Boll & Branch, makers of socially conscious home textiles, has announced that its full line of products — including bed sheet sets, duvets, shams and bed covers — will be the first of their kind to sport Fair Trade USA'sFair Trade Certified™ label.
Since January, Boll & Branch has become one of the fastest-growing brands in the home textiles category. The new bedding brand sold thousands of sets of organic cotton sheets under the premise that Fair Trade costs are a moral obligation that shouldn't be passed on to the customer, as well as by accepting a healthy 50-60 percent margin, versus the 400-600 percent markup that is customary among many leading textile brands. This business model enables the customer to actually pay less than they would for designer products that often do not maintain acceptable ethical and environmental standards.
"Improving the lives of the people who make textiles has been at the center of what we do since day one," said Boll & Branch co-founder Scott Tannen. "As we expand our product line from 40 products to 500, we're proud to achieve Fair Trade Certification and to create more fair-wage jobs in above-standard working conditions for our cotton farmers and factory workers in India."
The Boll & Branch line of products is also made exclusively from cotton sourced from Chetna Organic — a cooperative of 15,000 organic cotton farmers in India who practice non-GMO organic agriculture. Chetna works to improve livelihood options of smallholder farmers by making their farm systems more sustainable and profitable, and by creating access to ethical markets in cotton. The company donates a portion of each sale to Not For Sale, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating human trafficking around the world.
October is Fair Trade Month, and Fair Trade USA has announced the launch of several new Fair Trade Certified™ products across new categories. In addition to Boll & Branch, Fair Trade USA also announced products and categories including home goods, apparel and coconut. In 2014, Fair Trade USA partnered with 109 new companies (for a total of 915), and helped launch 455 new Fair Trade Certified products into the North American market. The growth and increased availability of Fair Trade products empowers shoppers to choose items that make a positive difference — from ensuring that factory workers have safe working conditions, to helping farmers and workers improve their communities and environment.
In April, Fair Trade USA announced its certification of its one billionth pound of Fair Trade coffee since its founding in 1998. The organization said this milestone was made possible by the sustainable sourcing practices of nearly 500 coffee companies, which helped Fair Trade coffee farmers and farm workers earn almost $124 million in Community Development Premiums to date, with $30.8 million in 2013 alone.