Former Microsoft Marketing Manager Scott James wanted to do something in his life to make the world better. So he started a company. The 37-year old Bainbridge Island man, who played weekend soccer, started Fair Trade Sports in 2006, manufacturing soccer balls from sustainably managed rubber forests, synthetic leather and latex. And they’re made by adults, who are paid a fair wage for their work. The company is overseen by the Fair Trade watchdog organization, which does not allow child labor. So the soccer-balls are made sweat shop free. The 10-employee Bainbridge Island company studied Paul Newman’s business Newman’s Own, and fashioned itself in the same way. Like Newman’s Own it gives back a portion of it’s after tax profits to children’s charities.
Fair Trade Sports, Inc is the first sports equipment company in North America to launch a full line of Eco + Fair Trade Certified sports balls. Lauded by Oprah’s O Magazine and Parents’ Magazine, Fair Trade Sports just this week introduced their size 3 soccer ball, great for little kickers under age 8. The balls have 32 panels and are compliant with all international soccer ball standards. Fair Trade also makes size 4 and 5 soccer balls, American footballs, rugby balls and basketballs. All their apparel is sweat shop free as well.