Since Fair Trade sports games are on our horizon, I wanted to take a closer look at the world of Fair Trade sports balls and what kind of gear is available. According to Fair Trade USA there are, “Fair Trade Certified soccer balls, footballs, basketballs and rugby balls…” on the market already. Each product is made in a sweat-shop free environment, where workers are given a living wage. The main behind the Fair Trade sports movement is SENDA (also known as Fair Trade Sports) which currently does mostly fair trade soccer balls and apparel. RESPECT soccer balls, the only fair trade certified sports balls, are sold by SENDA, and buying a ball ensures that no child labor goes into making that product, that workers are paid at least the national minimum wage, and that working conditions are safe. Through their site, not only can you order soccer balls, but you can customize them. So, if Penn State were to order a set of balls, we could customize them with the Penn State logo and Penn State colors. However, after surfing the site and Fair Trade USA, I wasn’t able to find other Fair Trade sports related gear. I checked out this article, http://gearpatrol.com/2010/02/26/fair-trade-sports-balls/, and fair trade sports products, other than Fair Trade soccer balls, have been in circulation at one point or another, but it doesn’t look as though they are currently available. Amazon looks to have been a supplier of the RESPECT Fair Trade sports gear, but currently is not carrying anything other than soccer balls. I’m not sure what happened to the other Fair Trade sports gear, or why certain products are unavailable.
FT USA: http://www.fairtradeusa.org/products-partners/sports-balls
Gear Patrol: http://gearpatrol.com/2010/02/26/fair-trade-sports-balls/
Contributed by Sarah DeMartino