India is an assault on the senses in the most vibrant and glorious way. The food, the people, the color the sounds. We spent several days with Fair Trade USA shooting in and around one of their fair trade certified factories in Bangalore, and we were shown incredible hospitality by our local hosts.
Fair Trade certified textiles are fairly new. The Fair Trade seal ensures that workers are paid livable wages, overtime, and that the environment they work in is safe. However the most unique part of Fair Trade is the opportunity fund, where the brands purchasing the fair trade goods pay an additional sum that is placed into a fund. The workers then get to vote on how best to use this community fund. India was the one place on our journey where we got to witness the voting taking place as well as the final ballot count. The workers got to choose between 7 different options that were decided on after interviewing all the workers. In the end a new gas stove for every workers' household won the popular vote.