Ethical Trading

At Freeset we don’t do business with ethical commitments, instead we do business because of our ethical commitment. We believe fairtrade can be more than fair and business can make a real difference.

We operate as a social enterprise because we measure success in terms of lives changed rather than profits made.

Our aim is to protect the planet whilst also benefiting the people who make our wonderful jute, organic fairtrade cotton and recycled bags.

Trading and Employment:

Many businesses exist to provide profit for the owners and shareholders - at Freeset we exist to provide freedom from exploitation for our employees. All profits in the UK and India are re-invested to ensure greater freedom is offered to women and their children who have been victims of human trafficking.

Many businesses employ the most able and most efficient to increase profitability – at Freeset we employ those who need a job because of their vulnerability. We then train them to add value to the business and ensure their needs as an employee is met along with our customer’s requirements.

 Many businesses employ men who tend to manufacture higher quantities in one day – At Freeset, we employ women to do the work as poverty disproportionally affects women globally.

 Many businesses pay per item made – at Freeset we pay a set wage significantly higher than the average and cover health insurance and a retirement plan. This ensures Freedom is offered for all and not just the most able.

 Many businesses expand and contract their work force to deal with fluctuations in orders – at Freeset we offer sustainable employment to all our employees. We ensure families can plan on their wages and will not create vulnerability through using temporary staff.

 Many businesses quote maximum working hours, no child labour and a safe working environment as a commitment to ethical trade – at Freeset we see these as all taken as read and real ethical trade is when success is not just measured by financial profits but in the freedom from exploitation and empowerment of our work force.

Social Enterprise Mark:

Freeset Ltd is a certified social enterprise with the Social Enterprise Mark.  This means that Freeset Ltd has proved it is genuine against independently-assessed criteria for social enterprise. The Mark provides assurance that profits are used to improve the lives of women exploited through human trafficking, acting as a guarantee that Freeset is trading for people and planet. Sourcing our bags means that more vulnerable women get the help they need and the amount of exploitation is reduced. See www.socialenterprisemark.org.uk

 Materials:

Jute Bags:

The natural fibre used in the fabric of our bags comes from the stem and outer skin of the jute plant.

Jute is a rain-fed crop that doesn’t need much in the way of fertilizer or pesticides. Production is concentrated around the Ganges delta region of India and Bangladesh where the warm, wet climate during the monsoon season provides ideal growing conditions. It takes between four and six months for the plants reach a height of around 12 feet (3.5m) when they are harvested. The harvested stems are then tied together and soaked in water to soften before being stripped of their fibres.

Jute Facts

* Jute fabric is commonly known as hessian or burlap.

* India produces around two thirds of the world's jute.

* Kolkata is central to India’s jute industry

* Environmentally friendly, jute fibre can be composted and recycled – it is 100% bio-degradable

* It is the world’s 2nd most important vegetable fibre after cotton

Organic Fairtrade Cotton Bags:

Our raw materials are sourced from suppliers who use sustainable farming and production processes. This means they avoid the use of chemicals, hormones and preservatives which damage the Earth and are harmful to people. Pesticides and fertilizers used to grow non-organic cotton have an extraordinary impact on the Earth and on those who work it—that’s why Freeset sources 100% Ecocert organic cotton. The cotton is also dyed using a 100% organic process.

We use only water-based ink for screen printing, avoiding harmful petro-chemicals and compounds.