How often do you think about your sporting goods and how they impact the environment? Well, you may not have really had a choice – but now you do! Fair Trade Sports brings North America the first line of sports balls (soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby and more) certified fair trade and green.
Also available in Australia through Etiko Sports and UK and Europe through Fair Deal Trading, these products are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified all natural vegan rubber and hand stitched by Union workers who are paid a living wage. Fair wages and healthy sweatshop-free working conditions for adult workers are used for their apparel as well (hint hint Nike). Fair Trade Sports balls are hand stitched and laminated in factories monitored by the ILO (International Labour Organization), which is a specialized agency within the United Nations which “seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights”.
So now you are probably asking how much more these balls cost compared to other apparel companies. The great news is that Fair Trade Sports priced their balls to directly compete with brands like Nike, Adidas, Spalding.
With several quality types available, from practice balls, ‘kicking the ball around with the dog” balls, to full on premium match quality balls, there is one priced for your activity. They even offer wholesale discounts for you coaches, teams or retailers looking to buy a bundle.
I’ve been giving their high-end premium match eco soccer ball a shot, and it plays just as good (or better in some people’s opinion) than the previously mentioned brands. You have to feel great about supporting such a wonderful operation, and it’s easy too because it doesn’t cost you any more to choose Fair Trade Sports balls over the others, plus they donate all after tax profits to children’s charities.
I’ll be trying out their volleyball on the wonderful sand beaches of the Pacific Northwest this summer, so keep an eye out for another review in the future.