Sainsbury’s is joining forces with Olympic rowing hero Steve Redgrave to become the first supermarket to sell the champion’s Fairtrade clothing range. The launch of the FiveG range into Sainsbury’s kicks off with cotton socks for men, which are being rolled out to 78 stores now, with plans in the pipeline to take the range nationwide later.

The two-strong range is available in a blue and a black version, priced £5.50 for a two-pack. “The launch forms part of our drive to incorporate Fairtrade into new product areas. The FiveG socks plug a gap we were missing and will complement our existing Fairtrade clothing range,” said a spokeswoman. “We will be looking to expand the range in the build up to the 2012 Olympics, depending on the popularity of the socks,” she added.

FiveG made its debut in Debenhams during Fairtrade fortnight in February and includes items ranging from shirts, shorts, crop trousers and chinos, all of which could become part of the Sainsbury’s offer. In the past year, Sainsbury’s has converted 100% of its men’s and 50% of its women’s cotton standard t-shirts to use Fairtrade certified cotton. It switched to 100% Fairtrade bananas in July 2007 and it converted its entire own-label tea to Fairtrade earlier this year.