Using Social Media to find #FairTrade suppliers

jbondtravel    June 5, 2017

Grey Rock Clothing Co is a one-stop shop for sweatshop-free and organic clothing located in Guelph, Ontario. Founded in August 2012, they have seen wild success in the local community and have created a lot of buzz for their industry and for responsible, fair-trade shopping in general. Since August of 2015 they have been a B Corp Certified Company. This assures customers that they meet the very rigorous standards set out by the B Corp Community.

How does a company become a B Corp Certified business? By adhering to some pretty strict guidelines and by doing a lot of research on their suppliers. Grey Rock Clothing Co has to scrutinize their entire supply chain to ensure they are practicing what they preach when it comes to being good for workers, the community, the environment, and for the long term.

There is a note on the main page of the Grey Rock Clothing Co website that reads:

“We believe some choices are so simple there’s only one right answer. The choice to buy ethical clothing that wasn’t made in a sweatshop should be one of them. We stock everything the socially and environmentally conscious consumer is looking for. From organic underwear and socks made with wind power in Turkey, to collections of clothing made by small sewing co-ops in Bali, and stunning fair trade jewelry from women’s collectives in India.”

With a promise like this and a reputation of their own to uphold, Grey Rock Clothing Co can’t take any chances with their supply chains. I spoke with the owner of Grey Rock Clothing, Beth Timlin about how they use social media for their supply chain management. She had this to say:

“We find that most suppliers who offer sweatshop-free/fair trade  clothing are often not very good at SEO, which makes it very difficult to find their websites online. These companies will often use the hashtags #FairTrade and #SweatShopFree when posting their products. We use social media as a means to find them. Also, reputation and compliance with Fair Trade standards are extremely important in this field. If a supplier is not adhering to the standards, social media is likely where we would hear about it first.”


Grey Rock Clothing Co uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to source suppliers and keep up on the latest trends in the industry. On one of their recent blog posts they encouraged their customers to be active with social media as well to promote the benefits of Fair Trade shopping:  “Check out Fairtrade Canada’s website here to find out how you can get involved. One easy way that you can help is by spreading the word on your social media and talking about why buying Fairtrade is so important with family and friends.”

Lessons for Others

It is not always easy to find reputable suppliers, certainly not suppliers that comply with Sweatshop-Free and Fair Trade standards. Social Media is one of the most important tools a B Corp company can use to ensure that they meet the standards and adhere to the policies for their industry.

Industry: Retail
Name of Organization Contact: Beth Timlin, Owner

Authored by: Julie Bond

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.