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Our range of Peruvian jewellery is made by a company called Achkiy. Since 1995, Achkiy has been working to bring light and hope to some of Peru’s most impoverished communities. From the rubbish tips in the north of Lima to the shanty towns in the south, Achkiy has been training resourceful women to make high quality jewellery for a non-poverty wage. When the project was set up, the founders organised simple jewellery-making workshops, hoping that the marginalised women involved might achieve some degree of financial stability and a greater sense of self-worth. Fifteen years on, these women are empowered to design and create different jewellery collections that fuse traditional techniques with contemporary trends. Taking inspiration from the materials that surround them, they have recently introduced a new range of distinctive pieces to the collection that usefelt, recycled plastic bags and vegetable ivory.
Our entire range of recycled clocks, sundials, placemats and coasters are handcrafted in the UK by a company called ashortwalk, and are made from vending machine coffee cups direct from the national Save-A-Cup scheme. This innovative new material has a lovely solid, earthy feel, very much like natural slate… they have spent a great deal of time making sure this material doesn't look and feel like recycled plastic! Recycled products not only save on landfill; one set of placemats equates to a bin liner full of coffee cups; but recycled coffee cup material has around half the carbon footprint of the original material.
How do you get from a coffee cup……. to a sundial?
Step one: At your workplace, put your used coffee cup in the recycling bin.
Step two: Your cup will be collected, cleaned and shredded.
Step three: This shredded compound is then heated and injected under high pressure into thin strips. These strips are then sliced into small pellets, ready for use on a wide range of manufacturing processes.
Step four: Under high pressure thousands of pellets are squashed between two very hot presses. After a short while the pellets have been fused together to form large flat workable sheets.
Step five: These sheets are then sanded, cut, cleaned, printed on and then assembled into a variety of lovely products for us all to enjoy.
Aura Que accessories appeal to both the fashion conscious and the ethically aware consumer, through the use of contrasting materials - such as luxurious leather and naturally dyed yarn and fabrics - to create high quality contemporary products. Aura Que was established in 2008 by Laura Queening, following the success of her graduate collection at the prestigious Drapers Awards. Laura decided to take the opportunity to develop Aura Que accessories which are manufactured according to IFAT fair trade guidelines, to promote ethical production and fair trade principles in developing countries. Laura decided to focus on fair trade production in Nepal, having lived there in 2003, and the launch of Aura Que has enabled her to combine her passion for design with ethical principles. All Aura Que materials are sourced in Nepal and created directly in the country with local producers, in conjunction with The Nepal Fair Trade Group. Through this work, Aura Que works with the Nepal Leprosy Trust, an organisation which provides employment and support for people affected by disabilities which may otherwise lead to their segregation from the community.
A lot of our clothing and accessories are made by Braintree, a clothing company with a passion for ethics and the environment. Their philosophy is ‘wear what the world can afford’. That means not only producing clothing in an environmentally friendly way, but also ensuring that everyone involved gets a fair deal.
All Braintree garments are made from ecological fabrics like hemp, bamboo and soybean fibre. The clothing and the cloth it's made from is all produced in China, the world leader in ecological fabric development. All fabric factories and dye houses are regularly inspected, with heavy fines for polluters. The environmental aspect of Braintree sits side-by-side with the humanitarian aspect. They make sure that their production partners share their values on important issues like child labour, discrimination, working hours, discipline practices, freedom of association and health and safety. They visit the factories four times a year to ensure that they're living up to Braintree’s high standards of ethics. They’re also working closely with the Fair Trade Association to develop a template for Fair Trade certification of goods produced in China.
Our range of Fairtrade bath salts and soaps are made by Bubble & Balm. Bubble & Balm was one of the first companies in the UK to offer certified Fairtrade beauty products, and are the only beauty company in the UK whose entire product range carries the Fairtrade Mark. The products are created using natural plant based ingredients, and never include parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, phthalates or animal derived ingredients where the animal is harmed to obtain the ingredient (a good example is carmine, which is used in colour cosmetics and obtained from crushed beetles). The ingredients and products are never tested on animals. The packaging has been thought about too: aluminium is strong, lightweight and readily recycled via local councils. Once empty (and after washing thoroughly) the tins can be reused for all sorts of things. The labels, which are paper based, can be removed using warm water and washing up liquid. To dispatch, Bubble & Balm use paper padded envelopes (not the bubble-lined variety). They're a bit heavier than other types of packaging but they give the products great protection, are made with recycled paper and can be easily reused / recycled.
