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Black Yak supplies high quality and stylish clothing and crafts from around the world and is very proud to be recognised by BAFTS, The British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers, as a Fair Trade importer, wholesaler and retailer. Our ethos is to buy only honestly, fairly and ethically produced goods from our producer partners, with whom we work closely to ensure that they earn an honest wage, not just in the busy times but throughout the whole year, that they have safe and pleasant working conditions and that they are able to look forward to a better future.
After living and working in Asia for several years Black Yak was born out of a desire to try to improve the life of our friends and neighbours there and a belief in ‘deeds, not words’. We realised that we were fortunate to have so much and others worked so hard to have so very little. We are all part of this amazing planet that we call home and if we would not live and work in such conditions for so little, why should we expect others to?
Many small producers are just not able to access international markets to sell the wonderful goods that they produce. Black Yak is able to give them access to markets that they otherwise could not get into and to allow people to realise a very simple desire - to work for a fair wage, to be able to look after themselves and their families and to have a future with dignity, hope and respect. We maintain very close and long-term direct personal relationships with our producers, promoting fair trade principals and putting something back into our supplier's communities with medical and educational funds. Several of our producer partners started as very small businesses and we are very proud that some are now much larger and are also themselves now putting back into their communities through relief programmes and local projects.
We deal with some larger businesses that can afford to have formal fair trade recognition and, very importantly, smaller scale producers who do not have the resources to get formal recognition but who need and deserve to be able to trade just as much, if not more so, than the bigger concerns.
At Black Yak environmental issues are extremely close to our hearts and we make sure that we know how what we sell is made. We visit each of our suppliers at least once a year and work with each of them to produce high quality, exciting designs. Technical and financial support is offered so that our suppliers have the knowledge, ability and tools to develop and maintain real businesses and are in a position to supply other markets worldwide.
The WFTO Ten Principals of Fair Trade.
1: Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers.
2: Transparency and accountability.
3: Fair trading practices.
4: Payment of a fair price.
5: Ensuring no child or forced labour.
6: Commitment to non-discrimination, gender equity and freedom of association.
7: Ensuring good working conditions.
8: Providing capacity building.
9: Promoting fair trade.
10: Respect for the environment.