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Fair Trade Sports

Fair Play

Scott James is a father, recreational soccer player, and an advocate for fair trade and the environment. He left a job in technology because he wanted to be able to tell his children that his job helps people. So he combined his interest in sports, social causes, ecology and charity to create Fair Trade Sports. It’s the first U.S. sports equipment maker to launch a line of eco-certified balls that are built by adult workers who are guaranteed healthy working conditions and fair wages. A big part of Scott’s inspiration is his wife Susan (right), a social worker who fights child labor around the world.
Fair Trade Sports
Fair Play

Scott James is a father, recreational soccer player, and an advocate for fair trade and the environment. He left a job in technology because he wanted to be able to tell his children that his job helps people. So he combined his interest in sports, social causes, ecology and charity to create Fair Trade Sports. It’s the first U.S. sports equipment maker to launch a line of eco-certified balls that are built by adult workers who are guaranteed healthy working conditions and fair wages. A big part of Scott’s inspiration is his wife Susan (right), a social worker who fights child labor around the world.

Fair Trade Sports started small, but it has big goals. Scott wants to change the sports ball industry, which is notorious for exploiting child labor and engaging in environmentally irresponsible practices. He uses rubber from certified forests in Sri Lanka and South India to make his soccer balls, basketballs and footballs, and he only works with fair-trade certified factories. No animal byproducts are used (the balls are vegan). All the products conform to international ball standards, and they’re packaged deflated so they cost less to ship.

Fair Trade Sports is modeled after Newman’s Own, the charitable food company co-founded by Paul Newman. Scott expects his company to be profitable by the end of this year, and he has pledged to donate all after-tax profits to children’s charities including Room to Read and the Boys & Girls Club. We heard about Fair Trade Sports from Janet Morgenstern Passani, who’s passionate about helping brands that support healthy, natural living. These fun, responsibly-made balls play right to those strengths. Game on.