Feed on

A little thing we recorded with Euronews back in January that I’ve been meaning to share here. Hope you like it! (We’re on at 3.28)

Read more about the Euronews Terra Viva Green Weddings episode.


Ethical Weddings

What next?

So, here we are again. I’ve had a week to recover and now I’m ready to deliver my verdict on 2007 vs. 2013: the fair trade off.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2013Based on nothing scientific whatsoever, but rather on the findability (my word) of fair trade items in each area of wedding planning combined with a gut feeling, I bring you The Fair Trade Weddingometer.

This valuable instrument will help to illustrate whether a given element of the fair trade wedding has become easier or harder to source, or remains pretty much the same.

The Fair Trade Weddingometer

Let’s start by saying we were delighted overall by the blossoming range of beautiful fair trade products. Style is most definitely joining substance.

It was sad to see that a number of companies we’d featured in 2007 had gone to the wall by 2013 but not unexpected given the years of recession and the high ratio of new businesses that fail in the first few years in any case.

Now, on to the Weddingometer – we’re starting at the bottom, that way there’s only one way to go.

Bit shivery

We had high hopes for Gift Lists in 2007 – several lists had just launched and there was everything to play for. So we were surprised to find so few in 2013 and saddened to hear that Fairgift – the original fair trade gift list – had just closed its virtual doors.

Maybe fewer couples are opting for a traditional ‘gift’ list – with more and more couples living together before they marry they just don’t need one and instead are choosing charity lists, honeymoon lists, or nothing at all.

Natural Mango wood letters from Nkuku
Natural mango wood letters from Nkuku.com

On the other hand, as we carried on with the Challenge, we did come across other wedding gift lists that hadn’t appeared in our general search – such as this one at the gorgeous Nkuku – so our advice would be if you find a company offering fair trade products and you like what you see, just ask them if they do a gift list. Don’t ask, don’t get!

Fairtrade flowers
Fairtrade flowers photo from the Easy Green Living blog

Fairtrade flowers was another tricky one. Sales are starting to decline. Most florists trying to make the world a better place focus on growing local and growing organic. Flower miles present a dilemma. We’ll watch developments in the Fairtrade flower industry with interest.

Cool as a cucumber

Fair trade wedding stationery has made some progress (we do have The Fair Trade Wedding Stationery Company now!) but it’s easier to find designers using recycled, eco-friendly paper and card rather than fair trade. Of course fair trade recycled or tree-free stationery can be found – we hope we see more of it over the coming years.

Warming up

We talked photo albums and music in our Sight & Sound post on Day 8 of the Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge. The photo albums we found are fabulous and the initiative for fair trade music very interesting. Positive stuff.

Fair Trade Tourism South Africa
Fair Trade Tourism South Africa logo from Baobab Travel who in 2012 had 4 of their South Africa holidays certified as Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) travel packages

We didn’t cover Honeymoons in 2007 so they’ve leapt up our Fair Trade Weddingometer. While there is no Fairtrade mark for a holiday (yet – South Africa has created its own certification as pictured above) awareness of responsible tourism is growing, and if you’re going to plan a wedding that gives everyone something to celebrate it makes sense to do the same with the honeymoon. Most of us have had it with mainstream tourism, we want to get off the beaten track, meet the locals, discover something different and the concept of fair trade tourism is the perfect way to do this.

Getting toasty

Fair trade pretty hanging heart trio from Daisy Daisy
Pretty hanging heart trio from Daisy Daisy

Venue decorations and wedding favours gave us some fantastic fair trade choices – fairy lights, candles, vases, lots and lots of chocolate. They’re the little details that make your day extra special but – importantly – don’t cost the earth.

Rosalind Miller wedding cakes
Wedding cakes using fair trade & organic ingredients from Rosalind Miller Cakes – via One Stylish Bride

Moving on to food and drink, there seemed to be more cakemakers out there more than happy to use fair trade ingredients in the all-important wedding cake while fair trade drinks have gone beyond Fairtrade wine (now winning awards) to include beer, spirits and soft drinks too.

Hot under the collar

AeraVida fair trade bracelet
Contempo Criss Cross Rope Wrap Wire Copper Pearl Cuff by AeraVida

Fair trade fashion is where things have really taken off. The fair trade accessories range is almost endless and so so stylish (although, as in 2007, we failed in our hunt for a fair trade tiara!).

Bridesmaids can choose from umpteen fair trade dresses perfectly suited to a stroll down the aisle with nary a tie dyed skirt in sight.

Ingrid wedding gown by Tammam
Ingrid wedding gown by Tammam

But the bride is the winner (the groom is still playing catch up on the fair trade suit and shirt front) as serious designers have woken up to fairy tale fair trade fabrics and woven them into their wedding dress dreams. If I’m honest, I feel quite jealous that most of these weren’t around when I was getting married.


Cred Fairtrade Fairmined wedding ring
Journey wedding ring by Cred Jewellery in Fairtrade Fairmined gold

Bubbling away at the top of our Fair Trade Weddingometer, however, are the rings. Since 2007, we’ve had official, certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold arrive on the scene, followed by platinum and silver. These are giant steps for these little rings that make a massive impact on the lives of small scale miners and their families around the world.

Until next time

And there you have it – our Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge in a nutshell. We hope you had fun following it and discovered a few fair gems for your own wedding celebrations. Shall we do it all again in 2019?


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Day 9: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Honeymoons

Day 10: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Rings

Day 11: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Flowers

Day 12: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Cake

Day 13: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Bridalwear

Day 14: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Here comes the groom

Ethical Weddings

What next?

It’s the last day! We made it – it’s been tough, and I have to tell you there have been a lot of very late nighters to get this done but here we are on Day 14 of Fairtrade Fortnight.

It’s not just about the groom and his guys today – we’re looking at the bridesmaids too. I’m going to start with them as I’m feeling quietly confident on this score. The groom? Not so much.

Fair trade posh frocks

Here are our top 5 fair trade bridesmaid dress ideas.

1. Berry wrap dress from Bibico

Bibico fair trade wrap dress

Bibico’s wrap dress is made in India from 100% cotton. Bibico ‘…clothes are made from quality natural materials and produced in fair trade cooperatives.’

