Archive for the ‘Fairware News’ Category

Fairware Holiday Better Gift Guide

November 1, 2012

With a little effort, you can avoid holiday gifting pitfalls.

The holiday season is fast approaching—and along with the cheer comes that annual shopping stress. For business owners, this can also mean finding the perfect way to thank clients and employees for their support and hard work. We think it’s important to give fun and unique gifts that align with a company’s values. All of Fairware’s products come with an option to personalize—but we know that not everyone is keen on logos. That’s why we’ve got lots of options for great gifts (another option is to use the standard imprint area of a product to send a non-branded message like ‘thanks’ . We’ve complied a handy list of some of our favourite gifts to give, and gifts to get.

When buying for clients, we like to focus on enjoyable gifts that tread a little more on the side of enjoyment, rather than work. These gifts are all beautifully crafted by sustainable manufacturers, making them good for the giving, and good for the planet.

Holiday purchasing doesn’t have to feel or look like a rushed job. Planning early and setting aside time for gift distribution is a great way to start—and we’re here to help you along the way. Contact us with any questions regarding gift giving or to discuss the many more options we have to offer. We’ll be happy to help you fill your office with cheer!

Fairware Innovators Ranked Among Top Women Canadian Entrepreneurs

October 23, 2012

Denise Taschereau and Sarah White in their Vancouver office.

The co-founders of Fairware – a growing BC company based in Vancouver – are being recognized as two of Canada’s most successful, creative and business-savvy women entrepreneurs.

On October 1, Fairware’s Chief Executive Officer Denise Taschereau and Chief Operating Officer Sarah White were named 81st on PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 Ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs. The 14th annual W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs is produced by PROFIT Magazine and Chatelaine. The ranking profiles the country’s most successful women business owners, and is based on a composite score based on the size, growth and rate of profitability of business. Fairware’s ranking will be published in the November issues of PROFIT and Chatelaine Magazines and online at

“The women of the W100 offer 100 shining examples of Canadian entrepreneurship,” said Ian Portsmouth, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of PROFIT. “They have achieved their elite status by creating valued products and services, applying deft management skills and exercising the determination required to succeed in today’s business environment.”

The duo were also named finalists today for a 2012 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award (CWEA), which recognizes women entrepreneurs from across Canada who make impressive contributions to local, Canadian or global economies. Fairware is being considered in the TPH Sustainability Award category, which honours women-led businesses dedicated to incorporating environmentally conscious initiatives and leading social change. Winners of the RBC award will be announced in Toronto November 28.

The company is also a finalist in the Better Business Bureau of Mainland BC Torch Awards Green Award category, which recognizes forward-thinking, sustainable business practices or contributions toward positive social change. Winners will be announced October 25 in Vancouver. “When we made the decision back in 2005 to found our company, Fairware operated out of my garage, and wasn’t much more than a phone and a computer,” said Sarah White. “Fast forward seven years: we now have a team of 10, a healthy annual profit, and national recognition alongside some of Canada’s most successful women entrepreneurs. It’s gratifying to know that all of our hard work and vision to change the world for the better is paying off.”

“All along, we’ve committed to being change-makers by thinking outside of the box, and being recognized on a national level is a reflection of that commitment,” said Denise Taschereau. “We believe that we can all change the world with the simple act of buying and clearly, supporting sustainability can be good for our environment and a great way to do business.”Fairware is a Vancouver-based company that creates a wide variety of unique, ethically sourced custom products made with environmentally preferred materials.

Fairware sources custom promotional items that say something about who the client is and what they believe in, successfully marrying sustainability and style with creative vision and profitability. Fairware’s clients include Vancity, Nature’s Path Foods, Mountain Equipment Co-op, AVEDA, Patagonia, Stonyfield Farms, Aspen Skiing Company, Canadian Federation of Students and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Taschereau and White said that building their business, founded in 2005, wasn’t easy, as they navigated their way through the worst global recession in over 20 years, managed rapid growth and the challenge of recruiting and retaining staff. Fairware has emerged as one of the fastest growing distributors in the promotional products industry, with growth of 117 per cent in the last three years and revenues of over $2 million in 2011. Earlier this year, Fairware was named one of the top ten fastest growing promotional products companies in North America, and the fastest growing in Canada, by ASI Counselor Magazine.



