In general, fair-trade refers to the equal distribution of profits generated by the sale of goods across all parts of the value chain - thus increasing social sustainability in the production processes. So for instance, the factory worker gets the same share in profit as the retailer.
There are different ways to ensure fair pay, as well as appropriate working conditions in production countries and to characterize these for consumers. For example, certificates such as the "fair-trade" seal try to ensure minimum prices for certain agricultural products for sustainable production conditions. Apart from coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar, only a very limited number of agricultural products are included in the certification. In the clothing sector, only cotton is currently certified as fair-trade. That said, a number of fashion labels are choosing to incorporate more fair and ethical practices in their manufacturing and in doing so - are leading the way in the growing fair fashion movement.