Our ‘make-it-yourself’ arts & craft kits are made by ‘Ethical Junction’ member Creative Charlie. All of Creative Charlie's art and craft projects have been designed by Kerri Sellens, an artist with over 10 years experience of running art workshops for children in schools, galleries and museums. All kit content has been carefully sourced to provide child-friendly and age-appropriate materials. Creative Charlie’s philosophy is that kids should be able to use recyclable, renewable, ethical products from an early age. As such, they’re developing products with our environment in mind. All of the paper and card used throughout is recycled and, where possible, contents and packaging are reusable rather than disposable. By using these materials, Creative Charlie provides an exciting way to introduce environmental issues to young children.
Our range of ethical sports balls are from the 'Ethletic' range of sports equipment by Fair Deal Trading. They are are serious about sports balls, and produce high quality, hand stitched, Fairtrade balls made using rubber from responsibly managed rubber plantations. All Ethletic sports balls are Fairtrade certified and made to the highest quality standards. Fair Deal trading pay Fairtrade wages and a premium is paid on every ball which supports health and welfare projects for workers and their families. The balls are made with their unique Greentips™ rubber, the only fairly traded and FSC certified rubber. To find out more about Fair Deal Trading's artisans, click here.
Our new range of children's clothes is made by in South Africa by Hooligans in conjunction with Merry Go Round, a company dedicated to creating fantastic, truly fair trade kids' clothing. Hooligans are extremely close to their workers, their individual needs and situations. Only fair trade fabrics are used, and a huge commitment to previously disadvantaged communities has seen independent factories blossom into exclusively manufacturing for Hooligans. 98% of the Hooligans workforce in South Africa have worked for the company for over 10 years. Their hard work and dedication is rewarded with excellent wages, and absolutely no child labour is ever employed. Any outsourced production (embroidery, printing etc) is only given to hooligans-approved companies within a 50km radius of the Hooligans factory, enabling weekly visits to check their ethics still comply. The safety of the children wearing the clothes is paramount in their mind, and every piece of clothing is designed on the assumption that it will be sucked, chewed and pulled about every day, so all buttons, appliques and studs comply with the highest child safety standards in the UK.
Our barrier mats, bath mats and pet beds are made by in the UK by Hug Rug, a company dedicated to creating fantastic, eco-friendly products. The barrier mats and pet beds are made of 100% recycled materials, are 100% recyclable, are washable at 30°c and have a very sustainable lifecycle. The bath mats are made from bamboo; one of the world’s most naturally sustainable resources. They’re also washable at 30°c, are 100% biodegradable and all the dyes used in their production are 100% organic.
Our range of pearl jewellery is supplied by a partner called Jersey Pearl, a nationally-renowned jeweler of some 24 years’ standing. They’ve come up with a plan to inform the public about pearls and their relationship to the environment. The plan to help clear up some common misconceptions about pearls comes in the form of the World Pearl Assurance which, when given to pearls, guarantees that they’re real, they’re never dyed and, very importantly, they’re carbon neutral. You can learn more about the WPA on our partner website by clicking here.
JP make the jewellery by using cultured pearls, which means that the irritant that entered the mollusk shell was put there by a person, rather than entering it randomly. The pearl grows as a result of the mollusk’s defence mechanism to the irritant, thus by using cultured pearls JP ensures that 99% of mollusks produce at least one pearl. Cultured pearl farming in this way not only produces beautiful pearls, but has stopped the proliferation of over-fishing that was destroying pearl beds across the globe.
Further to this, Jersey Pearl ensure that all the Chinese workers who culture, dive for and sort their pearls are paid some of the best wages in the area, and have superb working conditions.
Our range of men's leather goods is made by Khola, a project run in Nepal by the Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT). The Trust has been empowering communities around Kathmandu affected by this debilitating disease for over 35 years. Overcoming impairment, rejection and economic marginalisation are the most pressing concerns for those affected by leprosy, and shunned by mainstream society they find it hard to provide for their families. By providing training, workshops, equipment, materials and designs, Khola gives these highly-skilled artisans the chance to earn a fair wage for their expertise, and grow the confidence needed to return to their communities.
The Latin American fashion and handicrafts we have sourced directly ourselves directly from the producer under the trading name Latin Colours. We visit the artisans whom we know personally and approve their working conditions. We then pay a good price for their goods and ensure immediate payment. The workers are visited several times annually to ensure humane working conditions are being upheld and no exploitation or child labour takes place.
Our selection of children’s toys are made by Lanka Kade in Sri Lanka. All the products are handmade by one of seven family-based enterprises with whom Lanka Kade has long term working commitments. The aim is to provide continual employment throughout the year for each supplier, their families and their employees. A representative is employed full time in Sri Lanka to coordinate shipments, liaise with the UK on behalf of the suppliers and to arrange prompt payment for all goods. No middlemen are used and no commissions paid, thus enabling the suppliers to receive a fair and full price for their products. Regular contact is maintained with all suppliers by phone, fax, email and onsite visits throughout the year both direct from UK and weekly by the Sri Lankan co-ordinator. In return, the suppliers are expected to maintain a safe and pleasant working environment, equal opportunities, good rates of pay, prompt payment for both employees and in country suppliers, and a quality product at a fair price. Children are not involved at any stage of the production of items for. Lanka Kade have been approved by BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) since 2001 as a fair trade supplier. Additionally, many of the products are made from rubberwood sourced from exhausted rubber plantations that are replanted every 10–15 years. The majority of outer packing boxes have already been used and the packing materials are either shredded paper or materials supplied by local retail outlets from their own deliveries.
