Kick it Up a Notch

Chances are your little one will be attending a soccer camp or at least kicking a ball outside with the neighbor kids this summer. If you’re in the market for a new soccer ball, check out locally-based Fair Trade Sports and their line of eco-certified and Fair Trade Certified sports balls.

You’re buying eco-friendly toys and Fair Trade coffee, but you may have never thought about how your kiddo’s soccer ball was made. The answer? Quite possibly, it was made in a sweatshop by workers earning unfair wages. But, 3 years ago, Bainbridge Island dad Scott James decided leave his tech job to change up the game. The dad of two was having a case of “spousal jealousy” (he wanted to be able to tell his kids that his job helps people – like his wife was able to do) and founded Fair Trade Sports; marrying his love for sports with a passion for social justice.
When adult workers earn fair wages in healthy working conditions, it helps to ensure their children are not forced into child-labor situations. The rubber that goes into this line of sports balls comes from sustainably-managed rubber tree forests, earning them the first-ever “green” certification for balls. Additionally, all the after-tax profits go to children’s charities, benefitting at-risk kids domestically (Boys and Girls Club) and internationally (Room to Read).
The line of sports balls are aptly named Respect. As James says, “Student athletes are taught by coaches and parents to respect their bodies and to respect the competition; now they can teach the kids to also respect the hands that made the sports ball with which they play and train.” Your kids can score a goal for their team and the planet!
PS: Fair Trade Sports products include soccer balls (in all sizes from kid to adult), basketballs, volleyballs, footballs, rugby balls, ultimate discs and some apparel.
-Angie J. Ballas