2. Betty Sure Was Good dress – Alexandra King

Alexandra King fair trade gown

She says: “Our super good and gorgeous little black dress made in a beautiful cotton that just happens to be organic and fair trade too.” (Fabric from Bishopston Trading)

3. Rita embroidered dress in coral – People Tree

People Tree fair trade Rita dress

This sleeveless pencil woven dress is made in Bangladesh by Artisan Hut for fair trade fashionistas, People Tree.

4. Flo Fair Trade Full Skirt Dress – Komodo

Flo Fair Trade Full Skirt Dress by Komodo

Floral dress in 100% cotton by Komodo.

5. Fair trade dress by Nomads

Fair trade 50s style dress by Nomads

I found this 50s style fair trade dress by Nomads (after much searching) on a website called Folio. I’m not 100% sure whether it’s still available but it is gorgeous (comes in other colours too) so maybe get in touch with Nomads if you want it!

The groom

This is probably the hardest part of the challenge. Decent formal fair trade fashion (and sustainable fashion) is notoriously difficult to find for men.

Most of the companies mentioned in our 2007 Fairtrade Fortnight Challenge Dressing Up post have now disappeared but Chandni Chowk, Bishopston Trading and People Tree are all thriving so we’ll see what they can offer the discerning groom in 2013.

Bishopston Trading

Bishopston Trading slimfit shirt

This slimfit shirt from Bishopston Trading could suit a more informal wedding.

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk men's fair trade white shirt

Chandni Chowk has a 100% organic, unbleached, fair trade cotton shirt, hand made in India.

People Tree

Hector Chambray jacket from People Tree

People Tree has taken things a step further with the fair trade Hector Chambray jacket in grey or navy.

Fairtrade white grandad shirt

They also have this white grandad collar poplin shirt (100% organic Fairtrade certified cotton) with breast pocket and shell buttons which would go very nicely with the jacket.

Arthur & Henry

And now for the exciting bit. This brand new company is finally taking men’s fair trade shirts seriously.

Fairtrade white shirts from Arthur & Henry

Take a look at the Chislet collection – “Classic herringbone weave shirts made with fair trade and organic cotton”.

Isn’t it just perfect? Arthur & Henry is named after the founders’ great-grandfather, Arthur and granddad, Henry. They say: “Arthur and Henry both lived in an age where a shirt was both an every day item of clothing, and something special to be looked after. Holes darned, cuffs reversed & collars starched. We don’t yearn for a rose tinted past, but we take inspiration from it. An era when men dressed just that little bit smarter and clothes were made to last.

Our shirts are good shirts. They are well made. We haven’t cut corners. They are good for the environment made with organic cotton. They are good for the people who’ve had a hand in making them, from farmer to factory worker, weaver to dyer.

We believe that every man needs a good shirt and so we founded Arthur & Henry to provide beautiful, ethical, men’s shirts.

They also gave us a great tip. If you’re going all out for a fair trade wedding and are getting married in church, make sure your vicar is on board by pointing him or her to Fair Trade Clergy Shirts.

Celia Grace

Fair trade bow tie from Celia Grace

We admired Celia Grace’s bridalwear yesterday but they also offer fair trade ties and bow ties for men.

In Tandem Fair Trade

Fair trade ties and bow ties

Our friends at In Tandem Fair Trade put together this great board with a selection of fair trade ties and bow ties.

Mrs Bow Tie

Mrs Bow Tie has a bounty of beautiful fair trade bow ties.

Mrs Bow Tie fair trade ties and bow ties

This Fair Trade Blue Vertical Stripe bow tie has been made from handloomed organically grown cotton from India and is Fair Trade certified to ensure that it ethically sourced to improve the life of the poor and marginalised producers.


NOHARM vegan shoes for men

And last but not least, NOHARM has a fantastic range of vegan shoes for men. While not strictly speaking fair trade (they are handmade in Italy), NOHARM says: “NOHARM is proud to introduce an exciting range of high fashion, environmentally-conscious, vegan footwear for the discerning and ethically responsible.

So guys, slowly but surely, you’re getting there on the fair trade fashion front.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our posts over Fairtrade Fortnight 2013. Big thanks to Kate Marillat and Tara Gould for their posts and general keenness.

We’ll do a summing up piece next week but for now, I’m off to bed!


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Day 9: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Honeymoons

Day 10: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Rings

Day 11: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Flowers

Day 12: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Cake

Day 13: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Bridalwear


Ethical Weddings

What next?

And so we reach the final weekend of our Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge.

What are we left with? Only the biggest challenge of all: THE DRESS.

But don’t worry, we’re not completely bridecentric. Today we’re doing fair trade wedding gowns, tomorrow we’ll be looking at bridesmaid dresses and groomswear. Hey guys, we saved the best till last!

There has been a ginormous leap in the range of fair trade bridalwear available since the last time we took on this challenge. Our fair trade bridalwear post for 2007 revealed… almost nothing, apart from incomprehension at the idea of a fair trade wedding dress and a couple of brave souls (dressmakers) who were willing to give it a go.

Today, well, the gowns I’m going to show you are gorgeous but if I had a little more stamina and was a little less sleep-deprived (love you my darling children!) I could have shown you even more. Let’s just consider it your bridal homework to add to the list.

Katherine Feiel

Katherine Feiel Rose wedding gown

This Canadian designer creates ‘bespoke, custom, and one-of-a-kind designer wedding gowns crafted from new and vintage fabrics’.

The new fabrics she uses are fairly traded from developing nations.

See more Katherine Feiel wedding gowns


Aranel Galas wedding gown

Caroline Lindenlaub​ is a French designer based in Strasbourg who is concerned with both the ‘écologique’ and the ‘éthique’ impacts of her work.

The silks that she works with are produced, woven and dyed by a fair trade (‘commerce equitable’) cooperative in Cambodia. Every year, the cooperative is audited by the French organisation, ‘La Plate-Forme Pour Le Commerce Equitable’ (Platform for Fair Trade).

See more Aranel wedding gowns

Olivia Luca

Olivia Luca wedding gown

This innovative site allows you to create your own gown in just a few easy steps, choosing your preferred neckline, skirt length, sash and so on.

