Fair Trade on the Rise in Private Label Coffee, Apparel and Home Goods in the Second Quarter

New and expanded commitments to Fair Trade Certification were made as brands and businesses continue to seek trusted partners to realize ESG and responsible sourcing initiatives
Aug 3, 2021 9:10 AM ET
Campaign: Press Releases

OAKLAND, Calif., August 3, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Today, Fair Trade USA® – the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America – announces new commitments and product launches in the second quarter of 2021. As workers and vulnerable populations continue to struggle with the impacts of the climate crisis and new COVID-19 variants, businesses are executing on environmental, social, and governance criteria with increasing urgency and vigilance. And consumers are holding them accountable with more than ever.

Today, one in three consumers feel fair trade is essential to their purchase, and retailers that use the Fair Trade Certified seal on their products see sales lift by 3.3% on average. And with deeper storytelling around the meaning of fair trade, sales can increase up to 134%.* Conscious consumerism continues to encourage brands and retailers to make significant commitments to social equity and transparency. Increasingly, businesses are turning to fair trade as a holistic partner for social compliance and responsibility.

The following showcase these new or expanded commitments:

Fair Trade Certified Private Label Coffee
CVS Pharmacy recently launched over 150 new products in its exclusive Store Brands assortment, including new health and wellness, grocery, and beauty brands. Gold Emblem®, the retailer’s exclusive grocery brand, will now offer Fair Trade Certified™ coffees to help support and empower coffee producers. The expansion makes CVS the first-ever drugstore to carry 100% Fair Trade Certified products in its exclusive store brand. The assortment will offer nine sustainably sourced coffee products offered in various blends, roasts (Donut Shop, French Vanilla, French Roast, Colombian), and pack sizes. Each sale will directly benefit coffee producers through Community Development Funds that workers can invest in initiatives that address their pressing community needs. In the past, workers have used these funds for climate resiliency projects, to build schools and clinics, provide transportation, and more.

Learn how fair trade impacts farmers and the global coffee industry.

Sustainable Apparel on the Rise
Conversations regarding ethically sourced apparel ramped up as Fair Trade USA stressed the importance of ethical apparel sourcing with its We Wear Fair Trade campaign which ran from April 26 to May 7, 2021. For the first time, the campaign challenged brands to make a new or expanded commitment to fair trade sourcing through its #GetTheSeal Challenge and called on consumers to ask their favorite brands to #GetTheSeal. The campaign created a new pathway for industry adoption and continues to run, welcoming any apparel brands that wish to make commitments through the remainder of 2021.

“The industry really needs to be flipped upside down. Fair trade became an obvious choice – it’s something that we needed to commit to,” said Adrianne Gilbride, Supply Sustainability Lead at Arc’teryx during a We Wear Fair Trade sourcing event.

Mightly, an organic childrenswear brand, joined the #GetTheSeal Challenge by amplifying it, and the meaning of Fair Trade Certified across its social channels, in blog posts, and on QR codes displayed on product packaging.

Pact Organic Apparel added to the momentum of the Challenge to apparel brands in Q2. Best known for its organic clothing basics and bedding, the brand announced a new sourcing commitment: to produce 90% of its products in Fair Trade Certified Factories in 2021 and 2022.

Finally, Our Tiny Roots, a new kids clothing and bedding brand, partnered with Fair Trade USA for the first time during the Challenge. The brand was on-boarded during the We Wear Fair Trade campaign and will source from a Fair Trade Certified factory, Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills, in West Bengal, India. Our Tiny Roots promoted its commitment to fair trade alongside its launch, making it the latest company to launch an apparel brand with Fair Trade Certified offerings.

New Fair Trade Certified Product Launches
We are pleased to also see 229 new Fair Trade Certified products hit the shelves and online shops in the second quarter of 2021. Of note, 46 of these new products were in the private label space.

  • Gold Emblem Coffee
  • Chobani multi-serve yogurt
  • Australis Aquaculture Finfish

Explore all Fair Trade Certified products here.

Fair Trade USA, along with its partners, will continue to make sustainable choices more readily available and accessible than ever before. To be part of this shift toward ethical and responsible sourcing, learn more about partnering with Fair Trade USA.

For more information: 

Kasi Martin

About Fair Trade USA 
Fair Trade USA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve its communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award and recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell its stories of impact and educate consumers about the power of its purchase. The Fair Trade Certified seal represents thousands of products, improving millions of lives, protecting land and waterways in 45 countries and counting. Purchases have sent $740 million to farmers and workers since 1998. 

Facebook: @Fairtradecertified

Instagram: @fairtradecertified

Twitter: @FairTradeCert

*Source: Natural Marketing Institute and Kroger