The sports ball manufacturing industry has had a troubled past, with stories of child and bonded labour being reported throughout the last two decades. In November 2005 a company called Etiko was launched in Melbourne in order to provide sports balls (and clothing) to parents who didn’t want to have to worry if the ball their child was playing with was made by a child stuck in poverty on the other side of the world.

Etiko’s range of sports balls are 100% child labour and sweat shop free – they’re made by consenting adults who enjoy healthcare, safe conditions and a living wage. Every ball purchased includes a “Fair trade premium”, which goes directly back to the community that made it. The workers and management decide jointly on the use of the premium and so far they have been used to fund pre-school and after-school programs, establish a healthcare scheme for the workers and their families, and generate over 300 new small businesses through a micro-credit program.

In 2010 Etiko launched a new, “Jinta” range of soccer balls and Ambassadors Soccer Camps were amongst the first in the world to use them! 5% of all net sales from this new Jinta range goes to the funding of a sports program in remote Aboriginal communities. And in case you’re worried, these soccer balls are 32-panel polyurethane balls with balanced-latex bladders and are fully compliant with FIFA match ball standards.

So with Etiko Fair Trade and Ambassadors Soccer Camps, when it comes to soccer balls there’s no need to compromise on the quality or your ethics!

For more information on Jinta Sport visit www.jintasport.com.au.