Even better, they say: “We now offer both traditionally produced silks and other natural fibers and a growing selection of sustainably produced, fair trade and organic natural fabric options. As we find more fabrics along these lines suitable for dresses we will be adding them to the options, so check back often!

The fair trade options include a ‘Fair Trade Handwoven Silk Shantung’ and a ‘Fair Trade Handwoven Silk Organza’ – both are handwoven in small villages on very old family looms and the weavers receive a fair trade price for their work.

Find out more about Olivia Luca wedding gowns

Lena dress

Lena dress wedding gowns

These wedding gowns are stylish but simple and are “…locally made of fair trade silks from a family run mill at the foothills of the Himalayas”.

The designer, Lynn Medoff, is based in Portland, Oregon, USA.

See more Lena wedding gowns

Sanyukta Shrestha

Sanyukta Shrestha: Anne wedding gown

We featured Sanyukta’s designs in our winter wedding post, ‘And the bride wore thermals‘ last December, and we’re delighted to have the occasion to share her work again.

She says: “Most of the natural fibres used in the bridal collections are skillfully hand spun and hand loomed by village women in Nepal” and she hopes to “…create opportunities for women in this area of the world, by merging and turning their traditional skills into delicate fabrics and exquisite designs“.

Fabrics are sourced from ethical and fair trade certified manufacturers.

See more of Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding gowns

Celia Grace

Celia Grace wedding dress

Marcie Muehlke had a fun-filled, green wedding in 2010, her “…only disappointment was that I couldn’t find a wedding dress that matched my values. I wanted the white wedding dress of my dreams but I wanted it to bring joy not only to me, but also to the people who made it.

And so Celia Grace was born, tying together my dedication to international development, empowering women, protecting the environment, and making weddings more meaningful.

Marcie runs Celia Grace as a social enterprise. She asks, “What if your wedding dress could improve the lives of everyone who touched it? That is the goal for Fair Trade for Celia Grace – a dress that helps rural women keep their girls in school, enables seamstresses to work in safety and with dignity.”

See more Celia Grace wedding gowns

Adele Wechsler

Adele Wechsler wedding gowns

Adele grew up in South Africa where she studied design before moving to Toronto, Canada with her future husband.

In 2007, taking inspiration from her roots in South Africa, she created the HELLO AFRICA bridal collection, working with Zulu artisans, “…to incorporate a humanitarian component that would deepen the meaning of a bride’s special day.

She says, “Working from home enables these talented women to care for their children while they earn an income of Fair Trade rates, a partnership based on mutual respect, of which I am proud.

See more from Adele’s Hello Africa collection

Atelier Tammam

Tammam Lucinda wedding dress

Central St Martins graduate, Lucy Tammam has done a tremendous job of moving eco and fair trade fashion out of the ‘worthy’ box and into the one marked ‘must-have’.

She says: “We ensure that all garments and fabrics are produced under fair trade conditions, [...] To achieve this we have spent years sourcing our perfect and unique supply chain, working closely with WFTO certified fair trade units in Bangalore and Kolkatta, whose tailors we have trained extensively to be of the highest standard.

…Some of the tailors we have trained have moved on to open their own successful independent businesses, and we also offer them regular work as tailors for some of our creations.

And the bit I love: “Tammam gowns are true heirloom pieces, made with love and dedication, showcasing the skills and talents of amazing people who deserve, and have been given respect.

Read the full Tammam Story

Her new boutique in Bloomsbury, London gives brides the chance to see for themselves that a social conscience doesn’t have to mean a style compromise on their big day.

Watch this short video of Tammam’s roving eco couture catwalk at St Pancras Station, London.

See more Tammam wedding gowns

Wholly Jo’s

Wholly Jo's wedding dress

Joanne Mackin made her first bridesmaid dress when she was still in her teens. Now she makes 12-15 dresses a year and you’re advised to book well ahead as her summer months fill up quickly!

Joanne uses organic and fair trade fabrics for her bespoke creations.

See more Wholly Jo’s gowns


Que Va Wedding Gown

I came across this company on the Irish wedding site, One Fab Day and I’m pointing you back to them and their great post on the new Que-Va bridal collection as the Que-Va website is currently under construction so a bit lacking in information.

Caiomhe Keane is the woman behind the brand and One Fab Day say: “Incorporating her passion for sustainability fair trade and love for the environment, Caiomhe uses eco fabrics, organic silks, vintage, antique and reused trims as much as possible in her designs.

Visit the Que-Va site for the bridal collection (but be aware it is still under construction)

Conscious Elegance

Conscious Elegance Mara wedding gown

Lori del Genis may have moved from the UK back to the US but her reputation for excellence in sustainable style hasn’t suffered in the slightest.

She uses use certified Organic Fair Trade Cotton fabrics in her bridalwear and even the buttons are hand-carved from fairly-traded tagua nut – this gives craftsmen a livelihood for themselves and their families without having to resort to damaging farming practices in the South American rainforest.

You can even order fabric from Lori to make your own wedding gown.

See more Conscious Elegance wedding gowns

To finish

Wonderful Wraps

Ivory wedding Bolero from Wonderful Wraps

To complete your outfit, why not throw on a fair trade wrap from Dorset company, Wonderful Wraps?

BANGKOK linen green vegan shoes from Olsenhaus

Then pop on a pair of these heels from Olsenhaus (they say: “Olsen Haus produces quality, stylish, cruelty-free vegan shoes and vegan accessories with standards of fair trade and ethical business practices.“).

Fair trade sandals from Laidback London

For a summer wedding, these very pretty fair trade sandals from Laidback London would work well: “We are committed to working out of Africa where we are making a positive social and economic impact on the local communities that we work with.” Read more about Laidback London’s mission.

Poppy flat sandal from Lilly Pilly Silk

Or try the Poppy Flat Sandals from Lilly Pilly Silk Boutique – just choose the ribbons you want to go with them (perhaps to match your colour scheme?) made from fair trade silk handwoven in Cambodia.

Anyone we’ve missed? Do let us know. We’ll be back tomorrow to see how the oft-neglected groom can go fair trade as well as your loyal bridesmaids and groomsfolk.


