Rose and I have been resisting clocking up any carbon miles at the sake of visiting our fair trade supplier in India. Recently however we were compelled to fly to India to establish a new relationship with a co-op in Tamil Nadu. The trip was so inspiring and has given us a real sense of the amazing impact something so simple as knickers can have!
The workers are women with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds. The organisation gives these women work and opportunities in order to build a future tailored to each woman. Profits from the business have been used to fund hospitals and schools for those who can't afford them. These are the big things which fair trade can achieve but something which really caught my eye was the suggestion box at the entrance to the factory - it made me think how the small things make the big things happen when it comes to fair trade.
I worked with a team of designers getting the fit of the new designs just right - an exercise which involved equal parts concentration and giggling. All the designers wore blue denim coats so I was glad to have worn something blue. The environment was so peaceful and positive in the middle of all the surrounding chaos of a busy industrial region. Everyone we met was so friendly and informed when it came to social justice and environmentally friendly production. Rose and I agreed it was all very GreenKnickers.
I have to say on balance this particular trip was worth a dose of carbon guilt and has given us a clearer picture of our knickering impact. We will of course now need to offset these carbon miles, we have done a bit of office offsetting before but have heard lots of mixed reviews about which schemes have the most positive impact. If anyone has any views we would welcome your input.