« Back to News and Views
« Back to Uncategorized

Kicking goals in fair trade sports goods

The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

AS a teacher, Nick Savaidis spent time talking to students about the impact of globalisation — especially the common use of sweat shops and child labour.

“The kids used to get upset about the way kids were treated in the sweat shops,” he said. “But then they would turn up in their brand name gear that is well known to be made in sweat shops.”

Mr Savaidis said he felt so strongly about the plight of people being exploited in sweat shops that he started importing fair trade goods in 2004 under the No Sweat label.

He thought it would be great if all the sporting equipment used in Australia came from suppliers where the workers were not exploited.

He then developed his own range, launching Etiko Fair Trade Brand in 2005. Etiko, based on the Spanish and Greek words for ethical, sources goods made in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Argentina and India.

The goods — sports balls, footwear and fashion — are hand-stitched in licensed fair trade factories and are available at ethical retailers such as OxFam and Friends of the Earth.

Mr Savaidis said while they were up against those produced by global companies, his goods were competitively priced.

“We don’t want people saying they can’t buy our goods because they are too expensive,” he said.

But he said it was difficult competing against the big names with their branding and marketing budgets.

The Etiko sports balls were the first non-food products to earn Fair Trade certification, an arduous task to prove the bona fides of workshops and processes. He said rubber used in training shoes and sports balls had been certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council — another first for the brand.

“Every aspect of the business, its philosophy, principles and practices, is designed to ensure social justice and promote maximum benefit to people and communities while minimising environmental impact,” Mr Savaidis said.

He said socially responsible businesses should not only minimise harm but they should also make a positive contribution.

“Through sales of its fair trade products, Etiko helps fund community development, micro-credit and health care programs around the world,” he said.

Playing by the ethical rules

* TO be certified as fair trade or sweatshop free, workers are paid a fair wage — there is no child labour and the workplace is deemed safe

* ETIKO clothing is made from certified organic and Fair Trade cotton

* THE rubber in shoes and sports balls is certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council

* THE Etiko brand is certified halal as sweatshop labour and toxic materials contradicts Islamic beliefs

* WITH Oxfam, Etiko runs a “buy a ball, give a ball” campaign for Christmas. If you buy a ball another will be donated to an Afghanstan child

* Etiko is supporting World Vision’s anti-child labour campaign

More info at www.etiko.com.au


Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *