NEW YORK, N.Y. – Here are some resources for those who are interested in buying clothes that are “ethically produced:”
—Fair Trade U.S.A. (fairtradeusa.org): The non-profit was founded in 1998 to audit products to make sure workers overseas are paid fair wages and work in safe conditions, and it’s hoping to appeal to shoppers who care about where their clothing is made. In 2010, it expanded the list of products that it certifies beyond coffee, sugar and spices to include clothing. Check out its website to find fashions and partners such as PrAna, a yoga-inspired clothing line.
—Green America (greenamerica.org): A non-profit organization that helps shoppers find eco-friendly and ethically produced merchandise, including clothing. The website includes a “Green Business Network” that is a directory of socially and environmentally responsible businesses in the country. The group published a guide last year on how to buy eco-friendly and “ethically produced” clothing.
—Labour 411.org: The site describes itself as the one-stop resource for buying union-made goods and services. The site lists a range of products including clothing like athletic wear that are made by unionized workers in the U.S.
Search the web. Search online for “ethically produced” clothing or “Fair Trade” clothing to find companies like Fair Indigo, which sells Fair Trade certified fashions online. There are also organizations like Global Mamas, (Globalmamas.org) a non-profit group that works with women-owned businesses in Ghana to produce organic cotton clothing. It lets customers email their seamstresses directly from its website. Customers can buy the Global Mama branded products through a related link called Trade for Change.