Fair Trade COVID19 Response in Asia is our strategic program towards ensuring the continuity and sustainability of Fair Trade in Asia.  Recognizing early on the potential deep impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health, Society, and the Economy, WFTO Asia, led by its Board and Secretariat, quickly mobilized its members to respond to the situation.  

Driven by the compelling need to respond to the plight of people who are being victimized by profiteering and the severe lack of PPE, WFTO Asia mobilized its members and partners to respond to the situation by shifting their production to making ‘Fair Trade PPE’.  WFTO Asia saw the need to demonstrate to the region (as well as to the rest of the world) what Fair Trade is all about.  Fair Trade is all about caring for people.  It is about making sure that the needs of people are made available following Fair Trade Standards.  It is about making sure that Fair Trade Enterprises and Organizations stand in meaningful solidarity with the people.  This was the call to members and partners, to come together and join the frontline by producing these much-needed PPE for frontliners and for people from poor and marginalized sectors and communities.

Fair Trade COVID-19 takes a two pronged approach: 

Production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

WFTO Asia is mobilizing its 147 members based across 19 countries to shift production/ allocate production capacity to produce the much needed PPE —including respiratory masks, face shields, medical gowns, medical head caps, soaps, hand sanitizers, and more. Fair Trade PPE as referred to, is personal protective equipment (PPE) produced following Fair Trade Standards as well as enhances health, sanitation, and hygiene practices.

Produce Fair Trade PPE with us: Have the capacity and/or interested in producing Fair Trade PPE? Please contact us and we will provide you with necessary information and resources we’ve put together— including mask design patterns, Good Manufacturing Practices and Occupational Health and Safety Standards, Fair Trade Standards, as well as labelling guidelines and branding assets— that will be helpful to you. Contact us at [email protected]

Providing access to PPEs through partnerships

WFTO Asia is actively seeking partnerships with governments, donor organizations and individuals to provide crucial PPE to at risk and most vulnerable groups. Partner with us to donate PPE. Contact [email protected]

People’s Mask 

As respiratory masks are among the most demanded and widely used PPE, immediate effort is  placed on producing these critical protective tools .  The People’s Mask initiative aims to ease the pressure on the demand for surgical masks, —which are supposed to be reserved for medical professionals—by providing high efficiency respiratory masks to the general public.  

The People’s Mask is a fusion of Fair Trade Standards, Hygiene, and Health Protocols, together with tested PPE designs.  

It is a product of social solidarity, with WFTO Asia Members and Partners offering their knowledge and resources to be able to develop and produce these Fair Trade PPE, including the People’s Mask, which was originally called the Fair Trade Mask.  It evolved to be known as the People’s Mask to distinguish it from medical-grade respiratory masks that are intended for medical frontliners.  

People’s Mask was designed to serve the other essential workers (non-medical personnel) who are called to serve in the frontline as well.  This include among others, social workers, public servants, storekeepers, food preparers, food delivery people, pharmacists, waste management people, public transportation people, peace and order people, logistics people, utility people, and other people who need to be in the frontline in order to help ensure the safety and health of the greater majority.  

People’s Mask is also for the poor and marginalized people who cannot exercise social distancing given their current socio-economic conditions – they need masks too.

People’s Mask is produced by people for people – WFTO Asia members’ producers and artisans are predominant coming from poor and marginalized sectors and communities, who are also now serving in the frontlines in order to produce Fair Trade PPE, including the People’s Mask. 

With People’s Mask, everybody benefits.  Fair Trade Enterprises are able to sustain the production activities of their producers and artisans.  This means continuous livelihood and income for the producers and artisans, who are themselves struggling to survive the health, socio-economic impacts of the COVID 19 Pandemic.  Our Fair Trade producers and artisans are empowered to serve as part of the solution against the COVID 19 Pandemic, they are given the opportunity to serve in social solidarity with other people across the region and around the globe.   

Key Features – People’s Mask 

Tested design: People’s Mask is produced based on the HK Mask Design, a laboratory-tested system using fabric masks and filters

Fairly made and fairly traded: People’s Mask is produced guided by the 10 Principles of Fair Trade ensuring safety and fair payment for the producer workers and artisans. 

Hygienic: People’s Mask is produced in safe and clean facilities and follows Good Manufacturing Practices and Occupational Safety and Health Standards.