August 30, 2012


We’re big fans of cycling at Fairware. As part of our commitment to healthy, active lifestyles and reducing our own daily environmental impact, we’ve tried to make our workplace cycling friendly. So, when RBC approached us to pitch on creating a product for the rider gift bags that are given to all riders participating in the RBC GranFondo KelownaRBC GranFondo Whistler, and some of the riders participating in the RBC GranFondo Banff – we were psyched.

As cyclists, we knew what we’d want to receive in our rider gift bags. In fact, our co-founder and CEO had already signed up for the 2012 RBC GranFondo Kelowna ride.  In collaboration with the RBC team we landed on a custom branded cycling multi-tool. It was functional, practical and on brand – a true ‘product with purpose’.

GranFondo—loosely translated from Italian means “big ride”—has been a major cycling event across Europe for decades. Participants of varying skill levels sign on for a 100 km-plus ride that tests their physical endurance and their love of the sport. This isn’t an everyday bicycle ride—the route is made up of steep hills, long distances and hordes of other bikers fueling a friendly competition. It is an epic showcase of the growing road biking trend in North America.

We have talked a lot over the past few months about the environmental impact of transporting goods. Making a switch to ocean shipping or local sourcing is one thing, but our obligation to the environment must run deeper than how we run our business. That is why we encourage our staff to implement our corporate mission in their everyday lives.

According to the WorldWatch Institute, a short six km bicycle ride keeps nearly fifteen pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. Greenhouse gas emissions from private motor vehicles have risen 35% over the last two decades in Canada. The population, meanwhile, has only grown 19%. Smaller cities such as Kingston, Ontario account for higher emissions than metropolitan cities like Montreal, which recorded the lowest per capita emissions of GHG.

This statistic may seem surprising, but Montreal has always been a trailblazer in encouraging its locals to keep their cars at home. It was one of the first cities to incorporate bicycle lanes in its downtown core. And to give everyone access to a bicycle, the fantastic BIXI Montreal —a bicycle rental service that runs like ZipCar with members being able to borrow a bike at their convenience—has dozens of stations across the city.

Vancouver, British Columbia—where our Fairware office is located—is also leading in its push towards a bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Bike lanes and a moderate climate make it easy for locals to ride to work instead of drive – and some workplaces are taking note. We have equipped our office with indoor bicycle storage and showers—additions that have further helped our staff make the smarter choice of how they get to work. Adding an ‘office lock’ for unexpected trips and a tire pump have helped as well (and there has been lobbying for an ‘office bike’).

Denise uses her RBC multi-tool to set her cleats on her fancy new bike shoes.

With the RBC GranFondo Whistler taking place on Saturday, September 8th, spots are still available if you want to ride! We hope to see these type of events grow (with more scheduled for 2013), and continue to show participants and observers alike that a commute by bike is not only better for your health and the environment—but also a quick, efficient and rewarding way to get to your destination.

Social Media Intern – 4 Month Contract

August 29, 2012

Note: This paid position is for a student intern – you should be considering going back to school or be in a current program to apply.


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 make 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

Social Media Strategy and Implementation Intern Position
Preferred Start Date: Sept 4, 2012
End date: December 31, 2012
Total Hours: 420, minimum of 30 hours per week
Wage: $25/hour

Social Media Strategy and Implementation

Fairware is seeking an experienced student to improve our social media presence through augmenting existing platforms and developing and implementing new ones. The intent is to increase awareness of our brand in the social media space, resulting in increased traffic to our website. (new site launched July 2012). The intent is for the student to create strategies which staff will continue to implement and monitor when the student leaves. Utilizing the student to create a framework and structure for the various platforms will allow us to successfully continue developing and growing our social media presence. Student will be provided with designated work station and ongoing training and supervision required to successfully complete the work.

What the job involves:

Existing platforms:

Facebook – create strategy and guidelines/best practice for gaining more followers. Report/teach staff on content and frequency of posts required for optimizing Facebook. In consultation with team, post content a minimum of twice per week. Increase followers, monitor traffic to website from Facebook page.

Twitter – Create and implement strategy for Fairware staff twitter accounts. Grow official Fairware account followers. Monitor traffic from twitter to website.

