SaathiPads- a unique fair trade model


SaathiPads aims to bring about a revolution. It hopes create its own space and reach a place so that it can create environmentally conscious products that reach the masses. It started its journey in 2015. It would be good to know about its journey so far and the philosophy that guides it.

The idea behind SaathiPads is premised on the philosophy of fair trade. Fair trade means that the producers are adequately remunerated and the consumers ensure the same. The consumers bear the extra costs for a cause. However, SaathiPads is not stuck in the general trappings of many fair trade initiatives. For example, it does not spend its precious resources on advertising. Instead, it aims to create and increase its reach by general awareness.

Fair trade generally works in a system of co-operation with the creation of a co-operative structure. The money received is distributed to the fair trade organizations for certification expenses which organize such suppliers and set standards while the remaining component is distributed amongst the suppliers or farmers. It is a firm belief that this allows farmers to realize better incomes and be more empowered to take charge of their lives. Farmers and suppliers earn minimum wages and a premium which is a fruit of their labour.

Similar is our commitment but we differ from the common model in many subtle ways. We save precious resources. We directly employ low income women as manufacturers of the products and source the raw materials from banana farmers. The farmers are able to earn more by selling agriwaste to us. It also leads to reduction of plastic waste and CO2 emissions by creation of a product that is compostable instead of something that people feel the need to burn.

Fair trade is usually used for commercially and widely produced commodities such as coffee as the model is easily scalable. In this milieu of initiatives, SaathiPads aims to make a humble beginning by extending and emulating the model to disposable sanitary napkins. It understands you and the Earth.

SaathiPads is an initiative of like minded individuals who believe in sustainable development and equality for all. It employs low income women and aims to create sanitary conditions for their lives by distributing banana fibre pads, monthly in partnership with Eka Vidyalya and Arogya Foundation in rural Jharkhand. To ascertain the effectiveness of its initiatives, it is running an impact study to see the impact of women using biodegradable pads in rural areas, in collaboration with the 4th Wheel.

Fair trade is closely associated with ethical business and labour practices. It seeks to safeguard the rights and incomes of the people involved in the supply chain by dialogue, transparency and close involvement in decision making. These are the ethos of SaathiPads as well. In ways more than one, SaathiPads believes in fair trade and depends on you to help it sustain and reach farther. Try it today to feel the difference and make a difference...

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