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Day 9: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Honeymoons

Day 10: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Rings

Day 11: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Flowers

Day 12: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Wedding cakes

Ethical Weddings

What next?

On to one of our favourite fair trade topics – the wedding cake.

With the Fairtrade mark stamping more ingredients than ever before, you can have (forgive us) your ethical cake and eat it too.

In fact, it has come a long way since 2007 when we could only find two sources of Fairtrade wedding cakes for Fairtrade Fortnight. Now there are many talented suppliers and we just wish we could try them all. But before we get lost in the world of buttercream icing, we are excited to announce that we’ve been lucky enough to have Miranda Gore-Brown from The Great British Bake Off share two of her ideas for delicious wedding cakes.

Miranda Gore-Browne Biscuit book

Miranda was judging a Fairtrade Bake Off last weekend with a copy of her book, Biscuit as the prize. You can pick up your own copy of Biscuit here.

The white chocolate rose ganache

White chocolate ganache cake

This is a rich chocolate cake made with melted dark chocolate that can be covered with white chocolate buttercream and then finished with a delicious white chocolate ganache.

Miranda told us she loves to “stack two cakes with a cake dummy in between filled with stunning fresh flowers or foliage and fill the layer between the cakes with beautiful creamy roses. This cake would also look stunning with brightly coloured gerberas, dark red roses or dark green foliage and perhaps snowberries.

Mmmmm scrumptious! And don’t forget to take a look at our post on Fairtrade flowers to consider combining this recipe with fairly grown blooms if you want to add another sugar coated layer to your wedding cake.

The cupcake tower

Miranda Gore-Browne cupcake tower

Next up is the firm favourite: the cupcake tower. Miranda’s version was made for a February wedding and she decorated it “with hand-rolled chocolate roses and decorations. The “I do” cupcake toppers are simple to make and add a personal touch.

If you want to make these at home, you can source Fairtrade and organic ingredients such as Crazy Jacks Fairtrade raisins and agave syrup:

300-380-0-0-tn-productImage-11agave_syrup crazyjacks

Doves organic flour

Doves plain white flour

Or even Biofair organic fair trade quinoa flour (but try this at home before you present it to your wedding guests as I’ve no idea how it would turn out!).

Biofair organic fair trade quinoa flour


Suma organic and Fairtrade icing sugar from Mauritius which is a must-have item in an enthusiastic baker’s cupboard.

Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Vanilla Extract was the UK and Europe’s first organic Fairtrade vanilla extract and they also have 5 flavoured Fairtrade sugars to experiment with.


Let’s not forget the Fairtrade chocolate – we pay very close attention to developments in this area.

Divine chocolate

Divine 70% dark chocolate with raspberries – heaven (I’ve got some hidden in the cupboard!).

Green & Blacks
There is no Mr Green and Mrs Black. Green symbolises their strict organic principles and black the intensity of their chocolate

seasalt g&b chocbutterscotch G&B

See the Green & Blacks range.

If you don’t rate your wedding cake making skills (or those of your partner / aunt / uncle / nephew… insert relevant relative), then here are some awesome cake designers that are committed to using Fairtrade and organic ingredients.

Celebration Cakes by Celeste

Celebration Cakes by Celeste based in the Midlands, UK are “…very passionate about what goes into their cakes” and we love their detailed ingredients page that lists all the Fairtrade ingredients they use. Unsurprisingly, this talented lady has won several awards for the design of her cakes as well as their taste.

celebration cakes by celeste. Hope Cakecelebration cakes by celeste

Amy Swann Cakes

The sugar flowers of Amy Swann are like no other, we had to look twice to check if they were edible. Simply beautiful and inspired by all things vintage, we are delighted that Ms Swann uses Fairtrade ingredients wherever possible.

vintage cake amy swann

Amy swann cakes

Choco Mallow Coco

After years as a trained accountant, Chloe Hill-Thomas started Choco Mallow Coco in 2011. She is committed to using organic and Fairtrade ingredients wherever possible.

choco vintage birdcage

chocomallowcoco marry me

We hope you are feeling the sugar high and that we haven’t left you running out the door to the nearest cake shop. Is that the time? Actually, must dash, a cup of tea and slice of Fairtrade carrot cake is calling.


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Day 9: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Honeymoons

Day 10: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Rings

Day 11: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Flowers

Ethical Weddings

What next?

The big 4 supermarkets all offer Fairtrade bouquets and as we are fast approaching Mother’s Day (10th March in case you missed the huge pink banners in most shop windows), they all have bright bunches on their homepages like this one from that old Mother’s Day faithful, M&S.

m&s flowers

But we had to stay focused and go round the digital houses to find the Fairtrade logo in the web windows of online florists. Even then, we couldn’t find any 100% Fairtrade florists, and ethical florists tend to focus on locally-grown instead.

So should we forget Fairtrade flowers?

No, no, no. Triple Pundit recently reported,

…conditions on flower farms are often far from rosy (pun intended). Many workers find themselves stricken with asthma from inhaling fuel and pesticide fumes; work seven days a week; and rarely receive vacation or overtime. Access to medical care and educational opportunities are also scarce – a harsh reality for those who need it the most.

Most florists will be familiar with the concept of sustainable flowers and the reasons the Fairtrade mark was awarded to flowers in the first place: “…that farms must continually improve conditions for their workers – whether it’s their pay or how they live.” For example in Oserian flower farm in Kenya, where over 6,000 workers grow and pick blooms mainly shipped to Europe, everyone has basic medical care, there are 150 first aid workers, and the children are sent to nursery and primary schools.

Fairtrade flower power waning?

However, the reality is that although many florists do offer Fairtrade flowers, demand does not necessarily justify it. Looking at the figures for the estimated UK sales of Fairtrade flowers, they peaked in 2008 at £33.4 million and are decreasing year on year with the latest released figures for 2011 at £26.3 million.

Another option comes in the form of the Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP) accreditation – an international body that looks after flower growers all over the world and is a relatively new standard that’s being adopted by more and more florists. But will this new body just confuse and dilute the fair trade flowers message?

Flummoxed over fair flowers

Whichever way you look at it you have a dilemma: do you buy Fairtrade flowers from halfway across the world to support good working conditions and fair pay for growers who really need it – but gobble up carbon miles in the process? Or do you go for local growers and cut the carbon – but watch the Fairtrade flower market dwindle and some basic human rights disappear with it? Lucy Siegle assesses both options in ‘Ethical flowers for the big day‘.