New Platforms:


Research and develop 6-8 boards in consultation with team and launch account. Coordinate with website developer to integrate account with website. Monitor traffic to website from Pinterest. Grow/monitor number of followers and ‘re-pins’

Video Vignettes:

In discussion with team, create a list of short videos to be made and subsequently uploaded to Fairware website. Subjects to include, Fairware story, product/materials knowledge; case studies. Film minimum of 5 videos and create roll out schedule for uploading to Fairware website.

Skills Required:

Computer; in-depth knowledge of social media; excellent written and communication skills; ability to work in an open office/team environment.

How to Apply:

Please send us a one page letter outlining your relevant experience. Attach it to a resume that captures your related experience and email it to with the words Social Media Strategy and Implementation in the subject line by September 4, 2012. No phone calls please.

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.

A Changing Market: Fairware’s Success Reflects a Shift Towards Corporate Sustainability Efforts

May 21, 2012

Fairware is pleased to announce that we have been ranked #9 on a list of the top ten fastest growing promotional product distributors in North America by the ASI Counselor Magazine .

We have more than doubled in size over the last 3 years, growing an astonishing 117%. This bit of news is not only an acknowledgement of the hard work we’ve put in, but also recognition of the changing face of business.

According to, distributor revenues increased only 5.89% from 2009 to 2010, with other reports suggesting growth slowed to the single digits from 2009 to 2011.

Our staggering growth in an industry otherwise in a slump reflects a welcome shift towards corporate social responsibility. The market is embracing doing business differently, and it’s refreshing to see that our longstanding commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainable product distribution is becoming a standard.

This positive market response is not only encouraging for us at Fairware, but also for the planet. An interesting report done in 2001 by and Ernst and Young on Trends in Corporate Sustainability mirrors this sentiment. According to the study, this movement towards corporate sustainability efforts is made ever stronger by its resilience during the current recession and recovery.

Fairware is proud to exemplify a flourishing company that limits its impact on the environment. We hope our success inspires other businesses to adopt our commitment to doing business differently. For more information about our corporate social responsibility best practices, please contact Denise Taschereau at

We’re Hiring a New Account Coordinator: Ready to join a great team?

January 27, 2012

Fairware provides socially and environmentally custom branded solutions to North America’s leading sustainable brands. We believe we can change the world through the simple act of buying. If you are looking to join a successful growing company with a great culture, you’ve found us. Check us out at

If you're a changemaker, come work here.

About the job:

The full-time Account Coordinator will work closely with the Senior Sales team to support sales activity from quote preparation through to production. You will coordinate all aspects of the sales cycle ensuring that deadlines are met and clients are happy. You’re the keeper of accounts.


What you’ll be doing:

o   Supporting the sales team preparing quotes and proposals.

o   Preparing sales orders, purchase orders, invoices.

o   Working with artwork proofs, order tracking, shipping.

  • Carrying out general office administration including answering phones, sending samples, filing etc.
  • Assisting with special projects when needed.

o   Participating in daily and weekly, monthly meetings


What skills and experience you’ll bring:

o   Self-confident, very organized and team oriented.

o   Sales and/or customer service experience.

o   Able to work in a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment with deadlines.

o   Master of multi-tasking.

o   Great interpersonal skills both in person and on the phone.

o   Excellent oral and written communication and a good command of the English language.

o   Knowledge and interest in social responsibility; environmental sustainability and sustainable products

o   Comfortable working in Word, Excel and Outlook.

o   Working knowledge of Sales Force, QuickBooks, Photoshop, Illustrator an asset.


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 Account Coordinator in the subject line, by February 10, 2012.  No phone calls please. Salary range: $27K-$30K depending on experience.

Hope for calendar sales in the rain

November 24, 2011

Re-posted from the Hope in Shadows Blog with permission from Project Director Paul Ryan.

Over the next few months you might see Hope in Shadows vendors sporting new rain-proof bags, warm toques and large blue umbrellas.

The rain is more than annoying for many Vancouverites, but for the Hope in Shadows vendors, it’s more than an inconvenience – it really does affect sales. Vendors don’t have a choice if they want to sell the 2012 calendars as they are almost all sold on the street.

