Sustainability vs Ethical Practice: What is The Difference? | Fair Trade
Call us on: 01722 340 882

Sustainability vs Ethical Practice: What is The Difference?

The Fair Trade Furniture Company’s mission is to create feel good furniture from sustainable materials. Choosing furniture can be difficult, but if you’re looking for something unique from an environmentally conscious company, you’ve come to the right place! 

We are World Fair Trade Organisation Guaranteed, having been members since 2012 and receiving their guarantee in November 2016, this shows our steadfast commitment to using business as a force for good. 

The owners of The Fair Trade Furniture Company have a long standing connection to Fair Trade and established the idea of Fair Trade Furniture as a way of bringing Fair Trade into another sector of consumerism. Not only was this idea special because of the ability to showcase craftsmanship from developing economies, but it proffered something more important: productivity.  

By embracing a new business idea and establishing connections with producers of hand woven materials in Java, Indonesia’s most heavily populated island, the Fair Trade Furniture Company created change. 

Defining The Future of The Planet

At The Fair Trade Furniture Company we talk a lot about Sustainability and Ethical matters because they are very close to our hearts, but also because they are incredibly important. Without the structure of Sustainability and Ethical practices in place the planet will suffer greatly. 

The tough facts of the matter are this: 

Our planet has already suffered as a result of mass production, throwaway culture, carbon emissions, loss of biodiversity and deforestation.

Our people have already suffered the consequences of working for little pay, exposure to discrimination, labouring in unsafe conditions, and forced or illegal labour of both adults and children.

These are just some of the things that can be targeted with a more sustainable and ethical approach to business and consumerism. In this article we aim to distinguish the difference between the two matters as they do overlap. We also want to highlight both the individual and collaborative importance of the two issues in order to help define the future of our planet. 

cushions for conservatory furniture

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is the ability for people to obtain what is needed in the present day without compromising the future generations ability to meet its own needs. For something to be sustainable it needs to be continuously available in large quantities and harvested in a way that isn’t too disruptive to the environment or ecosystem surrounding it.

Achieving sustainability hinges on the availability of resources in substantial quantities, harvested in ways that are harmonious with the environment and the ecosystems that sustain us.

What is Ethical Practice?

Ethical practice, on the other hand, encapsulates a commitment to conducting business in a manner that upholds human rights, values, and well-being. It is a comprehensive pledge to ensure fairness, integrity, and social responsibility across every facet of a company’s operations.

Ethical practices encompass treating employees equitably, fostering safe and inclusive work environments, adhering to fair labour standards, and refraining from exploiting vulnerable populations.

summerhouse chairs jogya
indoor rattan furniture

Economy, Environment, and Society

The connection of sustainability and ethical practice goes beyond individual matters and meets at the crossroads of economy, environment, and society. These intertwined matters are inseparable, each influencing the other in a delicate dance that shapes the trajectory of our world.



Embracing sustainability and ethical practice in business models contributes to long-term economic resilience. By adopting sustainable supply chains and ethical labour practices, companies not only mitigate risks but also enhance their reputations, which, in turn, can lead to increased consumer loyalty and trust. The economic stability thus achieved ripples through communities, fostering prosperity and growth.



Sustainability and ethical practice are the guardians of our environment. Sustainable sourcing of materials, responsible manufacturing processes, and minimising carbon footprints combat  against environmental degradation. By choosing ethical practices that prioritise resource conservation and ecological harmony, we contribute to a healthier planet for current and future generations.



At the heart of ethical practice lies a commitment to fostering inclusive and equitable societies. By treating workers fairly, supporting local communities, and promoting diversity, companies become beacons of positive change. Sustainability reinforces this by ensuring that the benefits derived from today’s endeavours do not compromise the well-being and opportunities of tomorrow’s population.

The Best Fair Trade Furniture Solution For Your Home

We have partnered with two producers in Java to bring to life the unique designs of our collections: 

Pondok Kayu Tropis have their carpentry factory 45 minutes west of the major port of Semarang on the North coast, and they work with us directly. 

INORI is an Intermediate Marketing Organisation based in the wonderful city of Yogyakarta near the South coast. They coordinate the activities of 4 specialist workshops on our behalf.

Our incredible collection of Conservatory furniture has enabled our company to receive World Fair Trade Organisation Guarantee and continues to provide the people within our production teams a fair wage, a great working environment, and more opportunities while minimising our impact on the planet.

To get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team, use our online contact form. We will get back to you straight away. Alternatively, book an appointment at our Dorset showroom to see our products in the flesh.


Book a Showroom Visit