Former high school teacher, Nick Savaidis from Melbourne started Etiko Sports to provide an alternative to sweatshop made products.
“I started thinking there must be thousands of people out there like myself who want to do the right thing as a consumer, but feel there’s no choice.”
So he began looking to provide people with an ethical alternative to the big clothing and footwear brands.
And from this big idea came Etiko’s range of footballs handmade by well paid stitchers in Pakistan.
To keep in line with Fair Trade certification:
One of the biggest frustrations is finding retailers who are willing to stock his products.
“I think most people agree with the philosophy behind our business, but don’t realise we exist.”
Uncomfortable with selling fair trade products alongside sweatshop made products; he believes it “raises issues that they’d rather not deal with,” he suspects.
But business is growing.
He moved the business out of his house into a warehouse over one year ago, and now employs a graphic artist and two people part-time.
“We’ve shown people that you can run a business ethically without exploiting workers. You can put money back into the community and you can make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.”
Nick also uses Etiko to fund a micro credit program in Pakistan, which provides money to assist locals to establish their own businesses.
Etiko has been recently mentioned in the “everyday activism” guide, 365 Ways to Change the World by Michael Norton.