We’ve suspected for years that the rain affects calendar sales. In an effort to understand what was happening, we looked at the calendar sales results over several years and noticed a trend: when the “pineapple express” rain hits Vancouver in November and December (usually several fronts coming in from the Pacific Ocean, one after another causing many days of unrelenting rain), sales of the calendar dip. If the rains come in November, but we have a dryer December, November will be the slow month. If November is mostly dry, but December wet, sales will be slow in December.

The bags were made locally by Common Thread, a non-profit operated by the Kettle Friendship Society, also a location of one of our calendar vendor training workshops. Common Thread creates employment for groups such as newcomers to Canada and Aboriginal communities, and is also based in the Downtown Eastside.

I spoke to Common Thread’s vice-president and co-founder Jenette MacArthur who says the people making the bags were women who, like Hope in Shadows vendors, thrive in a flexible work environment. Melanie Conn, who coordinated the making of the bags says that they were made by people who, for a variety of reasons, wouldn’t fit into a formal manufacturing setting. Like Hope in Shadows, Common Thread has an overriding social purpose. “We don’t usually have a customer (such as Hope in Shadows) where we’re so in sync.”

Fairware, who sourced and branded the toques and umbrellas with the Hope in Shadows logo, is a local company dedicated to high standards both environmentally and socially.

The uniform purchase was a team effort. We were very happy to have the financial support of the City of Vancouver and the Betty Averbach Foundation.

Fairware is Growing & We’re looking for a fabulous Sales Account Representative

August 24, 2011

Fairware is Growing & We’re looking for a fabulous Sales Account Representative

Fairware provides high impact socially and environmentally responsible promotional products and our team is growing. We are currently seeking a Vancouver based, results driven Outside Sales Account Representative to develop new and existing business in the US and Canada.

Role Overview

  • You will acquire, manage, retain and grow a dynamic client base in both the US and Canada.
  • You will use your creativity to develop promotional campaign ideas that are “out of the box” and help clients align their promotional products with their social and environmental values.
  • You’ll research, understand & communicate the social and environmental attributes of our products and our unique company strengths and position.
  • You’ll be confident in prospecting warm and cold clients on a regular basis to set up meetings and introduce Fairware to new clients (e.g. averaging 50+ calls per week).
  • You’ll provide accurate quotes and create product sales proposals that highlight the business values of our service and products.
  • You’ll build, implement and drive a targeted sales plan.
  • You’ll deal professionally with clients, suppliers and vendors to ensure order fulfilment.
  • You’ll participate in team meetings and you’ll assist with special projects when needed.

Skills & Experience Required:

  • You have 3-5+​ years of successful outside B2B sales experience.​
  • You have experience with prospecting, developing and closing new accounts
  • You’re outgoing, self-confident and self-motivated.​
  • You have networks with progressive businesses and non-profit organizations.​
  • You’re able to leverage your existing relationships and develop new relationships.​
  • You can multi task, thrive and have a willingness to learn in a fast paced entrepreneurial and deadline driven environment.
  • You have strong presentation and communication skills in person and on the phone.
  • You have strong organization skills and good attention to detail
  • You have knowledge and an interest in social responsibility; environmental sustainability and sustainable products.
  • You are proficient with Word, Excel and Outlook ( working knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator an asset).
  • Experience with CRM systems such as Salesforce an asset.
  • Willingness to travel as needed.
  • Experience selling printed products, apparel, and promotional products preferred.​


Base Salary + Commission and Benefits.

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 Sales Rep in the subject line by September 09, 2011. No phone calls please and we’ll only be contacting suitable candidates. Learn more about us:


TWITTER                @fairwarepromo

Embarking on a path to climate neutrality – Fairware takes first step with the Climate Smart Program

July 26, 2011

Fairware recently completed the Climate Smart Program. Delivered by Climate Smart, a social enterprise based in Vancouver, the Program helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) measure and reduce their carbon emissions.

It’s a unique and valuable program because SMEs generally aren’t a focus for emission reduction initiatives. All current regulation and major federal programs focus on large businesses.

An example of this is the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a pending cap and trade system that will affect western states and the majority of Canadian provinces. The WCI requires reporting by businesses with more than 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (C02e) in direct emissions. Business with more than 25,000 tonnes C02e in direct emissions will be required to participate in a cap and trade system.

