Spotlight on Earth Squared Bags & Accessories
If you have visited us in-store or online then you may have noticed that we have an ever-expanding range of Earth Squared bags, purses and accessories. If you are interested in finding out more about this fair trade and ethical ladies fashion brand then you have come to the right place. Here we are going to run through what makes them unique and their products desirable.
Who is Earth Squared?
With a head office in North Berwick, just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, Earth Squared are an ethically sourced, fair trade designer and manufacturer of ladies handbags and accessories. Accredited by the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS) and members of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) they operate from both the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Ethically Sourced & Fair Trade
As an ethical brand, their commitment to fair working practices also extends to environmental factors. They work to minimise their carbon footprint through all areas of their supply chain and recently took the move to remove all single-use plastics from their packing - instead, working with voile bags to protect their products.
A History of Earth Squared
Over 20 years ago, founder, Alison Henderson completed a volunteering project in Guatemala. She became aware of the social injustices that occurred in the manufacturing process and the conditions workers worked in. Looking to make a change she saw the opportunity to start a fair trade fashion business that provided great quality and fashionable products.
At the time of starting the business, Vietnam was a country that was struggling to make a mark on the global market and export goods overseas. After working with a few suppliers Alison decided to work with a company that shared her vision of ethical products, well made and fashionable. Over time the range of products has grown but the original mission has persisted.
What is Fair Trade?
The WFTO has a clear definition of what is meant by Fair Trade describing it as “a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equality in international trade.” In practice, this means working with businesses to ensure that fair employment conditions, including pay, are met.
You would be forgiven for thinking Fair Trade is just about employees pay but it is much more. It is a social movement that aims to promote justice in world trade and highlight businesses that put people first.
How does Earth Squared make a difference?
The majority of the workers and artisans who work with Earth Squared in Vietnam come from a background of rice farming. Depending on many factors including the weather, working in rice farming can mean farmers earn subsistent and inconsistent wages, all because of factors outwith their control. This means that they can work long hours and still not have enough money to meet even their basic needs.
Working with Earth Squared as a seamstress workers earn enough to make a good standard of living and even be able to send their children to higher education. Earth Squared ensure that all of their workers contribute to national insurance which in Vietnam covers medical costs and makes sure they have a pension when they retire.
When a person is employed they are trained on the job in the workshop just outside of Hanoi. They work in a clean and safe environment and are given days off and regular breaks. Furthermore, flexibility for working mothers has been built-in with a process to allow mothers to tend to sick children and breastfeed at work.
Diu comes from a remote province in Vietnam, a place where there is widespread poverty. Diu was top of her class at school but due to growing up in poverty was never able to continue onto higher education. She would have been expected to leave home, get a job and send money back to her family as soon as she became of working age.
Leaving home after finishing school Diu moved to Hanoi and got a job washing dishes in a cafe. Her remuneration was so little that she couldn’t afford to live let alone send money back to her struggling family.
After a friend made a suggestion Diu interviewed and got a job working with Earth Squared's partner in Hanoi. There she began working in packaging and dispatch where it became clear she was hardworking and intelligent. With support from the company, she was able to return to studies to become and computer administrator and is now a team leader in the quality control department.
How you can help?
If you have been inspired by this story then you may be looking for ways to help. It is simple, when spending money choose to buy products that are invested in Fair Trade. When it comes to ladies fashions Earth Squared offer great quality affordable fashion that also helps lift workers in Hanoi out of poverty, check out their range today!
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- Craig Morrison