Fairtrade roses and Calla lilies from Siam Roses, Kenya

Then again, you could always mix it up. Tulips and daffodils from down the road, Fairtrade roses and Calla lilies from Kenya.

If you want to go Fairtrade for your wedding bouquets then demand it. Discuss it with your florist, explain why you want Fairtrade flowers on your special day – even if they don’t offer them now, they may well be able to source some for your wedding. If you can’t find a suitable florist, find companies who deliver nationwide in the flower section of the Fairtrade Foundation’s directory.

And finally, a bit of imagination and creativity can go a long way. You can cut down on the cut flowers but still have a Fairtrade buttonhole. Or pop locally-plucked daisies in the flower girls’ hair but a single Fairtrade stem in the centre of each table.

For more ideas on combining low carbon with high (positive) impact, read Holly Dawson’s post for Ethical Weddings: Ethical flowers: a bed of roses – or a thorny issue?


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Day 9: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Honeymoons

Day 10: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Rings

Ethical Weddings

What next?

So, rings. This is the big one. This is one area that has seen huge changes since 2007.

In fact, in 2007 wedding and engagement rings merited only a 2 or 3 line mention as part of our Accessories post. Now they have a post all of their own – thanks to Tara who has taken on this responsibility! Over to Tara…

A closer look at Fairtrade gold and silver

The audited gold standards process for Fair Trade and Fairmined gold was launched in 2011 and was highlighted in a post last month on Ethical Weddings by one of our writers, Kate.  Kate looked at the fair trade gold landscape and how increasingly, ethical jewellers are using only certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.

We were encouraged to hear that there is a growing fervour among consumers for Fairtrade jewellery, as reported by our ethical jewellery suppliers.

And in a feature last year, ‘Why Fairtrade Fairmined gold is for us’ Katie explored with ethical jewellers and their clients what the Fairtrade certification means and why it is so important.

This time, we’re getting a little closer to the action, and sharing the experiences of a couple of pioneering individuals from the world of ethical jewellery who have visited both Fairtrade and non-fair trade mines in their travels, and witnessed first hand the difference it makes to people’s lives.

Precious people, precious lives

On Christmas day 2012, Devon based ethical jeweller and designer April Doubleday realised a dream she had nurtured since 2006.  With her son, she boarded a plane for Columbia on a mission to experience first hand the lives of the miners who produce the Fairtrade gold she uses in her designs.

She was on her way to a village in the Choco region of the country to meet Juis Americo Mosqueroto, a miner she had met at London Jewellery Week at the launch of Fairtrade gold.  Since then,  a considerable amount of  gold from the Choco Region of Columbia has become certified Fairtrade and Fairmined Ecological Gold. But there is still a lot of unethical gold mining in operation.

Historically, the Tyrona people of this region knew instinctively how to mine their land in a way that respected nature, but after the Spanish invaded Columbia,  everything changed.

While April flew over the land she saw the devastation that centuries of mining has had on the landscape.

Present day gold has increased hugely in price, consequently poor mining practices are used in the Choco region and other countries and governments are allowing larger outfits in at a price but in doing so they are destroying large parts of the jungle and contaminating the waters due to irresponsible mining.

When April arrived at Americo’s village he introduced her to his family, and showed her how the workers mine gold in an ecologically sustainable way. Her observations were of a man who is content and peaceful, whose life has been transformed by being valued and properly paid:

Miners in Choco region of Columbia

Americo only mines small amounts each week, and he gets a premium on the gold price for mining ecologically, this gets pumped back into the mining community, and helps the Artisanal miners.  Americo told me his ancestors had been mining in this way for over 500 years keeping the biodiversity intact, replanting with minimum damage to the environment.

The responsibility to make the mining industry ethical is with the corporations and companies involved, but April believes the power to change the ways in which businesses work is with the consumer.

Gold (in colour) in a pan in the palm of a hand (in black and white)

Consumers need to ask  jewellers and the industry about Fairtrade and Fairmined gold,  if they don’t people like Americo stay marginalised and poor

Mining for peace

The experiences of Greg Valerio, founder of ethical jeweller CRED were equally poignant but for different reasons. He was invited to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo by Peace Direct to explore “the grass roots idea of using small-scale gold mining as a means of building a peace and reconciliation process“.

He saw first hand how hard and unrelentingly harsh life can be for miners when mining is not traceable or certified.  Where the majority of profits go into the hands of anonymous bosses, government and more powerful people along the supply chain.  Communities work for generations in terrible conditions for only enough pay to feed themselves and their families.  And, for them there is no choice, and no way out. Greg powerfully describes his experiences:

It is hard to describe to someone who has never stood in the artisanal gold fields of Africa what the experience is like. To say it is chaotic is to understate the reality of its cousin horror. It is like stepping into a circle of hell that Dante forgot to write about.

Small-scale mining is the second biggest employer on the planet, with a global workforce and dependency in excess of 100 million. They, like Dante’s omission, are forgotten. The forgotten millions who for the politics of daily bread pound their bodies in the scorching heat in search of the madness that is gold.

CRED Jewellery have supported their Fairtrade gold partners Sotrami in Peru in a way that has helped communities invest money in education and the welfare of the wider community.

A silver lining

CRED are passionate about working to see fair trade and ethical practice in action globally.  So much so that they have been determined to see Fairtrade silver available in the UK.

This February, to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight CRED launched the world’s first Fairtrade and Fairmined silver. In celebration they have designed a limited number of these gorgeous exclusive Fairtrade silver pendants,  available in the UK and made from the first batch of Fairtrade and Fairmined silver.

CRED Fairtrade Silver Ingot  - side
CRED Fairtrade silver Ingot

This landmark launch for silver follows 10 years of the pioneering work of CRED Jewellery,  bringing fairly traded gold directly from the miners to the consumer.

Alan Frampton, Director of CRED is delighted to have progressed the certification process to the inclusion of silver as well as gold,

It is so exciting to have silver now join gold in this certification, made possible through the increasing demand from consumers for ethical metals.

