When natural disaster strikes, wherever it may be in the world, it tugs at our heart strings. No matter what, when humanity is hurting, we all suffer. The latest disaster to plague our world is the devastating flooding in Pakistan, where three weeks of intense flooding has left 20 million homeless and 1,500 have lost their lives. It was just announced today that the flood waters will likely continue to wreak havoc until at least the end of August. This tragedy, of course strikes home to us, as our Ethletic sneakers are stitched in a Fair Trade factory in Pakistan. We were deeply worried and alarmed when we first heard of the flooding a few weeks ago. We were a tad relieved to find out our factory was in a less affected area and all our workers and their families as well as their community, are safe and doing well. However, contact with them has been intermittent due to countrywide communication issues.

Our workers, on top of receiving Fair Trade wages, have a Fair Trade Welfare Society Fund set up. This fund provides them with a multitude of community benefits such as life insurance and a community health clinic, but has also been used to help with disaster relief. After the devastating 2005 Pakistani Earthquake, the Fair Trade Welfare Society used their funding to donate to disaster relief. This year they are looking to the same to help the flood victims in their region and country. Autonomie Project and our UK partners are also gathering the necessary means to send a donation for flood relief.

It is times like these that we realize supporting Fair Trade and communities such as those in our factory in Pakistan are at an utmost importance. This is not intended to increase our sales in any way but to shed light on the fact that supporting these workers and their factory is more important now than ever before. Purchasing Ethletics right now will double your impact by spending money where it really counts and is the most effective.  Fair Trade wages and the worker’s welfare fund are vital for the workers’ ability to improve their families as well as their community. There is no better time to support Fair Trade products coming out of Pakistan as well as others in the regions affected.

If you would also like to donate directly to the relief efforts, it is easy as pie! Just text the word “SWAT” to 50555 and a $10 donation will go to UNHCR Pakistan Flood Relief Effort. Every $10 helps provide tents and emergency aid. If you would like to donate more than $10 or to a specific charity, check out this list of relief efforts currently taking donations.

-Team AP