Our range of babygrows and bibs comes from Little Green Radicals. They are consistently committed to supplying impeccably designed products made of the finest quality cotton that are ethically produced. At the heart of the product range is the organic cotton they use. All the products are made with Fairtrade certified cotton, which guarantees farmers a minimum price and also gives them a premium, which they use for essential medical care and education for children. The cotton comes from Assisi Garments based in Tamil Nadu in India which pioneering the manufacture of Cotton garments using Organic cotton in 1994. Assisi are a non-profit making rehabilitation programme run by Franciscan Sisters, where 120 young women who are disabled and economically disadvantaged have the opportunity to learn a trade and earn a living. Growing organic cotton is very different from growing conventional cotton. All the cotton is handpicked and organic which ensures the farmers don’t have to handle dangerous and harmful chemicals and our clothing is much kinder on your skin. The cotton is certified organic by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). All the prints are produced using the most ecological water-based inks available, which is good for you, your babies and the planet! For the farmers and their families, the health benefits of going organic are undeniable but there may also be health benefits for the consumer too. As much as 20% of the weight of conventionally produced cotton tops can consist of chemicals. These carcinogenic chemicals can leave residues on the skin and it is now argued that these can be associated with allergies. One thing is certain; our organic cotton clothes feel great on the skin!
Some of our silver jewellery is produced by the Karen Hill Tribe of Northern Thailand and imported by Bafts-accredited wholesaler Luna Tree Jewellery. Luna Tree works on total transparency between producer, importer/wholesaler, retailer and customer, creating a personal link from one end of the chain to the other. All orders are paid for up front, firstly with the value of the silver as a raw material so production can get underway and so the workers can be paid once parts of the order are completed. Prior to shipping, the balance of the order is paid and all shipping costs also covered. Luna Tree actively encourages and promotes the producers’ creativity, empowering these individuals to harness their creativity and skills, bringing the talent they possess to the global market. Luna Tree endeavours to help reset the balance between developing communities and the developed world. Understanding their limitations and working with them to help bring changes which they desire rather than the changes that we all think they need. All the families involved in silver production within the village have a mix of both male and female workers, with men and women receiving the same pay for the same work undertaken. Gender equality within the Karen Hill Tribe working life sees all aspects of work undertaken by males and females equally including farming. Production always fits around other duties such as harvest and childcare which further empowers the producers. Luna Tree visits the producer village every year to develop new products, observe production and to catch up on all aspects of village life. This enables them to be positive regarding working conditions and practices of the producers. The work of silversmithing can only be undertaken by skilled artisans with adequate training and therefore you can be absolutely certain that no child labour is ever used.
Our two ranges of soft toys are made in the US by eco-friendly company Mary Meyer.
In the 'Fuzz That Wuzz' range, the outer fabric and the stuffing are both high-quality polyester fibre made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Did you know that two million plastic bottles are used in the US every 10 minutes, and 51 billion go into landfills annually? It will take 700 years before plastic bottles in landfills start to decompose - and less that 30% of plastic bottles in the US are recycled. Each one of these soft toys keeps over 10 bottles out of a landfill.
The other range is made from bamboo, which is a truly sustainable resource. What's more, it's soft and easy to clean, which makes it the perfect baby gift. Each toy's outer shell is 80% bamboo and 20% polyester. This creates a soft, natural toy with all the durability and washability needed to survive as a child's companion. Made with fabrics that do not deplete our earth's resources, our four bamboo friends will be at home in any home!
Many of our our items for the bathroom are made by The Natural Sea Sponge Co, an established company that prides itself on supplying environmentally-friendly products of extremely high quality, at very competitive prices. All the sea sponges are taken from sustainable areas of the seabed in full concordance with the law, and all divers are registered and closely monitered to ensure the environment is not exploited. Sisal is an organically grown fibre; loofah is related to the cucumber and is 100& biodegradable and sustainable; and bamboo is a fast-growing grass that is similarly organic and biodegradable. The wood used is endorsed by either the Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsment of Forest Certification. In short, all products from our Natural Sea Sponge Co. range are designed and produced with the environment at the very forefront of the mind.
