My Journey as a Fair Trader

‘Why you do what you do’ Series The world is full of great people you can learn from and be inspired by. Read their stories about why they do what they do to make this world a better place.   Di Stitt Founder of One Colour and Australian and New Zealand distributor for Kenana Knitters via Kenana Down Under Photo Source: One Colour – Di Stitt with Milka   “I didn’t set out for Africa. The place kinda picks you. Back in the early 2000s, I became increasingly concerned over extreme poverty that I believed could be tackled through trade, not just aid. The statistics in 2005 were horrific; 1.4 billion trapped in extreme poverty. As my boys were going to school, I found myself with more time, and it dawned on me not to waste what time we have. We enjoyed a great and healthy lifestyle. We were educated. We need so little effort to make life easy. I found out about fair trade through some key individuals. It fitted my beliefs of ‘trade, not aid’. I have a friend who buys from the Oxfam catalogue. She showed me what buying from people who made the products was like, and I found this to be a fascinating concept. Then there was a couple running Tribes and Nation, Grant and Mignonne, whom I met at a conference. They’d returned from living in Tanzania, and were big advocates for fair trade. The encounter gave me more ‘Aha’ moments, with stories of unconceivable poverty due to unfair trade. I decided there and then that if I wanted to make a difference,... read more

Ideas for ethical gifts for Dad

Aussies (Australia) and Kiwis (New Zealand) celebrate Father’s Day on September 3rd, 2017. Many are looking to buy awesome gifts for their Dads or role models who have been like Dads to them to show them that they are thought of fondly. If you’re ethically minded and want to share an ethical gift with Dad, well here are some options to kick start the ideas on what to shop for Dad. Etiko A global fairtrade organic accredited cotton-clothing brand, Etiko has a great range of hoodies, shirts, shoes and undies that are sure to be Dad’s favourite clothing choices for everyday wear. Etiko Fair Trade sources all its certified organic cotton from the Chetna Organic Farmer’s Co-operative in Central India. So you can be sure that the entire supply chain from cotton growing to finished product is traceable. Patagonia Patagonia are making waves in the world of clothing through their emphasis on slow fashion for outdoor wear. Patagonia offers a whole rang of Fairtrade certified clothing including jeans, bottoms and boardshorts. Conscious Step If you want to get Dad funky socks with attitude, choose Conscious Step that are ethically made with fairtrade organic cotton. For every pair you buy, a set donation goes directly to Conscious Step non-profit partners that range from protecting the ocean, provide water, educate kids to planting trees. So each time Dad puts on those socks, he has already made a tangible step in making the world a better place. Mirrogram® With a cool business tagline ‘Causing People to Stop and Reflect’, Mirrogram® tshirts and hoodies are no ordinary looking clothing. A closer inspection reveals that there is something... read more

Clowning for a good cause

‘Why you do what you do’ series The world is full of great people you can learn from and be inspired by. Read their stories about why they do what they do to make this world a better place.   Tim Webster (Timbadin the Clown) Founder of Humanitarian Clowns Photo Source: Humanitarian Clowns – Tim and his Mum, Marguerite   “I was 2 when I was diagnosed with leukemia. Mum was only 21, with a week-old newborn, when she got the news. A single mum after leaving a domestic violence home, our only support was family. It was not until Mum found Challenge Cancer, a community support network for kids with cancer. That gave Mum a bit of a break and gave me the opportunity to be a normal kid going along to camps. I experienced what community support can do. And that gave me the drive to do the same. When I was older, I travelled around the world doing community development. Clowning was something I did for fun. In Uganda, I was checking out a small town called Jinja situated along the Nile river when I spotted four kids playing cards. It was like seeing a photo out of a World Vision magazine. I walked up to them and asked them whether they wanted to see a magic trick. They said ‘Yes’. After I finished with the trick, I asked them whether they wanted to see more and they said ‘Yes!’. So I ran back to the hotel, got my magic gear and when I got back, I was greeted by 150 kids and adults from the village,... read more

