Gulshan is 24 years old and she lives in India. She is well paid and works in a safe environment. This isn’t always the case in India. Gulshan is part of a long-term support network, which fosters long-term community development. A community bank has been established to financially support workers and their families to provide education, healthcare and extra support when needed.
Gulshan’s work involves the finishing for organic cotton fashion items sold for Sinerji, an online and “bricks and mortar” store based in Forest Glen on the Sunshine Coast. The garments she finishes are soft, long lasting, chemical-free and durable. The organic cotton is grown and woven in the same area by people in several local villages. The cotton is rain fed to ensure minimal water usage and the thread is dyed using natural plant dyes and woven in the traditional way.
Sinerji is one of many Fair Trade fashion outlets that use plant dyes or 100 per cent eco-certified dyes, which are better for the health of those who produce the garments and for those who wear them, and better for the environment.
The stitching is also intentionally completed in the same area where the fabric is produced to reduce carbon pollution, thereby protecting the climate.
Fair Trade helps support small-scale farmers, artisans and producers, like Gulshan and her community, to cultivate safer, healthier and more sustainable communities around the world. So by buying Fair Trade certified products you are part of an effective movement for change.
Psalm 148 is the Psalm listed in our Lectionary for reading in services on Sunday, 15 May. In this Psalm, the whole of creation praises God:
“Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!” (Psalm 148.7-10)
We are all aware that damage to the climate is a serious problem that the whole world is facing. How can the whole of creation praise God when the life is being stifled out of it by ecological harm that is principally caused by damage to the climate?
Damage to the climate is affecting the world’s people unevenly, as explained in this World Fair Trade Organization video:
“Let’s be fair: we are not all suffering in the same way. Those who are least responsible for the crisis are also most affected by its impacts…So, to be fair: this is not just about emissions. This is a matter of justice. Of climate justice.”
Working together, we can all help to reverse damage to the climate and care for those who work in the supply chains of the products we buy, including clothing, food, tea and coffee, and sports balls.
This year’s World Fair Trade Day theme is “Climate Justice. Let’s do it fair”. World Fair Trade Day is a global celebration held annually on the second Saturday of May, and so this year it will be commemorated on Saturday 14 May.
Three things we can do on World Fair Trade Day:
- Check out the video, posters, web/email banners and Gif sticker resources on the World Fair Trade Day website and use these in your churches, schools and ministries.
- Share this feature on your social media channels and in your e-newsletters.
- Pray at home and in your faith communities, for example by using this prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful world – your creation, so beautiful, intricate and interdependent.
Thank you that the whole of creation praises you.
Help us in the wealthy countries to better steward natural resources, so we can join in creation’s praise.
And, help us to be more intentional about supporting artisans, farmers and employees who work in the supply chains of the products we purchase.
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