Kicking Off Fair Trade Fortnight With….Soccer Balls!

This is the first posting in two weeks of daily coverage of specific fair trade products, in honor of Fair Trade Fortnight.

I recently was in need of a creative birthday present for the two-year old son of some good friends. He’s an avid soccer fan already (thanks to his dad!) and I was thrilled to discover a small, child-sized soccer ball at Portland’s Ten Thousand Villages store. Yup, a fair trade soccer ball!

If you’re a soccer fan, you may know that 70% of the world’s soccer balls are made in Pakistan. What you may not know is that the industry has been widely criticized for low wages, poor working conditions, and illegal child labor (yuck!).

Fair Trade Sports is an incredible company that has launched a full line of fair trade soccer balls as well as sporting equipment and other sports balls including volleyballs, footballs, basketballs, rugby balls, and more. The balls are all stitched in Pakistan by adult men and women who are paid a a livable wage plus an additional 20% is reinvested back into community projects where the balls are made.

Our little friend was thrilled with his fair trade mini-soccer ball. It’s never too young to get started with fair trade!

Coming tomorrow…fair trade tea!