Going platinum

It doesn’t stop there. In December last year, Fairtrade platinum was launched. Ethical Weddings supplier, London based Ingle & Rhode was one of the first UK vendors to use 100% Fairtrade and Fairmined gold and has already made the commitment to use only Fairtrade or recycled platinum in their jewellery.

The golden Fairtrade Finger!

When you buy a Fairtrade ring, not only are you putting ethical precious metal on your hand in a gesture that is meant to symbolise commitment and devotion, you are also putting a finger up to the areas of the industry that are not yet cruelty and trouble free. Doesn’t that feel good?

To help you in your search for your perfect Fairtrade engagement or wedding band check out this previous post on Ethical Weddings 10 rings to say you said yes where we present our ethical jewellery suppliers’ favourite rings and top tips for 2013.

To wrap things up, here’s a lovely film from CRED about a UK couple who chose to take the Fairtrade route and what it means to them:


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Day 9: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Honeymoons


Ethical Weddings

What next?

We didn’t cover honeymoons in our Fairtrade Fortnight Challenge in 2007 but enthusiasm for travel that gives something back shows no signs of waning so we thought we’d look into it for 2013.

Kerala Connections - sea view
Photo from Kerala Connections – read more about the company below

Have you spotted the Fairtrade mark while leafing through honeymoon brochures? No? Well, it might not be long. Jennifer Seif of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) says:

We hope that the model developed in the South will provide the basis for a future international Fairtrade mark for tourism [...] High volumes of consumers in Europe as well as North America know and trust the Fairtrade mark and expanding its scope to tourism will enable us to talk to travelers about sustainability in a language they understand and are loyal to.” Read the full interview on TravelMole here

With or without the blue and green mark, there are many holidays that already operate along fair trade principles.

Justin Francis, Founder and Managing Director of responsibletravel.com drew comparisons between community-based tourism and fair trade fashion after chatting to Safia Minney, founder and CEO of the leading fair trade fashion label, People Tree:

Fair trade doesn’t just mean paying a fair price. It is an entirely different way of doing business, where the objective is not profit at any cost, but to help people in the world’s most marginalised communities escape poverty and promote sustainability by minimising environmental impact and maximising income.

Both responsibletravel.com and People Tree respect the skills and traditions that already exist within the community, rather than imposing a different routine to meet a Western need. This supports livelihoods within the community with minimum disruption to their way of life.” (Read the full article: Community based tourism and fair trade fashion)

Here we’re giving you a taster with 4 fair trade holidays that could make heavenly honeymoons.

1. Traidcraft Meet the People Tours

Traidcraft Meet the People Tours - Costa Rica Nicaragua
Who’s been doing fair trade since 1979? Traidcraft. So who better to go to for your fair trade honeymoon? Their Meet the People Tours…allow small groups of people to experience life in local communities.

“It is not mass tourism. We undertake tours on fair trade terms to leave those we visit better off and more empowered than before.

There are lots of countries to choose from but I’m picking the Costa Rica and Nicaragua tour as we honeymooned in Costa Rica in 2005 and had a fantastic time.

Highlights of the tour include:

  • a visit to Costa Rica’s spectacular cloud forest, waterfalls and volcanic mountains
  • visit groups producing fair trade sugar and pineapples
  • in Nicaragua, spend time relaxing on the Pacific coast
  • see the history and culture of Managua and Granada
  • visit San Ramon to see the coffee farmers and be surrounded by birds and butterflies

2. Kuoni Ananea fair trade driving holiday through South Africa

Fair Trade South Africa Highlights & Garden Route
In 2011, UK tour operator, Kuoni launched this fair trade holiday through the Garden Route and Winelands of South Africa.

Fair Trade South Africa tour

Throughout you’ll be staying at wonderful Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) country houses, hotels and lodges. Kuoni says:

All components of Kuoni’s ananea package tour to South Africa, from Kuoni UK and Private Safaris (our ground handling agents in South Africa) through to the accommodation providers and the contractual relationships in the value chain have been audited against Fair Trade Tourism standards and certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA).

3. Tribes Travel – Mozambique

Tribes Travel Mozambique holidays
Tribes Travel Mozambique holidays

The original Fair Trade Travel company can put an itinerary together to suit you and your partner. Mozambique is still a little off the beaten track and offers wonderful wildlife and a stunning coast line.

Tribes say, “[Mozambique] is an increasingly popular choice for people wanting a luxury beach holiday or a remote specialist safari in an unusual destination, and happily, it seems to be becoming a focus for ecotourism and fair trade principles as regards tourism. We can tailor make any Mozambique holiday or honeymoon to your requirements, many of the lodges are small and locally run.

Guludo Beach Lodge
Guludo Beach Lodge

One of the options is a stay at the luxurious Guludo Beach Lodge which has won numerous awards for its respect of and contribution to the local community and environment.

4. Kerala Connections

Kerala Connections

Formed in 1998, Kerala Connections was the first UK tour operator to specialise in the area. Their tailormade holidays mean that, like Tribes Travel, they can create a bespoke honeymoon that matches your imagination.

The company has had a Fair Trade Policy since they were formed in 1998. This includes paying their drivers a monthly wage (usual practice is to pay them commission only) and booking hotels on a bed and breakfast basis to give customers the chance to support local cafes and restaurants for other meals.

They say: “The small state of Kerala, which represents just 1% of the land mass, is considered to be one of India’s most beautiful. It is a very rural state with most of the population living in villages and is culturally and scenically diverse. Kerala has two national parks, ten wildlife sanctuaries and two bird sanctuaries.

For more ideas on making your honeymoon fair, take a look at The Guardian’s Top 10 Fair Trade Holidays article from 2008.

Happy travelling!


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Day 8: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Sight & Sound

Ethical Weddings

What next?

It’s Day 8 of our Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge. We’re half way there and we’ve got so much to get through I’m combining 2 posts into 1 tonight: photos and music.

We’ll start with the pics. I know everything is digital these days but a beautiful wedding album that you can just flick through when the fancy takes you is worth a lot. I should know, we don’t have one!

Our smiling-so-hard-it-hurts wedding day faces are still languishing on the laptop, waiting for us to pull our fingers out and get them printed. And I know we would look at them, even just once a year on our anniversary – maybe we’ll manage it for our 10th (2015 here we come).

