Many people interested in fair trade beads will ask; how do I know if beads are fair trade? The truth is that fair trade beads such as those being displayed by the women from Africa photographed below are being duplicated.
There is a lot of money to be made with fair trade beads since some governments such as the United States and some European governments have incentives that guarantee fair trade beads are competitive in their countries. Unscrupulous traders are making their own beads and passing them as fair trade beads.
One way of determining whether beads are fair trade is to look for certification by bodies and agencies charged with supervising and guaranteeing fairness in the trade. Examples of these agencies are the Fair Trade Federation and the TransFair USA. You should therefore ask questions before making a purchase.
You can know whether the beads you are buying are fair trade by looking at the quality. Since beads made in developing countries are handmade due to lack of the relevant technology, each bead is unique. Beads made by unscrupulous traders are usually flawless because the technology used is superior.
To make sure you buy beads that are fair trade, you should only buy from online markets and stores that deal with genuine jewelry and you should always ask for customer testimonials. If someone you know has fair trade beads, ask for recommendations.
The last answer to the question how do I know if beads are fair trade is that you should take the beads to a professional – professionals have tests that they use to check whether jewelry is genuine.