Fair Wear Fairtrade

Fair Wear Fairtrade

Nowadays, any consideration of eco/ethical practices has to include the subjects of Fair Wear and Fairtrade. Put simply, there are better, more equitable ways to make things. Just as there are better, more ethical ways in which to decorate them.

We get that here at Fifth Column. We’re deeply involved in the clothing business and we want fairness to be a watchword in how we deal with everyone. Our suppliers and the people who make their products. Our customers and the folk who buy their merchandise. Our workers and the people who rely on them.

One of the starting points is the stuff we customise. Whether it’s printing or embroidery on a t-shirt, polo shirt or sweatshirt, the blank garment you choose is an important decision. Our preference is for items which have been manufactured ethically and fairly.

We can customise anything, but we recommend Fair Wear and we always try to trade fairly. Luckily, we have great blank garment suppliers. Visit our supplier catalogues page to see some of their Fair Wear clothing ranges.

Screen Printing is best for:

A t-shirt icon showing that screen printing is the best option for printing t-shirts.


A simple hoodie icon showing that screen printing is the best option for printing hoodies and hooded tops.


A sportswear icon showing that screen printing is one of the best options for printing sports apparel.


A workwear icon showing that screen printing is the best for printing work clothes and uniforms.


Fair Wear | Ethical Printing

The Fair Wear and Fairtrade foundations might be global organisations but to our way of thinking they have a direct link to ethical printing. Fair Wear being more significant for the clothing we print and embroider. The rights and conditions of the people who work in the developing world are just as important as those of the workers here in our own country. We all work in the garment industry, part of an immense chain which spans continents. They produce the clothes and merchandise that we print and embroider.

Working with suppliers who embrace Fair Wear and Fairtrade practices is one of the ways we can make a difference. A small contribution to a fairer, more just commercial world. Back here in the UK, we try to treat our colleagues with respect and strive to create a working environment which is honest and decent. That’s another part of ethical printing, valuing the people who work with and for us. We share a passion for the finished article and work hard to ensure it is of the highest quality and also made in a sustainable way.


The Fair Wear Foundation and Fairtrade Foundation are separate entities. They do however share values, have similar aims and often work together to achieve those objectives.

Fair Wear was established in 1999 and focuses on the labour intensive aspects of the fashion industry and related areas. It is independent, non-profit and orientated toward brand accountability for the manufacturing aspects of their business. They want to see the people who work in garment production getting proper wages and decent conditions. To learn more about Fair Wear, click here to visit their website.

Fairtrade was set up in 1992 and seeks to alleviate the poverty that is often endured by those who actually cultivate and grow the raw materials that end up on our shelves and clothes hangers. They tend to concentrate more at ground level, smaller scale producers, rather than manufacturers. Helping to safeguard livelihoods and ensure fair prices for harvests and produce. More information about Fairtrade can be found on their site by clicking here.

Both of these organisations are part of a bigger picture. Society’s attitudes and opinions are changing and that includes the printing and customisation community.

Our services

Garment finishing for custom printed and embroidered clothing and merchandise.


You can’t screen print perfectly on every garment, and that’s when embroidery comes into its element. It’s a stunning way to showcase your logo on jackets, hats, bags and workwear – it’s particularly durable and looks and feels premium.

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Direct to garment (DTG) printing t-shirts and tops the uk.

Direct-to-Garment Printing

For this method, the artwork is printed straight onto the garment using a specialized inkjet printer. As it’s a digital process, the result is a higher resolution image and sharper print. It’s a growing part of our business at Fifth Column.

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High quality, professional garment embroidery.

Garment Finishing

After the printing is done, it’s time for the finishing touches to get your garments retail ready: custom labelling, hem tagging, poly bagging and applying stickers all help you put your mark on the product and make it look professional.

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