Today (Monday) for the first time in a long time I'm actually looking forward to going to work. Being that it's a Monday morning is surprising in itself but despite waking up all cosy under the covers this morning I was eager to get out of bed and start the day.

One of the reasons why I'm happier today is I'm starting to feel a difference in my body. I have finally been given a sitting/standing desk at work (I volunteer for Fair Grounds, but am employed elsewhere!). It took me 9 months to pursuade my employers I needed a standing desk due to chronic back pain (caused by years of sitting incorrectly and the wrong equipment at work) and was getting to the point where I was going to have to rethink my career (sounds extreme but it's true). I've had the desk for several weeks now and I'm beginning to feel a difference in myself. It's one of those electric ones you can change to any height and also has 4 presets so you can automatically set the right heights for sitting or standing. It's brilliant! Many of my colleagues have commented on it and particularly enjoy having mini standing meetings with me when it's in the standing position.

I see so many people sitting incorrectly or not having the right equipment to support their daily activities on a weekly basis and it makes me want to do something to help because I know what can happen if you don't look after yourself. Firstly, ask your employer for a workstation assessment and get the support you need - you are entitled to it!

Unfortunately, millions of people around the world suffer quietly at work for all sorts of different reasons but for many of the people who make our clothes, food and even the luxury items we don't actually need, suffer the most in appalling working conditions. You've all heard of sweatshops? Well you should, because they still exist. It's terrible in this day and age of extreme wealth, knowledge and technology that more that half the world's population are living below the poverty line and it's time to do something about it.

You might ask what you can do, as an individual in a global world where the rich and powerful seem to have the loudest voices. It might seem an impossible task but start small. Do what you can and make a tiny difference. All those tiny things add up and can have a huge impact. One thing you could start to do is become a more conscious and aware consumer. Find out where your clothes, food and extras come from and try to only buy from local, ethical or organic sources. It might be easier said than done, but there are lots of organisations out there who can point you in the right direction.

Fair Grounds supports producers around the world, making beautiful products - perfect gifts for that special person or a nice treat for yourself. Many of them made by hand and skilfully crafted, the workers are paid a fair price for their goods and are able to provide for their families.

An important aspect of Fair Trade is that the working environments are clean and safe, with the employees given rights and able to have meal and comfort breaks, which all help to ensure work satisfaction and enjoyment. In a Co-operative organisation such as the Mexican Jewellery Collective we work with, every member will get a say in the business decisions. Members of the Multipurpose Co-operative in the Philippines who also supply Fair Grounds with our range of beautiful recycled newspaper tableware can choose whether to work from home, which can be useful if they have children to look after, or if they live a distance from the workshop. Alternatively they can choose to work centrally in the workshop/warehouse and one big benefit of this is to be able to work with colleagues, socialise and have easy access to all the materials.

It is shocking that so many people around the world, including children are denied basic human rights and forced to work extremely long hours for next to nothing in appalling, inhumane and life-threatening conditions, so consumers in certain countries can be supplied with the things they want, cheaply. This has got to stop and Fair Trade is leading the way in showing a business model that respects and values all people.

Fair Grounds is proud to be a member of BAFTS (the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) If you are looking for a local fair trade shop, an online ethical business, or a supplier, then the BAFTS website can point you in the right direction! All members have to comply with an ethical standard, based on the 10 principles of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation). BAFTS also facilitates and promotes events connected to the theme of Fair Trade and is raising the profile of ethics in trade, not just among dedicated supporters, but also a wider audience. Please have a look at their website!