Fairtrade’s India chapter recently launched the third edition of Spot the Mark. The global non-profit movement’s campaign aims to foster greater visibility and consumer awareness by placing a logo on all their products.
The over six-week-long initiative, which concludes on December 31, has seen a number of events and collaborations, including the Fairtrade India Schools Programme that engaged over 10,000 students, a bake sale by Chef Vinesh Johny of Bengaluru-based patisserie, Lavonne, and the Forca Goa Foundation using Fairtrade footballs for their leagues.
Here are two brands that caught our eye:
Kanpur-based Balenzia is Asia’s only Fairtrade-certified sock brand. They recently launched their first range for India — a casual line for men. “It features colourful stripes, polka dots, and an embroidered Fairtrade logo. It is very in your face,” says Rahul Gupta, director, adding how the yarn is sourced from Fairtrade-verified sources. Gupta hopes to gradually shift to a wider collection for men and women, in time for the Fairtrade Revolution Week in April. ₹199 onwards on balenzia.com.
Shirts from banana
Tirupur-based Eco-Elate (a sister concern of Anandi Enterprises) uses cotton seeds developed in their research institute to craft what they claim is a 100% sustainable men’s shirt. It is made using a blend of cotton and banana fibre, the latter extracted from the banana stem which otherwise forms agricultural waste. “The banana fibre is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and has high moisture absorbency properties,” says founder RS Baalagurunathan, who has also set up a farmers’ collective with 1,000 members. ₹2,400 on ecoelate.com.