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What Are the Different Types of Fair Trade Clothing?

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  • Written By: Angela Colley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Fair trade clothing comes from companies that use ethical business practices. These companies hire workers at fair wages, do not employ child labor and offer everyone an equal opportunity. There are different types of fair trade clothing for children, men and women, including toddler’s rompers, women’s dresses, jeans and accessories, to name a few. Designers often use organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or other sustainable materials when creating fair trade clothing.

All types of clothing for babies and small children are sold by fair trade clothing companies. Many designers sell baby onesies and playsuits made from organic cotton. The outfits often have different sayings that support both the fair trade movement and organic clothing. For toddlers, manufacturers offer pullover sundresses, T-shirts, rompers and cotton pants. A few fair trade companies sell cotton play shoes for toddlers, which work well for wearing indoors.

Women’s styles make up the largest variety of fair trade clothing. Juniors, petites and women can purchase many types of dresses with different hem lengths, cuts and styles, such as halter cut sundresses, A-line casual dresses and full-length dresses. Many companies offer fair trade jeans for women and other casual wear, such as baby doll-cut T-shirts, fashionable tank tops and long-sleeve blouses. Several designers also offer yoga clothing, including bamboo yoga pants, fitted organic cotton tank tops and tennis skirts.

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The fair trade clothing industry also offers an impressive line of styles for men. Men can choose from a wide range of jeans and dress pants made from materials such as bamboo and hemp. There are many types of organic cotton T-shirts available, both in plain colors and printed styles, that have different popular fits such as the V-neck, vintage and casual cuts. A few designers have also created fair trade pajamas for men, and these lines include pajama pants in solids and prints as well as loose-fit T-shirts made for sleeping.

A few designers have created essential lines for men and women. These essential lines include underwear, undershirts, slips and socks. Women can choose from a full line of lingerie, camisoles and hosiery. Men can choose from a full line of undergarments, tank tops and T-shirts. Most of the intimates and essential apparel offered by fair trade clothing designers come from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton or bamboo, or from recycled materials, such as repurposed metal clasps.

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irontoenail
Post 3

@clintflint - I actually think that's going to end up being a bit of a moot point in the next few decades as I've seen more than one documentary where prototype 3D printers of various kinds have made clothing to order in people's homes.

In one case, they have developed a spray on material that dried into cloth and could be dissolved at the end of the day.

I think the future of clothing is going to be much more personal and based around craft and technology.

clintflint
Post 2

@browncoat - Fair trade clothes are a fairly complex issue because it takes so many different processes to make the clothes. You've got to ensure that the cotton growers are being treated fairly, the people who weave and dye the cloth, who sew it and package it and so forth.

You've also probably got to make sure that the clothing is made from organic materials. There is a reason that people used to just have a couple of sets of clothes and that was it for their wardrobe. Clothing is time consuming and expensive to make if you do it fairly.

browncoat
Post 1

One of the things it's important to know about fair trade is that you can't just assume because it's on the label that it actually is better for the people who are making the clothes. I know they have had problems with coffee where the fair trade agencies fix the price to protect against it going too low, but it also prevent the growers from getting a better price when the market allows it. I can see how that might make sense from a business perspective, since you've got to be able to guarantee that prices will be at a certain level and preventing highs allows you to prevent lows. But it isn't necessarily better for the maker or grower.

I would do careful research if this is important to you before investing in any kind of fair trade items, to ensure that they really are a good thing for the people who they claim to help.

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