Treat Your Balls With Respect: Fair Trade Sports & Etiko


A year ago we reported on Fair Deal sports balls, available in the UK, that were made under a Fair Trade scheme from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified latex rubber bladders. Maybe you missed the later comments that pointed to Fair Trade Sports who sold such goods in the US and Etiko in Australia and New Zealand. So if you’ve ever wrinkled a brow, wondering if your purchase of a sports ball was depriving a child of their education, now you know where to head next time a ball fetish comes over you. Soccer, Rugby, Australian Rules, Netball, Volleyball and Futsal are all available. No mention of Gridiron (as we know it outside of North America) though. Workers share in the 20% premium paid for their handmade sports balls. This is dispensed via community clinics, healthcare insurance and micro-credit loans. The Fair Trade Sports site has stories of workers getting access to funds that provided for thyroid operations, the start-up of a tea shop, purchase of a cow, and of crop irrigation systems. Wages are generally 50% higher under the Fair Trade conditions, allowing for adult workers to support their families, without resorting to sending their kids off to work, allowing them time to attend school instead. Thus it is befitting that Fair Trade Sports’ tagline is simply: ‘Respect.' Plus they forward after tax profits to children's charities. Etiko also have downloadable education kits for helping western schoolkids understand where their recreation goods come from. ::Fair Trade Sports and ::Etiko Sports.

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