We wanted to start by thanking everyone who has and is currently supporting Tummah Ethical Trade. We couldn’t do any of this without our wonderful customers, and we are continually impressed by your passion for fairness and your want to make a difference in whatever way you can!
Tummah Ethical Trade is currently in a fundraising drive as we seek to expand the range we can offer New Zealand consumers. This business was set up to make Fairtrade clothing more accessible and affordable for all New Zealanders. Although this is something we feel we have been able to achieve, the range of options we have available is still somewhat lacking, and we would love to increase it.
Many of you have seen us asking for donations and been on the Give A Little page, and you are bound to have a few questions regarding our fundraising drive. In this post, we will look to answer the common inquiries, to help give you a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve, and why we are going about it this way.
Do We Have Access To More Fairtrade Certified Products Right Away?
This is the big question. We are asking for more funds to increase our range, but do we actually have access to more products from different suppliers; and are these products Fairtrade certified?
We currently stock three awesome Fairtrade clothing brands; Etiko, No Nasties, and Mighty Good Undies. Extra money will allow us to continue to stock and add to these ranges. Perhaps the most exciting potential around the three brands we already stock is the opportunity to introduce No Nasties’ new range of children’s clothing! Adding children’s clothing is a big focus of ours, and one of the big reasons we are looking for increased funds.
It is the chance to add new brands to our range that is really driving this push though! Over the past few months we have been in contact with 4 further international brands about the potential of bringing them to New Zealand. These talks are well developed, so much so that we have supply agreements set up with all of them. What this effectively means is that once we have the money, there is nothing stopping us from placing orders and introducing the brands to the New Zealand market for the first time. As always, we do our due diligence on every brand we work with, and for us, this means ensuring that their products meet Fairtrade and organic standards for clothing.
In terms of what these brands offer, there is an exciting mix of products! The first of these is a children’s brand, with boy’s and girl’s styles from new born right up to 12 years of age. This includes everything from t-shirts and shorts, to dresses, skirts, infant bodysuits, and sleepwear. One of the other three brands also has a small range of children’s and babies’ clothing. However, these three brands focus mainly on adults clothing. Cumulatively, there are many different styles of tees (long and short, striped, v-neck etc), polos, hoodies, sweatshirts and even a few pairs of pants and aprons. This would greatly increase the Fairtrade clothing options available, not just at our store, but in New Zealand. As always, these ranges will remain affordable. Further, there will be plenty of ‘everyday’ wear included!
Aren’t We A ‘For Profit’ Business?
Now that you know where the money is going to, there is perhaps something else that might be bugging you. You may be thinking, isn’t Tummah Ethical Trade a ‘for profit’ business, it seems a little strange they are asking for donations.
The short answer is yes, we are ‘for profit’. We aren’t a registered Not For Profit, as retail businesses don’t really work in that form. However, there are a lot of similarities in the way we operate.
Firstly, we want to make it clear that we are not in business to make ourselves wealthy, this is not the next get rich venture. It is a labour of love. We set up Tummah Ethical Trade to make a difference in the New Zealand fashion market, to provide more Fairtrade clothing options for everyone in New Zealand. As a result, we operate on low profit margins, to keep prices down and make our range affordable for more people. Many of the products we offer are simply not available in New Zealand, and your only option is to purchase from overseas. We are determined to remove that as a barrier to ethical shopping.
With profits, of course we are going to reinvest these back into the business. However, by doing this, we a reinvesting in better lives for many garment workers. Any profits reinvested will be used to purchase more Fairtrade clothing, and increase our range. This enables us to help even more workers earn a decent living. Further, we have partnered with Once Upon A Doug, and Indian charity committed to ensuring those in the cotton fields are well looked after too.
“It works with women from the cotton farming community of Maharashtra, India (from the regions that have the highest number of farmer suicides) to give them a reliable, secondary income AND create awareness of the agrarian crisis in their region. It’s working!”
Once our profits increase and become steadier, we have committed to giving a portion directly to Once Upon A Doug. In the future, we would love to add more charities to this too, as we look to do so much more than simply stocking ethical clothing.
By partnering with us, you are saying yes to a new fashion market in New Zealand. You are recognising that we have strong supply chains set up, and the opportunity to increase the range of Fairtrade clothing available here. Most importantly though, you are saying no to fast fashion, and yes to changing the lives of so many in the garment industry, and the cotton fields. We thank you for your interest in what we are doing, and for your consideration.