Health is Wealth

  You would have heard the old adage that goes like this. Health is wealth. It’s more important to be healthy than rich. In today’s fast-paced modern life in the developed nations, striving to stay fit, healthy and strong is a choice we get to make. But to many in third-world nations, it’s survival to find food, water and even shelter for families. Having good health is a privilege. Access to healthcare is next to none in many remote places. Got a fever, forget about getting paracetamol to relieve the pain. One will have to grin and bear it. Many of the poor cannot afford medical treatment, even when it is available. In many remote communities, there is a severe shortage of medical practitioners and healthcare. In the 2010 World Health Statistics report, India has less than one doctor for thousand people (0.6:1) as compared to China (1.4 doctors per a thousand people). Our in-country charity partner, Restore India runs medical camps addressing anaemia conditions caused by malnutrition in remote communities. From their interaction with communities, they found that up to 85% of the people in communities they visit suffered from low haemoglobin count, which impacts the immunity system. Restore India provides treatment to help improve health levels for these communities. My Fair Baby is sponsoring two medical camps for Restore India to run this year. Health is wealth and we are all for it. Good health means the kids can learn better at the literacy schools. Every purchase on My Fair Baby helps us make a difference to communities in... read more

Ban Plastic Bags

Today we received news from the Greenpeace Australia newsletter that Coles and Woolworths will phase out the use of single use plastic bags by June 3oth 2018. This is a momentous win for our marine life. Did you know that Australians use around 4 billion plastic bags every year? That’s an insane 10 million bags used each day. Unfortunately, an estimated 50 million bags end up in Australian waterways, ocean and ingested by marine life. Our oceans and marine life are drowning in plastic bags. In our recent family holiday to Phillip Island, we found plastic bags lying around the beach. Our kids were distressed seeing the beach littered, we all started picking up the plastic bags and other plastic trash to clean up the beach. Greenpeace Australia applauds the decision made by major supermarket chains. It shows their commitment to environmental and sustainability causes. However, our politicians are not fully on board. According to Greenpeace Australia Pacific media release, the ban is slow in coming. South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory have all banned single use plastic bags. Queensland will introduce a ban on July 2018 and Western Australia in the next 18 months. New South Wales and Victoria have yet to implement a ban on bags. Let’s tell our politicians that plastic pollution is killing our marine life. Go to Greenpeace Australia to sign the petition. We can each start to change our shopping routine. Bring reusable shopping bags to do our groceries which you can get from the supermarkets. Alternatively, to get fairtrade shopping bags, Oxfam Australia has a good collection of reusable... read more

My Fair Baby turns 4

My Fair Baby launch 4 years ago Just like our growing kids, our little social enterprise, My Fair Baby is growing up. Launched in our home, converting the library into a mini-shop, we’ve learnt so much about running a business. Although it’s tough at times, we continually review our passion and affirm why we do what we do. On this day, we celebrate our 4 years of being in the business driven to create a positive social change through sharing the ethical fashion message for babies and kids. We continue to use our profits to make a difference to impoverished communities through community development initiatives. It sometimes feel like we’re only making a tiny ripple in the massive ocean but we join with other social enterprises that are making the change ripples for a fairer world. To celebrate, we are offering 20% discount across all of our online range via the Good On You mobile app. Download the app here. Thank you for your support as every purchase... read more

Introducing Australian-based ethical fashion for babies, Broken Tricycle

This year, My Fair Baby was on the search for local brands that share our business ethos for social change. We are delighted to find an Australian-based brand which shares our ethos, respect for organic farmers and their families and a desire for a better world. Introducing Broken Tricycle, an ethical fashion brand for babies and toddlers. Broken Tricycle was born in Australia surrounded by innocence and nostalgia. Founder and designer, Patricia Murphy embraces social responsibility and designs with respect for people and the planet. Tapping into 16 years of designing kids clothes for leading brands in Australia and the UK, Patricia launched her independent brand. Every Broken Tricycle organic baby and kids clothing piece is modern, contemporary and eco-friendly. Broken Tricycle use only the purest GOTS certified organic cotton for softness against your children’s skin as well. Every item is ethically produced in a factory based in Turkey with strong environmental policies. Here are some of the Broken Tricycle range which you can find on our online store. We love stripes. Footless playsuit for growing legs.    Cool hoodies that are timeless for boys and girls.     What is GOTS certified? The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. Not only does it ensure that the plants are grown organically, it also requires environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing. Stringent requirements mean that there are many hoops to jump to ensure certification for organic cotton is well-governed. Read more here for a full list of GOTS... read more

