-and-center in today’s growing e-commerce environment –– ultimately helping to make these products the go-to standard for today’s online shoppers.
Our 7 Core Principles of Ethical Production –– the Ethical Trade principles we want to promote and uphold at Faire –– are the comprehensive ethical guidelines for production that any seller operating a shop in our marketplace has to meet. The principles we are dedicated to are straightforward and widely accepted because they are adapted directly from two authoritative sources:
The authoritative 10 Principles of Fair Trade adopted by the WFTO, and The pioneering work of a founding member of the WFTO, and a very influential Fair Trade non-profit (started in the 1940’s!), called Ten Thousand Villages.
Our standards also draw on other leading organizations like the Ethical Trading Initiative and the United Nations’ only tripartite agency to date, the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Faire’s 7 Core Principles of Ethical Production are:
- Opportunity: Market Access & Economic Integration
- Non-exploitative Trade Relationships & Living Wages
- Labor Conditions & Restrictions
- Women’s Economic Empowerment & Freedom of Association
- Skill-set Building & Opportunity Infrastructure
- Environmental Sustainability
You can read more about our principles, and what they mean, here