Michelle Knight from Lifeline in South Lismore with some of the Fair Trade items the store has for sale.
Michelle Knight from Lifeline in South Lismore with some of the Fair Trade items the store has for sale. Cathy Adams

Lifeline takes up fair trade

THROUGH its new giftware product range, Northern Rivers Lifeline has taken an important step towards creating a better deal for third-world workers.

This week it will roll out new certified Fair Trade products to stores in Ballina, Casino, Lismore CBD and South Lismore.

Lifeline Northern Rivers merchandise controller Alicia Ferderer used Siham Craftlink, a member of Fair Trade Association of New Zealand and Australia, to source the products from Bangladesh, India and Thailand.

She claimed stocking the new products was a step towards creating better lives for impoverished workers in third world countries.

"It's benefiting the artisans in third world countries who put the hard work in and should get paid fairly for it," she said.

"These artisans were barely surviving before but now they can plan for the future."

Ms Ferderer said the new products are better quality than unsustainable third-world products.

"You can pick up a bookmark and it's actually hand-stitched - I mean really hand-stitched; not by a machine. It's not mass-produced so it is all unique," she said.

"We hope to go further than just the giftware in the future."

Environmentally sustainable materials were also used to make the new products.

South Lismore Lifeline salesperson Michelle Knight said the giftware range would address growing market demand.

"We find more and more people are looking for something with some meaning behind it," she said.

"Most people have a conscience now and want to know where things are made."

Lifeline uses money raised through its stores to fund a 24-hour crisis support service.



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