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Bend It Like Oxfam


Sometimes, a soccer ball is just a soccer ball—but in this case, it’s much more. Fair Trade Sports sells sporting equipment that’s made by adult workers (as opposed to, you know, children) who were actually paid a living wage for their handiwork, and it keeps the prices same or even less than you’d pay for conventionally-made products. How can this be? It’s pretty simple: FTS has no advertising or marketing budget and instead relies on the Internet, word of mouth, and you, the conscious consumer. All FTS items come with a set of Ambassador of Respect cards. It’s a little cheesy, yes, but bear with us. The idea is that you’ll give your Ambassador of Respect cards (which list FTS order and contact info) out to any friends, teammates and coaches who might be in the market for some balls (or frisbees, or water bottles). That way, FTS continues to not have to pay for advertising, so that the workers continue to earn living wages, while you continue to pay no more for your fair trade balls than you would pay for any high-quality ball on the market. Everyone wins—until they hit the field, anyway.

Send your product ideas to greengear@plentymag.com.

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Issue 25

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