In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Traidcraft website for an environmental policy or report.

An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.

The company's Annual Report 2019 stated "Given the overall reduction in sales, and the subsequent reduction in activities, including travel to visit producers, the environmental impact of the company has been substantially reduced. No carbon footprint measurements could be taken this year. The company has been introducing plant-based packaging on as many products as possible and this process will continue as and when manufacturers are able to accommodate our requests. Travel to visit producers was severely curtailed in 2018 and will only take place on a needs must basis in 2019."

Its 2018 report was also viewed. The report mentioned some of the environmental impacts the company had, such as energy, waste, recycling, transport and travel. However, little detail was given. The company was thus not deemed to have a reasonable understanding of its key environmental impacts.

No future dated and quantifiable environmental reduction targets could be found.

Traidcraft was a small company with a turnover of £8 million. While many of its products were organic or marketed as eco-friendly this was not company wide. Traidcraft was, therefore, not considered to be offering enough of an environmental alternative to be given an exemption under Ethical Consumer's Environmental Reporting rating.

Overall, Traidcraft received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

www.traidcraft.co.uk (26 March 2020)

In November 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed Traidcraft's website for its cotton sourcing policy. The company retailed clothing however it was unclear whether it did this under its own brand or just retailed other brands.

According to Anti-Slavery international (ASI) website viewed by Ethical Consumer in August 2018, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were two of the world’s largest exporters of cotton, and every year their governments forcibly mobilised over one million citizens to grow and harvest cotton.

The Organic Trade Association website, www.ota.com, stated in July 2018 that cotton covered roughly 2.78% of global arable land, but accounted for 12.34% of all insecticide sales and 3.94% of herbicide sales.
According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit pro biotech organisation, genetically modified cotton accounted for 80% of cotton grown in 2017.

Due to the fact all Traidcraft products were Fair Trade or made under Fair Trade, as well as all cotton products listed being made from organic cotton, it was considered to have a positive policy for cotton sourcing as the above issues were considered to be addressed.

Reference:

www.traidcraftshop.co.uk (26 November 2019)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Traidcraft website for a statement on the use of toxic chemicals in relation to its "Clean & Fair" brand. The website stated that Clean & Fair products contained "No artificial ingredients".

Ethical Consumer contacted the company in May 2019 and asked for the company's policy on the use of triclosan, parabens and phthalates which Ethical Consumer expected companies to have removed or have clear targets to remove from their supply chains. The company replied stating that it did not use any of the three chemicals.

This was assumed to still be the case.

Traidcraft therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its toxics chemicals policy.

Reference:

Email Feb 2017 (15 February 2017)

In November 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft website and found that it sold a paper products, such as toilet paper and tissue. It also sold a small number of wooden ornaments and games but these were not considered to be a significant part of the business. As all the the toilet paper and tissues were 100% recycled the company was considered to have effective, if not explicit best practice for its timber sourcing policy.

It therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its timber sourcing policy.

Reference:

www.traidcraftshop.co.uk (26 November 2019)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft website, which had a page on FairPalm, its own fairly traded palm oil from West Africa. Traidcraft stated "FairPalm is great for the planet and great for the people who grow it. It’s a palm oil revolution. And that’s why we want to use it in as many of our products as possible."

"With FairPalm, we decided that fair trade could only occur in the smallholder farming sector, embracing organic, and leaving no place for monocropping."

It also stated "FairPalm is grown by smallholder farmers in West Africa – where oil palm plants are indigenous, grow naturally alongside other crops, and where the farming community often possess a few palm trees as part of their multi cropping small holder farming."

Several products were listed which contained this palm oil, including cleaning products which contained palm derivatives. All those listed used Fairpalm

The company was considered to have a positive policy on palm oil, and received Ethical Consumer's best rating.

Reference:

www.traidcraft.co.uk (26 March 2020)