So, don’t follow our example, choose one of these gorgeous, fair trade albums and make a place in your house for all those memories.

Alex found some very pretty ones in her 2007 fair trade photographs post – and all but 2 of the sites she directed us to are still going so to get started, I thought I’d see what they had to offer now.

Myakka – Elephant dung photo album

Elephant dung photo album from Myakka
Yep, it’s the old elephant poo again (as mentioned in our Fair Trade Stationery post) with this quirky Elephant Dung Photo Album: “30 pages of acid-free handmade paddy husk paper, interleaved with tissue paper and an elephant dung cover. The elephant dung paper comes from a charity in Sri Lanka called the Maximus Conservation Trust.

The Large size (£29.95) at W26 x H23 x D3 cm should be just about big enough for a wedding album.

Myakka – Carved Heart Photo Frame

Myakka carved heart photo frame

This Carved Heart Photo Frame is only small – it takes a 6×4 photo – but very sweet and would be perfect for a snapshot from a guest that captured that loving look.

Ganesha – sari silk photo album

Ganesha sari silk photo album

These vintage sari photo albums (large: 27 x 35cm £22.50) contain 30 handmade paper pages interleaved with fine tissue. “Best of all“, say Ganesha, “they are made in the red light district of Kolkata, giving young women an alternative to the sex industry“.

Why not put one on your gift list?

Shared Earth – wedding photo album

Shared Earth wedding album
With an overlaid lace cover, this really would make a wonderful wedding album (30x22cm, £24.98).

Paper High – Daisy Blue photo albums

Daisy Blue photo album
The fabulous fabric Daisy Blue album would do your wedding photos proud. The extra large is 345 X 260mm at £25.95.

Paper High say:
Our Daisy Blue albums are handmade by a small family business in Rajasthan, India. They have been expertly crafted using a mixture of contemporary and traditional methods and the pages have been bound by hand so they are strong and perfect for travelling.

The paper used in these albums is handmade using recycled cotton (also known as khadda, kaddi or khaddi) leftover from the massive garment industry in India.

You’ll find more information about the projects your purchases are supporting on the Paper High website. Paper High also stock the sari albums available at Ganesha, above.

Paper High – Antique grey flower photo frame

Antique look grey flower photo frame

This 5×7 antique effect photo frame (£18.95) brings extra romance to your newlywed pic – not only because it looks so pretty but because it is made by Noah’s Ark, an organisation whose mission “…is to commit themselves and the producer groups they work with to Fair Trade principles with the goal of changing the lives of grass root artisans.

Ok, time for two new ones now.

Nkuku – linen photo album

Nkuku linen photo album

Oh my, I just love this company! I’ve also realised that a number of my top picks over the last week, although I found them on other sites, were actually made by WFTO World Fair Trade Organisation and BAFTS British Association of Fair Trade Shops member, Nkuku.

Everything is mind-blowingly beautiful so it’s hard to choose just 1 or 2 things but I haven’t got all night (no, really, I must not stay up till 2am writing my post again, my husband forbade it) so I’m presenting you with this heavenly linen photo album.

The large size is 34.5cm x 25cm and £32.95.

Nkuku – Sheesham wood multi frame

Sheesham wood multi photo frame

Imagine this dark wood multi photo frame (£49.95) adorning a wall in your marital nest with each frame holding a treasured moment from your very special day.

The Camphor Tree – Cream butterfly fair trade photo album

Fair trade butterfly photo album
Another fair trade company that is completely new to me, The Camphor Tree like Nkuku has a range of products that are easy on the eye as well as the soul.

This butterfly photo album is stylish and unusual. A good size at 300mm x 360mm, it is just £19.99.

If music be the food of love…

Now we come to the second part of our post – fair trade music. Is there such a thing? Well, we wrote about fair trade music in 2007 so let’s see what the deal is in 2013 – and if it’s a fair one.

Fair trade music

In 2007, Alex had stumbled across Calabash, “the worlds first fair trade music company“. Sadly, Calabash went bankrupt in 2008.

Fair Trade MusicThis time around, I discovered Fair Trade Music. This is not about fair trade in the context that we understand it from the Fairtrade Foundation or the World Fair Trade Organisation. However, it is about paying musicians a fair, minimum wage which is something worth supporting, at a time when free downloads make it ever more difficult for musicians to make a living.

Fair Trade Music 1000 venues agree to pay performing musicians at least the minimum wage…” so maybe, if you’re in the US, you could choose one of these Fair Trade Music venues for your wedding.

One of the signed-up venues, Folk ‘N Great Music, explains:

Due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) we signed with Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians, we committed to several important guarantees for the performers we invite to play in our house concert series. Among these are a healthy meal; a place to stay if they need it; and a quiet listening room for our guests. In addition, performers always keep 100% of their CD sales.

Perhaps even more importantly, we have negotiated a “scale wage” and make a pension contribution on behalf of everyone who performs here. Whether or not the artists are currently members of Local 1000, this money accrues interest and is available to them when they retire or become disabled.

Putomayo – music from around the world

Putomayo cd - music from the chocolate lands

The other option of course is to pop on a CD – or ask your DJ to do it for you. Putomayo’s music range covers Cuba, Brazil, Africa and many more countries and cultures.

The Fair Trade Store says: “Whilst not strictly speaking “Fair Trade”, Putumayo donate money to worthy causes across the world’s neediest countries, so by purchasing their products you are indeed “helping to make a difference”.

March Hare Music

2007′s Fair Trade Recordings seems to have become March Hare Music which offers a selection of fair trade / tribal music that would fit a wedding with a festival vibe.

PIY – Play It Yourself

Talking of a festival vibe, our final option is to get your guests to make beautiful music with you on a range of weird and wonderful fair trade instruments.

Manjira Chimes

Ankle Bells

If you want to make your own music, head to Siesta Crafts where you can find everything from Manjira Chimes to Ankle Bells (all your guests need to do is wear them and dance!), to the very appropriate Tibetan Bell & Dorje,

Tibetan Bell & Dorje

Solid metal cast Bell called a Ghanta, in Buddhism it represents the female principle which symbolises wisdom and purpose. This bell comes with a Vajra known as a Dorje in Tibet, it is a tantric symbol for the absolute, beyond all opposites and the union of the spiritual and material world.

