10 Ways to Know if Your Fair Trade Handbag is Authentic

by | Artisans

Read Time: 6 min.

Fair trade is a trending buzzword for ethically conscious fashion lovers all over the world. If you’re new to the world of fair trade, you probably have some questions. Producers and other companies can become members of an international fair trade federation that regulates its members to ensure they comply with fair trade principles. But not all companies who are passionately committed to fair trade principles belong to a fair trade federation. So, as marketing trends are leaning toward jumping on the fair-trade buzzword bandwagon…


How can we know if the fair trade products we love are truly fair trade?

360° Fair Trade

The Fair Trade Federation provides 10 hallmarks of authentic fair trade principles that we can use to determine if the fair trade products we buy are the real deal.*

Let’s take a look at how we can make sure the products we love and buy meet the Fair Trade Federation’s 360° definition of fair trade.

Example A: Trades of Hope’s Blush Rabia Bag from India

#1 Growing Artisan and Farmer Businesses

Trades of Hope’s Blush Rabia Bag is handcrafted by Artisans in India.

Blush Rabia Bag – Trades of Hope is a missional fair-trade business committed to keeping families together and preventing human trafficking.

We partner with Artisans and local community outreach programs in 19 countries to provide opportunities for women to break free from poverty and human trafficking and enjoy safe housing, skills training, jobs with fair wages, healthcare, education, clean water, and counseling.

As Artisans, women create quality fashion, accessories, and home décor using skills from their own cultures. We pay our Artisan partners upfront to provide them with a secure income. Artisans in 18 countries create fair-trade products.

Trades of Hope provides a global marketplace to sell Artisans’ products through our website and lookbooks.

Trades of Hope Partners share Artisans’ stories and sell Artisans’ products through home parties and social media every day and through our website 24/7.

#2 High Quality, Authentic Product

Blush Rabia Bag – India is home to one-fourth of the world’s poorest people.

In areas of extreme poverty, many Artisans rely heavily on readily available natural materials like ethically collected leather – a byproduct of food and farming industries – in order to prevent waste and maximize product quality with minimal expense.

Artisans in India use genuine leather to create our Blush Rabia Bag. Using natural renewable materials helps Artisans earn higher wages without compromising product quality.

#3 Going Beyond Fair Wages and Safe Working Conditions

Blush Rabia Bag – Fair-trade ideology goes far beyond helping families survive.

Fair-trade ideology believes in giving families the power to thrive.

The Artisans who make our Blush Rabia Bag work in clean, safe, and well-lit workspaces.

They earn more than their government’s mandated minimum wage.

But they’re also offered opportunities to learn and advance in sustainable job skills like leather crafting, die-cutting, sewing, and business management.

They’re even offered opportunities for interest-free loans to build homes for their families.

Fair-trade ideology goes far beyond helping families survive.

Fair-trade ideology believes in giving families the power to thrive.

#4 Positive Change

Socially, Economically, and Environmentally

Blush Rabia Bag – These Artisans are committed to ethical production and business practices that protect and preserve the environment, as well as the positive influences and heritage of their culture. They’re passionate about creating social change in their village where many women have traditionally endured gender discrimination and poverty. But female Artisans who create our Blush Rabia Bag are offered skills training and opportunities to become entrepreneurs who are treated as equal business partners.

#5 Strengthening Communities

Blush Rabia Bag – These Artisans once traveled great distances for the opportunity to enjoy skills training, safe workspaces, and fair wages. But in an effort to allow them to spend less time and money traveling, their workspace was relocated closer to their village. Now they have more time and money to invest in their families.

#6 Socially and Environmentally Responsible

Blush Rabia Bag – In areas of extreme poverty, vulnerable workers including women and children, are often exploited by sweatshops – a form of modern-day slavery and human trafficking that commonly includes forced labor, unsafe working conditions, and unfair pay.

As a fair-trade product, our Blush Rabia Bag from India is…

handcrafted in safe workspaces…

using environmentally responsible and ethically sourced materials…

by business partners over the age of sixteen-years-old…

who freely choose to earn fair wages as Artisan partners.

#7 Empowering Producers

Blush Rabia Bag – Our Blush Rabia Bag from India is produced by a community of multi-generational Artisans committed to preserving their villages’ traditional leather crafting techniques.

Partnering with Trades of Hope is helping these Artisans expand their global market.

Trades of Hope’s designers and product development Home Team members offer Artisans support with skills training, design, and product development.

When Artisans’ businesses grow through increasing product quality, including timely production and delivery, it’s a Win!-Win!-Win! for Artisans, Trades of Hope, and you as a shopper.

#8 Made and Grown the Traditional Way

Blush Rabia Bag – Artisans in India use ethically sourced genuine leather and traditional leathercrafting techniques passed down for generations.

#9 Developing Long-Term Partnerships Built on Trust

Blush Rabia Bag – Representatives from Trades of Hope visit Artisan communities we partner with to observe Artisans’ working conditions and learn how we can help Artisans grow their businesses, help their families thrive, and make a positive impact on their local communities.

Artisans are treated as business professionals and equal partners. We provide them with opportunities to grow their skills and abilities – not charity. As partners we encourage and challenge each other to be our best, and we choose to believe the best about one another. Trades of Hope Designer and Head of Product Development & Artisan Development visited the Artisans in India who make our genuine leather Blush Rabia Bag.

#10 The Deepest Commitment to Fair Trade

Blush Rabia Bag – Trades of Hope understands that no business partnership – even a partnership based on fair trade principles – is perfect. But we strive for excellence in abiding by fair trade ideology and practices. There will always be room for growth and improvement from every product, partnership, and person involved, but we are committed to honoring the human value of every Trades of Hope product and partnership.

Our Blush Rabia Bag is made by Artisans in India who are consciously committed to improving the lives of women and families in their community. They intentionally provide Artisan skills training and create opportunities for fair-trade jobs in areas of extreme poverty, so Artisans can provide for their families’ needs and hope for a better future. Trades of Hope is Fashion as a Force for Good.

Trades of Hope…

partners with Artisans in 18 countries around the world.

is owned by women committed to keeping families together and stopping human trafficking.

Trades of Hope is proud to partner with Artisans who share our commitment to fair-trade principles and practices and our mission of fashion as a force for good.

Trades of Hope is proud to partner with Artisans who share our commitment to fair-trade principles and practices and our mission of fashion as a force for good.

Trades of Hope is fashion as a force for good.

Partner to fight poverty and human trafficking.

*“Home.” Fair Trade Federation, Fair Trade Federation, 2020, www.fairtradefederation.org/.

1 Comment

  1. Sherry Mosner

    What a great story of how things are made. I an so happy to hear that my purchase can actually make a difference!!


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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.


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Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.