By Patrick Tuttle
on 2.26.10

fair-trade-sports-balls-gear-patrol

Sports are an American obsession and always will be. The sad thing is consumers never really put much thought into where or how sports balls are manufactured. According to Fair Trade Sports founder Scott James, over 70% of the world’s sports balls are manufactured in Salkot, Pakistan, by a labor force predominantly formed of children. Child labor is a problem because these outsourced jobs fail to pay adult workers a living wage, and so families turn to their kids to step up.

Founded in 2006, Fair Trade Sports is the first US company dedicated to produce a “full line of eco-certified Fair Trade sports balls, ensuring fair wages and healthy working conditions for our adult workers.” Better yet, all profits after taxes are donated to domestic and international children’s charities. Skeptic about just how good this company really is? Then feel free to check out the mind boggling list of certifications Fair Trade Sports company has received. Read on.

In terms of products, Fair Trade Sports produces: footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, rugby balls, ultimate frisbee discs, athletic wear, and soccer balls in a bevy of sizes for both Match and Club qualities. Every product is also clearly marked as being Fair Trade, with the hope that through promotion this movement in the sports industry will only continue to grow.

Gear Patrol has no hesitation endorsing a company with a good cause in mind, and are even more heartened to hear that Fair Trade Sport’s real goal is to have their production methods copied by even one of the major sports brands like Nike or Adidas (You guys reading this? We know you are). So, the next time your ball goes flat, think about picking up a Fair Trade Sports ball to replace it, and put your money towards changing the world. [via Wantist]

Buy Now: Basketball ($30) | Soccer ball ($35) | Football ($40) | Volley ball ($40) | Ultimate Frisbee ($15)

Respect Fair Trade Sports Balls Gallery

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