Find more fair trade musical instruments from

Come on, make some noise!


Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Day 7: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Drinks

Ethical Weddings

What next?

In 2007 our Fairtrade Fortnight Challenge post was all about wine but this time around we thought we’d widen the search a bit to include beer, spirits and soft drinks too.

Fairtrade wine

6 years ago, Fairtrade wine was still an emerging market – now it’s got serious and is winning awards. Olivia at The Fairtrade Foundation got in touch recently suggesting that we,

Sip a glass of Sainsbury’s award winning Taste The Difference Rose Moscato £5.99 or try their Taste the Difference South African wines. They are all Fairtrade and the Chenin Blanc won the Fairtrade Award at the International Wine Challenge.”

Taste the Difference Moscato Rose
Thank you to Window on Wine for the image of the Taste the Difference Moscato Rose – read their review here

Olivia added that Tilimuqui’s Torrontes won a silver at the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition), available in Waitrose.

Meanwhile, 2 Fairtrade wines were chosen as official wines of the 2012 Olympics – a Chenin Blanc and a rosé made from Pinotage, Shiraz and Merlot from South Africa’s largest certified Fairtrade wine estate, Stellenrust. In Decanter magazine:

James Bennett, account manager at the Fairtrade Foundation told Decanter.com, ‘It shows that Fairtrade wine has come a very long way in terms of quality and in terms of people wanting it.’

If you can’t decide which Fairtrade wine to go for, why not organise a Fairtrade wine tasting event with the Fairtrade Foundation’s handy pack (opens pdf)? Hey, it could even double as your fair trade hen or stag do!

Naturally, you’ll be wanting to bulk buy for a wedding so as well as the mainstream supermarkets, you could try:

  • ethicalsuperstore.com
  • Smithfield Wine (family run independent UK based wine merchants)
  • Traidcraft, who say “we don’t just stock the same wine available in other shops – we actively seek out new wine producers in order to complement our range with unusual fair trade wines

All of the above suppliers were also mentioned in our 2007 post so it’s great to see they’re still going.

Fairtrade spirits

An exciting addition to the world of Fairtrade spirits is FAIR – The Fair Trade Spirits Company which launched in 2009 and was co-founded in France by Alexandre Koiransky and Jean-François Daniel, two Frenchman who became friends while working for a small independent Cognac producer.

Their Fair Quinoa Vodka (40% abv) – made from the Inca supergrain – has already won awards; Caterer and Hotelkeeper describe it as “…silky-smooth vodka with fruity aromas and cream of wheat and whole milk notes“.

Fairtrade spirits from FAIR

Also on offer are the Fair Goji Liqueur (22% abv) and Fair Café Liqueur (22% abv). All 3 sound perfect for fun and fair cocktails at an evening reception.

Papagayo Fairtrade rum

The other Fairtrade spirit brand is Papagayo with its Fairtrade silver and spiced rums. The rum forms part of the organic Altitude Spirits group, who say of the brand: “Papagayo has been honored with multiple awards at international spirits competitions and praise from critical reviewers, including a coveted four-star review and a “highly recommended” rating from Spirits Journal“.

For bulk buys, Natural Collection carries a mixed box of 6 spirits which includes Papagyo.

Or at Vintage Roots a 12-bottle case of Papagayo white rum costs £227.40 or £227.88 for the golden rum.

Fairtrade beer

There are now 6 companies producing Fairtrade beers which gives you a wide range from which to choose.

The Meantime Brewery launched its Coffee Porter, Britain’s first Fairtrade beer in 2005 (incidentally the year we got married!) and won a gold medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup.

Fairtrade Yorkshire pale ginger ale

For something a little unusual try this Fairtrade Yorkshire ale with a hint of ginger and citrus from The Fair Traders Cooperative. It bears the Fairtrade mark as it contains Fairtrade sugar from Paraguay(24%) and Fairtrade Ginger (1.3%) from Sri Lanka or India.

Then there’s The Co-operative’s Fairtrade Bumble Bee Honey Ale, which they say “…is produced using the finest Chilean Wild Flower Fairtrade Honey, and the best of British malt and hops” and was the first own label Fairtrade beer, launched in 2005 and still a favourite today.

Mongozo banana beer
Thank you to Bien Manger for the image

And finally, why not say cheers with the Mongozo banana beer from Belgium? Using Fairtrade bananas, it unsurprisingly has “…the sweet flavour and yellow colour of bananas.

Fairtrade soft drinks

Now for the soft stuff. Whether as an alternative to alcohol or as mixer, you can’t do without a decent selection of soft drinks.

If I’ve done my adding up correctly (and it’s late, so bear with me if I haven’t) The Fairtrade Foundation lists 17 different Fairtrade juices and soft drinks.

But what I’d like to bring to your attention today is the fantastic work being done by Fruto del Espiritu – a company that works with smallholder farmer co-operatives in Columbia to supply us with mouth-tantalising fruit pulps – ready to be used in cocktails, with or without alcohol (Mocktails).

Lulo drink from fruit pulp

Fairtrade certification is not yet available for all the fruits that they work with but already they say: “The Maracuyá (Passion Fruit) we are selling throughout 2013 was paid at more than 40% over the Fairtrade Minimum Price.

They also pay a sum equal to the Fairtrade Social Premium direct to the farmers and run an education grant scheme for the benefit of families of the fruit factory workers.

Give them a go for your wedding and delight your guests!

Fairtrade fizz

Last but not least, it wouldn’t be a wedding without a little sparkle. Try this Fairtrade Thandi Sparkling Shiraz Rose from The Fair Traders Co-operative: “A wonderful Fairtrade rose sparkling wine with notes of forest berry, rose petals and violet, enhanced by a fine mousse“.

Thandi Fairtrade sparkling wine



Related posts:

Day 1: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Gift Lists

Day 2: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Favours

Day 3: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Decorating your venue

Day 4: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Stationery

Day 5: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Accessories

Day 6: Fairtrade Fortnight Wedding Challenge: Time out

Ethical Weddings

What next?

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