Berkley, CA start-up Senda Athletics burst on the soccer scene four years ago with a line of soccer and rugby balls that are Fair Trade Certified. This proud symbol of social responsibility is something that most of the major sportswear firms in the world cannot claim. When was the last time you saw the Fair Trade logo on soccer or training gear that you bought?
In case you didn’t know, Fair Trade is a non-profit movement that supports better working conditions (definitely no third world sweat shops), sustainability, child free labor, competitive prices for goods, economic education for disadvantaged communities and much more. See the video below for more details.
Senda supports Fair Trade at their ball factory in the center of the soccer ball universe, Pakistan. Here are details on their manufacturing practices.
Our balls are made in Sialkot, Pakistan, home to a long-standing tradition of producing the world’s best soccer balls and providing the precision and quality we demand.
Fairtrade goes hand-in-hand with sweatshop-free. It is an alternative approach to conventional trade that is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Think of Fairtrade as a formal certification, whereas sweatshop-free is the way we do business.
Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their everyday shopping.
In our case, our factory in Sialkot is certified Fairtrade, which means our workers are guaranteed:
1) Better livelihoods
2) Safe Working Conditions
3) No Child Labor
Here is a detailed look at two of Senda’s statement products – the Apex Match Ball and the Rio Futsal Ball.
We’ve been training with both over the past week. We took the Apex Match Ball to a recent pickup for some competitive action in the summer heat. We found that both balls are to be of excellent quality. We are certain that if either had a Nike Swoosh or the three stripes of adidas on them that they would cost at least twice as much.
The Apex Match Ball feels like a top notch ball from the first kick and plays like it belongs on a professional pitch or better. One sign that a ball if pure quality is when the soccerheads at a Saturday morning pickup pick it over every other ball in the park. Caliber wins over flashy colors, graphics and a big marketing budget.
The Rio Futsal Ball is a superb as its outdoor partner. It’s another love at first touch ball that worked amazingly on an indoor hardwood court. It first thing that struck us about it is the fact that even though it is your standard weight and size Futsal ball, it has next to no bounce. Futsal players and fans will know that the indoor game is all about ball movement on the ground and that bounce not only diminishes the quality of gameplay but it reduces the ability to develop the intricate foot skills that futsal helps build. This makes the Rio an excellent ball for not just futsal play but for individual skill development on just about any indoor surface.
Senda recently released their Futbol is Art t-shirt. Available in blue and heather gray, the shirt is Made in the USA and of an extra lightweight combed cotton / polyester blend that is great for the blistering heat of the summer of 2015. It has a nice piece of soccer artwork with a colorful splash background on its front that is sure to catch the eye. Senda’s logo is nicely place on the signoff area at the back of the shirt in a manner similar to the placement of selected text on the back of many of today’s soccer jerseys.