Archive for June, 2012

Fairware is Growing & We’re looking for a Production Manager

June 29, 2012

At Fairware we believe we can change the world through the simple act of buying. We create cool, sustainable swag (‘stuff we all get’) that makes powerful statements and tell meaningful stories about the people and the brands we work with. We work with North America’s leading sustainable brands to create unique, ethically sourced custom products made with environmentally preferred materials. You can check us out at

The full-time Production Manager will ensure that all aspects of processing orders are executed effectively and efficiently to the satisfaction of our clients and suppliers. The production manager will work with suppliers to ensure that orders meet both the price and quality expectations of our clients and the Fairware team. The production manager will ensure orders are delivered to clients on time, and will build positive professional relationships with suppliers, and all other vendors involved in the order process.


You’re responsible for managing the timely and efficient processing of orders including:

  • Preparing purchase orders, coordinating artwork approvals, shipping and invoicing.
  • Maintaining up to date information in Sales Force, QuickBooks and Outlook.
  • Dealing professionally with suppliers to ensure order fulfilment.
  • Maintaining and building positive supplier relationships.
  • Managing all shipping and logistics to ensure order deadlines are met.
  • Participating in daily and weekly meetings
  • Assisting with special projects when needed.

Core Competencies:

  • You are detail oriented, self-confident, and very organized.
  • You have a positive, professional attitude and work well in an open office, team environment.
  • You work well in a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment with finite deadlines.
  • You have great interpersonal skills both in person and on the phone.
  • You are a master of multi-tasking.
  • You are able to problem solve on the fly and work well under pressure.
  • You have excellent oral and written communication skills and a good command of the English language.
  • You are comfortable working in Excel, Word and Outlook and Quickbooks.
  • Familiarity with Photoshop, Illustrator CS4 an asset.
  • Knowledge and interest in social responsibility; environmental sustainability and sustainable products is an absolute asset.
  • You have a minimum of 5 years related experience.

How to Apply:

Please send us a one page letter outlining your relevant experience and why you want to work for Fairware. Attach it to a resume that captures your related experience and email it to with the words Production Manager in the subject line by July 13th, 2012. No phone calls please.

Fairware offers a competitive salary based on experience and core competencies, as well as a benefit package. Please indicate salary expectations.

SILICONE WARS: Is Silicone Rubber Safe?

June 26, 2012

Silicone Pint Glasses

Brightly coloured silicone has been trending for years as a safer and more aesthetically pleasing alternative to Teflon or plastic products. Being curious types, it’s prompted us at Fairware to question: Just how safe is it, really?

Silicone is heat-resistant synthetic compound made from naturally occurring resources including carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in combination with silicon atoms. The rubbery material has been popping up rapidly on store shelves, particularly in the form of cookware, water bottle nozzles, and a variety of other products that come in direct contact with food and drink. Manufacturers maintain that is it safe, and Health Canada backs the material as having no reaction with food and beverages.

There are plenty of bright sides to this versatile material, including its low toxicity, low chemical reactivity, and low thermal conductivity. It also emits no hazardous fumes and it is non-biodegradable, making it technically recyclable—though many recycling centres unfortunately still refuse to accept it. The leading manufacturers of silicone-based products belong to four non-profit organizations that deal exclusively with promoting the safety of silicone from a health, safety, and environmental perspective.

Despite the green light from Health Canada and its four non-commercial organizations, there are still concerns. The use of silicone in cookware is a relatively recent, and there remains very little research to debunk worries of possible long-term side-effects on health and on the environment. And the stamp of approval from Health Canada is, frankly, a little dubious. Non-stick Teflon cookware, for instance, has been deemed safe for humans by the government agency, despite causing cancer in test rats.

So, there is really no concrete answer to the question of safety surrounding silicone – while it is clearly a less toxic material than many on the market, questions remain. It is our hope that the increasing use of silicone in products will prompt further and more stringent testing—and that consumers will continue to demand more insight into the products they buy.


FAIRWARE CRUSH: Nature’s Path Foods

June 20, 2012

This month, we’d like to raise a toast—or in this case, a bowl of cereal—to Nature’s Path, a leading manufacturer of organic cereal and granola bars.

In addition to providing consumers with healthy, organic products, Nature’s Path is committed to changing the way we choose our food. They are at the forefront of the Right2Know movement calling for mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

The US and Canada have no law enforcing food manufacturers to label products with ingredients that are genetically engineered. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are found in 80% of packaged food in the US, and have serious effects on health, the environment, and farmers’ livelihoods.

We love Nature’s Path – because they don’t take their commitment to change lightly. Not only did they put their money where their mouth is by donating $500,000 to the Centre for Food Safety’s campaign for mandatory GMO labeling, but they have also leveraged their brand for the cause.

At the recent EXPO WEST trade show (the world’s largest and premier tradeshow for the natural, organic and healthy products industry), Nature’s Path gave up valuable brand real estate by draping their counter with a tablecloth that featured not their logo, but a call for action on GMO labeling.

Gathering signatures at the Nature’s Path booth at Expo West.

We work with brands every day and not many companies will give up advertising space to raise awareness for a cause, but Nature’s Path has done this time and time again. At last year’s Right2Know rally, Nature’s Path called on Fairware to produce lime-coloured, mutant-like three-sleeved T-shirts for marchers to wear. The shirts put a fun and fresh spin on a serious question: Shouldn’t genetically modified foods be as easy to spot on grocery shelves?

Mutant 3-Sleeved T-Shirts: If only GMO’s in food were this easy to spot.

It is especially timely to recognize Nature’s Path’s mission statement following the controversy surrounding GMOs found in products made by cereal giant, Kashi. The Kellogg’s-owned brand has come under fire after a small Rhode Island health food store pulled Kashi from their shelves, and subsequently outed the brand on social media for falsely claiming to be all-natural. This stirred a debate on the difference between foods labelled “organic” and “all-natural.” Critics pointed out that Kashi had been getting away with using genetically-engineered ingredients in their foods, because its labeling as “natural” was more open to interpretation than “organic.”

Nature’s Path wants this to change. They believe consumers have a right to know what is in their food, and we agree. A clear label indicating GMOs in foods will allow customers to make an informed decision of what they eat—and hopefully encourage more food manufacturers to produce organically and GMO free.

Nature’s Path’s dedication to its mission statement, its unique take on getting its message to the public, and its continued commitment to providing consumers with organic and GMO Free makes this company deliciously crushworthy in our eyes!

Bamboozled? Getting the facts on Bamboo Textiles

June 11, 2012

We’ve re-posted this from 2010 because it’s still a good primer on bamboo & it’s still a material that people have lots of questions about.

At Fairware we’ve had plenty of interest in apparel with bamboo content. In addition to being easy to care for, soft and silky, bamboo fibers have been loudly touted as the newest and greatest in eco-apparel.

But there are conflicting facts about the environmental attributes of bamboo textiles so we’ve taken a closer look. The following is based on our online research and we welcome your comments, input and suggestions.

Bamboo: The Plant

The premise that bamboo textiles are eco-friendly is largely based on the sustainability merits of the plant. Part of the grass family, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth (giant kelp is second). Instead of taking centuries to mature, like hardwood, bamboo can be harvested after only 3 to 5 years.

Bamboo is also self-sustaining with an extensive root system that sends up new shoots each year. This substantially reduces the need for intense cultivation practices. The large root system also helps prevent soil erosion and improves the water-holding capacity of the watershed. With sufficient rainfall, bamboo crops don’t require irrigation. (more…)

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