We’re big fans of supporting fair trade at Cool Mom Picks, and it’s always fun to find new artisans whose creations we adore. Personally, I love buying fair trade items because responsible purchases make me feel even better about shopping, which is already one of my favorite feel-good experiences.

But our latest fair trade find is one I never anticipated: fair trade soccer balls.

We first discovered Senda Athletics when they were called Fair Trade Sports, and wow have they grown since then. It was started by a lifelong soccer player who, like me, hadn’t realized the conditions under which many soccer balls and other sporting equipment are produced. We’re talking about sweatshops and child labor–bad stuff.

Senda’s certified fair trade soccer balls are hand-stitched in Pakistan, under safe working conditions and for fair wages. What really impressed me though is the Fair Price Shop that the workers have created within the factory. They use communal funds to purchase large quantities of food staples (and soon, medication too) at wholesale prices. Then workers buy for their families from the Fair Price Shop, at prices lower than in the market. So smart, and so beneficial for all workers.

The quality of the Senda soccer balls is outstanding, as good as anything in any sporting good shop, and the prices are comparable to mass-produced balls. My soccer player has been using her Senda ball for practice, and she even likes it better than her old one. She also really likes that it wasn’t made by a kid her age. And so do I. -Julie

Check out fair trade soccer balls on the Senda website.