One of our favourite suppliers is Siesta. Their wholesale catalogue is awash with bright colours and beautiful pictures of gorgeous products. We want to buy everything! Just one look and touch of Siesta clothing is enough to convince anyone of the superior quality of these items
Chris and Les, who are the founders of Siesta, often visit the people who make many of the gifts and clothing you find in our little shop in Hull. Not only are these artisans paid a good wage, but the Siesta team like to make sure working conditions continue to be good and everyone is as happy and healthy as possible.
The following is an excerpt from the Siesta website following their trip to Thailand:
“The first person we visited was our elephant print rayon producer, Khun Kaew. After being invited to her house to look through new samples and fabrics where the living room quickly became one huge mess of colourful rayon, we headed off to see where the clothing is assembled.
“Kaew has been employing a team of tailors who have mostly been operating out of their own homes. Recently however, Kaew has been able to expand by setting up a small workshop on the outskirts of Chiang Mai and purchasing new sewing machines. There is now a mixture of home and workshop production.”
Being able to work from home allows families to spend more time together. On the other hand, workers may prefer to do their work in the workshop which means dedicated space is not required in the home. As we ourselves know personally, working from home has both its advantages and disadvantages, as does working away from home. We think it’s great that Kaew’s employees get to choose what’s best for themselves and their families.
This is just one tiny example that helps put the “Fair” in Fair Trade (and the warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts). Compare this to the sweatshops used in the mass production of cheap throwaway fashion, not to mention child labour, and you see why we love Fair Trade.