Change Lives with your Shopping

We hear the phrase ‘Fairtrade’ a great deal these days but what does it really mean and why should we choose products that have the fairtrade mark? Here we take a look at what it means to be fair trade and the benefits of buying such goods.

What is it?

Imagine going shopping and knowing that you are really making a difference for the better to someone’s life. It would be a good feeling, wouldn’t it? Fairtrade is a process whereby farmers get a better deal, have more independence to control their own affairs and live in a more dignified way in poorer countries.  The shops will normally have a specific section of the store clearly marked with a fair trade symbol and all the products on some Shelving Ireland materials sourced from sites like to make the shopping experience better.

With more than 1.65 million farmers and workers worldwide who are part of the fair-trade programme, buying their produce really does change lives. In over 74 developing countries, workers are offered better prices, improved living conditions and a more positive future being part of the fair-trade agreement.

What does it do?

In a nutshell, it sets certain standards. Conditions in social, environmental and economic matters must be of a required standard for the companies involved in order to protect the farmers and workers. A minimum price must be paid for goods made and the rights of the workers are protected as well. A Fairtrade premium is also available to help companies invest in local businesses and community projects.

Independent checks are made to guarantee that these standards are being upheld and this is when a product can be marked with the Fairtrade symbol.

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Do consumers want it?

Yes, there is an increasing demand for products that have been responsibly sourced and demonstrate sustainability. Fairtrade works with many companies who have their own programmes set up, as long as they share the same values and principles. They also work in the countries at a grassroots level, helping farmers and workers with issues, in order to report back and lobby government for fairer treatment.

Where do Fairtrade products come from?

It’s a busy operation with 1,226 producer organisations across the Fairtrade scheme. Countries included in the system include but are not restricted to Colombia, India, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Bolivia, Kenya, Mexico, Belize, Peru, Argentina and Vietnam.

What kinds of things can you buy?

There is a huge number of Fairtrade products available to buy in stores and online. Coffee and tea, chocolate and flowers, woven products and even gold! Fairtrade certifies small farmer organisations who sell things like cocoa, cotton and rice. Fairtrade also certifies plantations that produce bananas and tea.

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How is life changed in the developing countries?

It’s decided by the workers and farmers how to spend the Fairtrade premium and it has been used to build hospitals, water wells, farming equipment and learning about organic farming methods. In this way, the local community chooses what to invest in for their future and provides them greater independence over their livelihoods.

Summer Style for Five Different Scenarios

Styling for summer can be tricky due to the British climate, and that makes layering a ‘must-do’ most of the time. There are some days, however, when you can cast the woollies aside and glory in the joy that separates, and sandals can bring to these occasions.

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Monday Morning Meetings

Brighten up the start of the week by putting a relaxed twist on a traditional office look. Pencil skirts never go out of fashion, and they are actually very easy to wear, regardless of shape, age or size. Pick a classic material such as cotton and team it with a basic t-shirt, a basket bag and a great pair of raffia sandals for a look that will keep you looking cool yet business-like all through the day.

Bubbly Barbecues

Barbecues should be all about kicking back with a burger in one hand and a glass of something fizzy in the other. This means that styling for the occasion should be all about comfort.

Team floaty maxi dresses from the likes of AX Paris with a pair of your favorite trainers and a bucket hat for a style solution that will work from day to night. Just don’t forget the sun cream. Read more about the importance of sunscreen and sun safety at

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Stay Cool by the Pool

If you’re heading to the pool, it’s time to have fun – both in the water and with your fashion choices. Mix up patterns as you team your favorite swimsuit or bikini with a versatile cover-up for when the splashing gets too much. Maxi skirts can be a great choice, as they are easy to take on and off, while a big basket bag is great for carrying your towel, portable charger, sun cream and any other essentials you need for your day.

Festival Time

Festivals are big news in the summer months and make a perfect excuse to don your favorite easy, breezy dresses. Be daring with patterns and remember that you won’t go wrong with a great animal print this year. Team with a bum bag and chunky boots for the perfect festival feel.

Hit the Beach

Midi dresses are made for the beach. They are easy to whip on and off in between tanning sessions and look great with a floppy hat and a pair of oversized sunniest.