Trading fair and being transparent is at the core of our approach to business that we have developed alongside our sister charity Mayamiko Trust to ensure that we meet and or, exceed the WTFO Principles of Fair Trade.
As provisional members of The World Fair Trade Organisation we practice WTFO's principles in everything we do. We also follow ILO principles, and have documented our very own Ethical Promise so that you know exactly what we stand for and in which conditions your clothes are made.
We invite you to read the new Fair Trade Charter.
Our Ethical Promise
WTFO 10 Principles of Fair Trade
Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
At Mayamiko we work to create opportunities for disadvantaged artisans and tailors, with a focus on women empowerment, by providing the right skills and opportunities to create a better life for themselves through fair trade.
Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability
At Mayamiko we believe in transparency and accountability and we work hard to ensure that these principles are at the core of our business. We know we are not perfect and there are things we need to work on. We always involve our stakeholders in our journey towards full sustainability, traceability and accountability, and we join forces whenever we can, learning from others, whoever they may be: clients, partners, artisans, tailors.
It takes a village and we know it.
Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices
At Mayamiko we are in it for the long run. Whether it's Fashion Lab in Malawi, or working with other artisan groups around the world, we want to establish long term relationships that will bring sustainable benefits for the community. This is why we sometimes move more slowly, because we want to make sure the relationships are fair, committed and sustainable.
We work together to get the right materials, the perfect design and the best quality so that everyone is enriched in the process. Our long term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. We not only recognise, promote and protect the cultural identity and traditional skills of our partners as reflected in their crafts, traditions and heritages, we also celebrate and honour them by working together to share them with other communities around the world.
Principle Four: Fair Payment
Our payments are negotiated freely and openly with employees and producers, contracts are regularly reviewed and adjusted in a collaborative and transparent way, based on economic assessments and open dialogue. We do not ask for over-time or weekend working unless agreed freely and appropriately rewarded, for example; if we are working together towards a particular deadline our employees may have the option to do over time but are in no way obliged.
Principle Five: Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
We do not tolerate any coercion or pressure and we believe that the best place for children to be, is in school. We know that working mothers may find it hard to juggle their workload and to help give all women equal opportunities we allow mothers to bring their babies to work, where we provide childcare support. We also offer home-work options if the employee finds that this is best for her.
Principle Six: Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
At Mayamiko we deeply believe in equality and tolerance. We do not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS status or age.
Our mission is to empower women, so naturally our activities focus on helping vulnerable women succeed and flourish. We respect the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively, and we enjoy the healthy debates, as they are what allows us to deeply understand our impact and how we can positively increase it.
Principle Seven: Ensuring Good Working Conditions
The safety of everyone involved in our activities is vital, both at work and on the way to and from. We work with our partners and employees to understand challenges and put in place measures to ensure everyone’s safety, together with sensitisation sessions to educate and empower. For example in Malawi we have organised collective transport all of our employees to ensure ease and safety to those who have to travel in from smaller rural villages.
Principle Eight: Providing Capacity Building
This is one of the main reasons we exist in the first place. We constantly work to develop the skills and capabilities of our employees and artisan partners so they can support themselves and make their own choices about their future. For example, in Malawi we run business management, financial literacy and technical skills training, all at no cost. We also have a clear professional development plan for our permanent employees so that they can continue to develop themselves.
Principle Nine: Promoting Fair Trade
The words ‘fair trade’ have been in our mission statement from day 1. Our work bears testimony to the fair trade principles and the ‘trade not aid’ approach.
Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment
Here at Mayamiko we are very committed to causing as little damage to the environment as possible and even reversing the impact, and have been on a zero waste mission for a few years. As part of our efforts to be more sustainable we make sure no fabric goes to waste, we design for maximum fabric usage, all off-cuts and trimmings too small to be made in to a full garment get made into other useful items and a zero waste pattern cutting technique is employed to ensure we utilise as much fabric as possible in each design. With our left-over trimmings we make items such as scrunchies, protective dust bags for the garments and reusable cotton sanitary pads which we distribute to girls in need both locally in Malawi and around the world to refugee camps. To learn more about this click here. Other ways in which we reduce our environmental impact include; running our workshop via solar energy, only using recyclable packaging materials, sourcing locally to reduce our carbon footprint and giving our customers the option to off set their order/delivery’s carbon emissions via One Tree Planted. Last but not least we have been busy setting up trustworthy and transparent partnerships which are enabling us to introduce more and more sustainable materials, such as organic cotton into our collections.