“The Beautiful Game”: Hand-Stitched, Fair-Trade Soccer Balls

Was in Guelph on Saturday (day trip), grabbing an iced tea, and noticed copies of Fair Trade magazine, published by the Canadian Fair Trade Network, with the featured story: “The Beautiful Game: Changing Lives at Home and Abroad”. “The Beautiful Game” profiles the history of soccer ball manufacturing, and a recent global movement to produce fair trade soccer balls, in Pakistan.

In an article by The Hindu they note that “Sialkot, a town in eastern Pakistan, was once the unassailable soccer ball production capital of the world — exporting about 30 million balls a year, an estimated 40 percent of global production — but India and China have recently caught up”.

For further reading about soccer ball production (and pictures from inside a Sialkot factory) in Pakistan, check out “From Pakistan to Brazil: An inside look at how the soccer balls for the 2014 World Cup are made” in The Week, as well as “One City in Pakistan Makes Nearly Half of the World’s Soccer Balls” in The Atlantic.