WCI Partners and Observers

By comparison, data from Climate Smart suggests emissions reported by SMEs are on average less than 1000 tonnes CO2e, with most businesses reporting emissions closer to 200 tonnes of CO2e.

An art installation from the 2009 UN climate talks was created to help people visualize what a ton of CO2 “looks like”.

Climate Smart grew out of the recognition that SMEs, the largest part of the economy and 98% of Canadian businesses, are largely overlooked by climate change policy and that this dynamic sector can play a key role in addressing climate change.

Here’s a quick overview of our experience with the program, which consisted of 3 half day sessions spread over 3 months, broken down into the following 3-step process:

Step 1: Measuring our emissions

The first session gave a succinct overview of climate change – the basics of greenhouse gases, sources and implications – and an introduction to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the most widely used international accounting tool for quantifying and managing greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Protocol, companies undertake a greenhouse gas inventory that covers scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (see image below) over a one-year period.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emission sources under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

While consideration of scope 3 sources isn’t required, it’s recommended that companies include them as they can represent a relatively large source of emissions and by extension may represent a significant contribution to a company’s GHG risk exposure.

This inventory process is repeated annually to track progress against the baseline year.

Below is a first draft of Fairware’s operations and emission sources (color coded for the 3 scopes) completed in session 1:

With this visual of our greenhouse gas emissions in hand, it was just a matter of identifying data sources for gathering the required details for each source.

The session ended with a tour of Climate Smart’s slick online app and tools for compiling and calculating emissions by source. With an invitation to contact the Carbon Hotline (604-CLIMATE…love it!) with any questions, session 1 came to a close.

Session 2: Reducing emissions

The second session was the most motivational and began with a visioning exercise that asked participants to “think big” and imagine the headline they’d like to see their company recognized for in 10 years.

We were also presented with impressive case studies from prior Climate Smart participants including Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and YWCA Vancouver.

Perhaps best of all was the discussion with fellow participants. We shared ideas for reducing one another’s emissions, talked about potential challenges and geeked out on the research, news and innovative strategies people had come across in their day-to-day.

We left the session feeling a lot more knowledgeable and inspired to create a plan for reducing the emissions of our own businesses.

Session 3: Offsets

This session was info-packed! The main message – offsets shouldn’t be considered an easy-out or sole strategy to achieve carbon neutrality.

Companies should first be avoiding carbon intensive activities where possible, next reducing the emissions they do create, replacing carbon intensive activities/processes where possible, and finally, considering offsets for the emissions they’re not currently able to address through these 3 steps of avoidance, reduction and replacement.

Carbon Management Hierarchy

We looked at the concept of cap and trade and discussed existing voluntary and compliance markets.

Graphic describing cap & trade from the Washington Post

Another key message was that not all offsets are created equal.

There are 4 main types of offset markets – energy efficiency, renewable energy, methane capture and biological sequestration – each with advantages and challenges to consider.

Beyond the type of offset, there are considerations to be made regarding location, strategic alignment, price and more. While these details may seem confusing, overwhelming even, there are widely accepted criteria and standards that can help companies find high quality, verified offsets.

Some of these standards include the Gold Standard, Verified Carbon Standard and Climate Action Reserve among others.

We were also directed to some great resources to assist us with offset decisions, including Purchasing Carbon Offsets: A Guide for Canadian Consumers, Businesses and Organizations by the David Suzuki Foundation, which has done considerable research in the carbon market field.

The session concluded with a discussion of internal and external communication strategies for gaining employee support and public recognition.


We thoroughly enjoyed all the Climate Smart sessions and, while we realize there will be challenges, are psyched to embark down a path to climate neutrality.

Beyond a better understanding of our carbon footprint, the data collection we undertook to complete our inventory provided some valuable insights on our shipping and travel patterns, and useful data for both carbon and cost reduction steps.

An additional benefit to completing the Climate Smart Program is becoming a part of the Climate Smart Alumni and gaining access to the regular learning and networking events organized by Climate Smart.

We’ll be documenting some of our reduction initiatives here. We’re keen to hear your ideas and feedback!

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