World Fair Trade Day

World Fair trade Day is celebrated globally to grow awareness for fair trade support. Fair trade is the solution for bringing balance to trade injustices and supply chain issues. In 2017, Fair trade is celebrated on Saturday 13th May 2017. The celebration gives voice to small-scale producers and the contributions they have made to build healthy and sustainable communities with their fair trade premium. When you choose authentic fair trade goods, you cast a vote for small scale farmers, producers and artisans around the world. We can all be an agent for change by switching our choices to fair trade products. We made the switch back in 2009 when our local church ran an awareness night on ‘Everyday Justice, Everyday Choices’ which brought to light the injustices and slave labour still existing in our times to bring us modern amenities like the food we eat and the clothes we wear. We were so impacted by what he heard, it was impossible to not make the switch as it aligns with our Christian faith to help the poor and give justice to the voiceless. A few years later, we would establish My Fair Baby, an ethical fashion online store for children’s wear. We believe business can be a strong driver for change. The very premise of My Fair Baby is about advocating for a change in the way consumers shop for baby and kids clothing. We believe ethical fashion starts from when we first clothe our precious children when they are born. Let our kids wear clothes that have not broken the back nor the spirit of others. Fashion has... read more

Ethical fashion on the go – Good On You App

Dame Vivienne Westwood, a British fashion designer coined this famous phrase, “Buy less. Choose well.” In the interview, she was encouraging shoppers to make their clothes last, choose quality, not quantity. She felt everyone is buying far too many clothes and people should invest in the world, not in fashion. This shared concern is felt around the globe. The fashion industry is now the second most polluting industry after oil. 25% of chemicals produced worldwide are used for textiles and the industry is often noted as the number two polluter of clean water after agriculture. According to a Deloitte sustainability study, if we continue Business as usual (BAU), there is a need for 2.3 Earths by 2050. That’s a scary thought when we are nowhere near to Star Trek levels. Sustainability is a strategic business imperative because of 7 key drivers: rising population, pollution, climate change, increasing energy scarcity, land scarcity, water scarcity and rising wages or worker unrest. We all share the same resources and how we respond will help the future generations to live in peace. So how do you buy less and choose well? The answer is information on the palm of your hand. The Good On You app is an ethical shopping guide, which follows you on the go. With more than 40,000 users in Australia and growing, Good OnYou app launched globally in the App Store and Google Play in April 2017 where shoppers around the world can find brands that are doing all they can to ethical and sustainable. Gordon Renouf, CEO of ethical fashion app Good On You says, “Most people want... read more

Mum Knows Best

What’s the best piece of advice your Mum has ever given you? Was it about cooking, crafting, cleaning, beauty, clothes, organising, schooling or even dating? You name it; Mums all over the world have good advice for their growing and grown children. In times of need, Mums can often offer the best advice. I’ll share a few of my Mum’s best advice to me to get you thinking of yours. “Always have sesame oil, shallots and plenty of garlic in the larder.” For me, my Mum’s pearls of wisdom are found in the kitchen. Cooking is her forte and she is always a true Master chef in my eyes. Without referring to cookbooks, Mum cooks by tasting and observing the textures and colours of what she’s cooking. Now in her 70s, she’s since lost her sense of smell but that did not deter her from cooking like a pro. Growing up with Asian cooking, Mum’s best advice is how to cook really good Asian food and make tummy-warming herbal soups. “Always put coconut oil on your hair so it will grow nice and thick.” When I turned one, my head was still shiny and bald. My Mum started putting coconut oil on my head everyday and hair started to grow over time much to her relief. As I got older and was going to school, I didn’t appreciate it as much when I was little as I felt like my hair was dripping in oil and smelt weird. Today, I use it as hair treatment to keep my hair moisturised and looking healthy. “Always prepare in advance for the... read more