ATLANTA — To the traditional garment industry, the fair trade movement is often misunderstood or unknown.

But to a growing number of manufacturers, fair trade is more than a Utopian challenge to the pitfalls of capitalism, from sweatshops to environmental ravages. Backed by a strong consumer contingent, and activists from celebrities to college students, manufacturers are finding ways to make fair trade a viable, even profitable alternative, although making money is not often considered the primary mission.

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