We're all in this together

When fashion is done well, everyone profits: discerning consumers like you, farmers, herders, garment workers, and the earth we all share. At Fair Indigo, you’ll find a carefully curated collection of clothing, accessories, and gifts that are stylish, sustainable, and the means to a happy, healthy life for people like these. Thanks to you, they work in safe surroundings - not sweatshops - and earn a fair wage that enables them to house, feed, and care for their families and strengthen their communities. You’re helping create a culture of caring with every piece you wear.
 

About Fair Indigo

 

Welcome to Fair Indigo

Just a handful (7 to be precise) of people who are privileged to share a daunting, humbling, but uplifting purpose: we comb the globe--from small towns in North Carolina to highland villages in Peru--to find uniquely beautiful clothes and accessories, all made with immense care by people whose lives have been changed by the availability of safe, clean work, fair wages, and mutual respect for Mother Earth. Our fair trade clothing and gifts help lift people up in the developing world. Made in USA clothing and gifts keep much needed jobs at home. And both of these collections include a large selection of organic clothing.
 

Our Values

Our fair trade values

 

Fair Trade

Besides food and beverages, clothing is the most consumed consumer product on the planet. So it only seems natural that after fair trade coffee, fruits, and vegetables have achieved measurable change for a small sliver of the world's poorest farmers, fair trade clothing should be next.

But what do fair trade clothes look like? We set out to learn in late 2005 when we had the idea for Fair Indigo. One of the first lessons learned was that certified fair trade clothing did not exist at the time. While there were projects underway to move it forward, they often got bogged down in the mind boggling complexity that is apparel manufacturing.

The fabric alone flows through many hands. Even one of the simplest fabrics - 100% cotton - makes a long journey to its finished self. The cotton is grown and picked by farmers. It's spun into yarns at a spinning facility. The yarn is often dyed at another facility. Next the yarns are knit or woven into fabrics at a mill. Finally, they’re cut and sewn at what we think of as the apparel factory. And that's just the fabric. Some pieces of outerwear have over twenty components. Think zippers, buttons, snaps, threads, collar stays, insulation. All of these made their own journey too.

So in late 2005, we had a decision to make. We could put our dream for Fair Indigo on hold until certification caught up with apparel. Or we could plow ahead, working with small family-owned businesses and worker-owned cooperatives where workers were earning living wages and being treated with respect and dignity, even though they were not certified fair trade. Being pragmatic businesspeople, we chose to plow ahead.

Over the past few years, certified fair trade clothing has finally emerged. Fair Trade USA piloted this program from 2010 - 2012 and today have certified a handful of fair trade clothing facilities, many of them in India. We've been asked if we plan to move production of our Fair Indigo label to these fair trade certified apparel factories. It may surprise you, our answer is 'no.'

While we are excited to offer our first small line of fair trade certified clothes from India in 2014, over the past several years, we've built a strong relationship with our partners in Peru that make the Fair Indigo label styles. Through them, we've given work to dozens of women and men operating their own small cooperatives throughout Peru. We love the cooperative model. Worker/owners share all of the profits of their endeavor. But because this collective of cooperatives doesn't operate like a typical single-facility clothing factory, the fair trade certification process doesn't easily translate here. Rest assured. We can see the impact your purchases are having on each and every one of them.

As we move forward, we're working with Fair Trade USA to get these partners certified. We understand the value that a third party label achieves and want our customers to have complete trust that their purchase is doing good.