The Trend for Fairtrade Workwear

Two reasons for choosing fairly produced cotton garments

Workwear with Fairtrade label

It’s produced fairly, comfortable to wear and looks great too: Sustainable fashion has been on trend for a long time now. Find out more about what companies, organisations and communities can achieve through the use of workwear made from certified Fairtrade cotton – and how they benefit from it. 

The Fairtrade trend in workwear

Fair prices, good working conditions, transparent supply chains – that’s what the Fairtrade label represents. The sustainable fashion trend is now well established and more and more brands are offering corresponding products certified by initiatives such as Fairtrade Deutschland. The organisation has been campaigning for the fair trade of products such as bananas, coffee and cotton in developing and newly industrialising countries for more than 25 years.

Fair clothing is also becoming ever more important in the workwear sector. Municipalities and communities in particular often place special requirements on sustainable procurement. Not only that, interest is also growing in larger and medium-sized companies as well as trade enterprises.

And it’s worth it! Find out more about the reasons to choose workwear with Fairtrade cotton and discover the boco Fairtrade collections for yourself now.

Fairtrade workwear by boco

Good reasons for workwear made from fairly produced cotton

Reason 1: Supporting farmers with fair prices and working conditions

There are millions of small farmers working in cotton fields and on farms across Asia, Africa and Latin America to produce the raw materials used to make clothing. However, although a third of the world’s population is directly dependent on such farmers, the majority of them do not receive a fair wage for their toil.

Fairtrade develops the organisational structures on the ground, supports the producers and campaigns for fair trade practices. Farmers who produce Fairtrade cotton benefit from good working conditions thanks to five criteria:

1. Fair price and bonuses

Farmers receive a guaranteed minimum price for their cotton which covers the costs of sustainable cotton production. At the same time, it offers the producers and their families protection against price fluctuations on the global cotton market. If the current market price is higher than the Fairtrade minimum price, the farmers are naturally paid the higher sum. This measure offers them increased financial security.

Not only that, the purchasers of the Fairtrade cotton (including CWS-boco, for example) pay the farmers a bonus, which is put towards projects in the community.

The following video shows a visit to the producers in India from whom CWS-boco sources its cotton and showcases the community projects which benefit everyone there.

2. Democratic organisation

Fairtrade enterprises usually join forces to form larger farming cooperatives. They are run democratically so that all producers have a voice when it comes to their issues.

3. Child protection

Exploitative child labour and forced labour are prohibited in Fairtrade production. At the same time, children benefit from the fair prices that the farmers receive for their cotton: in situations where child labour was formerly essential if a family were to survive, it is now becoming obsolete.

4. Environmental standards

Fairtrade protects the health of cotton producers and respects nature: hazardous chemicals and genetically modified seeds are strictly forbidden. In addition, water-saving measures are also employed.

5. Transparent supply chain

For clothing to become Fairtrade-certified, all the links in the supply chain must be able to prove that they comply with the ILO core labour standards. The Fairtrade label thus insists on transparency throughout the entire supply chain. What’s more, Fairtrade-certified clothing is not permitted to contain a blend with conventional cotton.

You can find out more about the standards for Fairtrade cotton on the Fairtrade Deutschland website.


Reason 2: Corporate responsibility contributes to a good image

Fair workwear can become an important aspect in a company’s corporate responsibility strategy.

The Fairtrade label is widely recognised and inspires confidence:  80% of German consumers are familiar with it. A whopping 95% of buyers trust the brand (GlobeScan Studie 2015).

Every company which chooses workwear from boco with the Fairtrade label can thus benefit from Fairtrade’s credibility:

Das Fairtrade Label ist an jedem boco Kollektionsteil angebracht
  • The use of workwear with Fairtrade cotton also helps companies to improve their own sustainability balance, e.g., in sustainability reports, as they are backing sustainable procurement.
  • They are also fostering an image within the company of an employer with a sense of responsibility and which values the high-quality equipment of its employees.
  • Last but not least, companies can also gain extra points with their customers with Fairtrade-certified workwear: The label is stitched on all boco Fairtrade collections in such a way that it is visible from the outside and thus also demonstrates to the outside world that the employee works for a company which takes its responsibility seriously.

Pioneer for workwear with Fairtrade cotton

boco Profi Line

CWS-boco is 100% convinced by Fairtrade: we are one of the largest suppliers of Fairtrade workwear in Europe.  Since 2016, we have also been the first supplier of textiles in a rental service to offer a complete workwear collection made of Fairtrade cotton and bearing the Fairtrade label with boco Profi Line. The certified cotton is produced by the Pratima Grower Group collective in India among others. The collection includes work trousers, overalls, a work jacket, Bermuda shorts and a gilet made from fairly traded cotton.

Our Fairtrade offering was expanded in 2017 with high-visibility clothing corresponding to the DIN EN ISO 20471 safety standard and with a 50% certified Fairtrade cotton content. Moreover, our Profi Line Plus and Cotton Line collections also contain certified cotton: in fact the latter is made entirely from Fairtrade cotton. Our collections are available in a range of different colours and are suitable for a wide variety of sectors.

Taking a stance with Fairtrade workwear

Companies and communities which decide on clothing from the boco collections with the Fairtrade label are demonstrating clearly that they are interested in the living and working conditions of the workers and the environmental impact of their actions. So much so, in fact, that these factors influence their purchasing decisions.

They then benefit from a good image, a clear conscience thanks to  sustainable procurement and the pride that employees feel from having a responsible employer.

Blog, boco, Sustainability