Sales of Fairtrade T-shirts and sweatshirts have shot up in recent weeks according to adventure clothing retailer WOMbat.
The Cheshire-based company has reported a 9% like-for-like rise in the number of Fairtrade branded goods sold so far during February along with an overall growth of 45% with the addition of their new stores.
The news follows hot on the heels of an announcement by the Fairtrade Foundation this week, which revealed a 12 per cent year-on-year increase in the volume of Fairtrade products sold in the UK. Despite the recession, it is estimated that consumers spent £800m on ethically-sourced items such as clothing, tea, chocolate and coffee in 2009.
WOMbat, which has four shops and an online outlet, said it has seen an increase in demand for Men and Women’s Fairtrade Clothing products across its range of clothing, although fair trade cotton T-shirts have been proving particularly popular.
WOMbat’s Victoria Tingey said: “Ethical clothing is the cornerstone of our business, so it is fantastic to see this month’s sales increase. WOMbat is a supplier of adventure clothing, but we feel just as strongly about the concept of fair trade as we do about the outdoors.
“There has been a considerable increase over recent years when it comes to recognition of the Fairtrade brand and what it stands for and consumers are now far more aware of the issues surrounding fair trade and the environment.
“It is encouraging to see that even in the face of a recession, people are committed to purchasing ethically-sourced goods. The global recession has made it more critical than ever that we support producers in developing countries.”
The new summer Fairtrade clothing lines are due to hit WOMbat’s website and its retail stores in Cambridge, Chester, Abersoch and Bristol within the next couple of weeks. And in an attempt to get more shoppers to try ethical clothing, the firm is offering a 10 per cent discount on all Fairtrade cotton clothing until March 7.