Social entrepreneur Steven Redgrave gained renown by winning gold medals in rowing in five consecutive Olympics from 1984 to 2000. After retiring from competition, Redgrave was knighted in 2001, launched a line of men’s leisurewear and started a charitable trust focusing on educational and social needs in the UK.
In 2005 he visited Africa, and was moved to action by the poverty he observed. With the help of a major British retailer, Redgrave relaunched his clothing line, FiveG (short for "Five Gold"), as a 100-percent fair-trade enterprise.
In this video diary, produced by Fairtrade Foundation, we follow Redgrave as he visits a rural farming community in Mali that produces cotton for his products.
Thanks to fair trade, not only do these rural farmers receive a higher wage, but their community as a whole benefits as well. The video explains how the community receives what is called a "social premium" that is used for community development projects, including a new health center and a primary school.
For an in-depth look at fair-trade cotton, check out this analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in our archives.