A lot of our clothing and some of our jewellery is supplied by BAFTS-accredited importer Nomads. They buy from established manufacturers in India, accept the price requested and pay in advance to enable suppliers to buy their materials without having debts and to ensure wages for workers are paid on time. They work with the suppliers throughout the design and production processes, making regular orders with the same companies throughout the year. As the products are bought direct from the producers themselves, the profit goes directly to the primary source and is not gained by middle men or contractors. The factories are personally inspect on a regular basis to ensure that the workers are treated fairly and with respect. In India it is illegal to employ children under 16 years old and this law is upheld by the suppliers. Workers are paid a good hourly rate; wages are fixed by the Indian Government according to unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled, and all employees’ wages either meet or go above these levels of pay. There are also equal opportunities for men and women who are paid the same wage for the same work - which is very important to ethical trade principles. Pension schemes are in place which employees may join and the companies make contributions. From an environmental perspective, waste fabric from the manufacture of the garments is recycled to make bags and rugs. Some garments are also made from recycled sari fabric and AZO-free or natural based dyes are now being used.
Much of our winter knitwear is produced by a by BAFTS-accredited company called Pachamama. They are a small company who have been importing knitwear and clothing from Ecuador and Nepal for fourteen years. The ethos of their business has always been respect for our suppliers and the environment, hence the name - 'Pachamama', meaning 'Earth Mother' in Quechua, the ancient language of the Incas. All the goods are handmade, utilizing artisan skills, and through fair trade providing much needed employment and income to mainly subsistence farmers, who supplement their income by making the knitwear. They are committed to providing year-round orders to their suppliers and to nurture long-term and sustainable relationships with their craftspeople.The majority of their suppliers in both Ecuador and Nepal are home-workers, producing the garments around their commitments to their fields and families. Pachamama visit and communicate with their suppliers regularly, and consequently their production is based around our suppliers' planting times. If necessary they pay in advance or supply their producers with raw materials, to prevent any of the suppliers incurring any debt and to ensure workers are paid on time. As well as the outworkers they also employ a small number of people - 20 in Ecuador and 100 in Nepal - in a family-run factory environment - hand finishing, felting and packing the garments. Their workers receive training and benefit from above average conditions and pay, they are treated with respect and men and women are treated equally and paid according to ability. No children are exploited in either country. Pachamama also support ideas for improving the lives of our workers and their families - these include education, medical and social welfare projects. They have always used natural products and have an inherent awareness of the impact their products and production techniques have on the environment. They use recycled cardboard packaging and labelling for all their products. The producers also use environmentally-friendly sources of power to run some of their operations. In addition, Pachamama donates 10% of the profit on all sales to an international charity working in Nepal, whose mission it is to give under privileged children a better future through sustainable help.
Our stationery range is made by Paper High, who know personally the producers in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and ensure they get a fair price for their craftsmanship and are not exploited in any way. The Indian range is produced by a friendly family business in Rajasthan, Western India, who use no wood in the making of the paper, but instead make it from “Khadda”; unbleached, hard-spun, cotton rags left over from the massive garment industry. The elephant dung paper is made from exactly what it says! All handmade paper is made using a fibreous material, and is boiled and beaten to make the fibre pulp. With elephant dung paper, the elephant has done the pulping for us, so the workers collect the dung, clean it by boiling and steaming so all bacteria are killed, then putting the pulp in a shallow mould as usual. Profits from the making of our elephant dung paper goes back into the Maximus Conservation Trust that looks after elephants adversely affected by the tourism industry.’
One of our latest ranges of babies' and kids' clothing is supplied by Piccalilly, a trailblazer in the British fair trade fashion market. First and foremost, they want to create superb clothing for our little ones. Creating timeless, practical and comfortable designs means a longer shelf life for the clothes (which means eco-friendly!) and ensures the products can be washed and washed before being handed down a generation. They say, "Running an ethically conscious business certainly isn’t the fastest route to financial success. However by doing it the best way we possibly can, we hope we can go some way towards making a worthwhile contribution to the people that make our lovely products and our planet." So they use only Fairtrade, organic cotton so the cotton farmers are getting a good deal, plus it's best for your baby's skin! But fair trade isn’t just about paying a fair price, this is only the start. Advance payments, supporting local communities and working with traditional artisan workers is equally important, and Piccalilly really does go the extra mile to achieve these aims. Because the people at Piccalilly are passionate about trading fairly, they feel it’s important to work with their suppliers with a long term view to help them move towards more sustainable methods of production whilst maintaining traditional crafts and communities. With this in mind, they’ve been working with some lovely little companies in India who make some great products, and all the ranges you'll find on this site are sourced directly from the primary producer.For the full, extensive story, visit the Piccalilly site here.
Our World Music CDs are provided by record company Putomayo. The company’s commitment to helping communities in the countries where the music originates has led to the label contributing more than a million dollars to worthwhile non-profit organizations around the world. After Hurricane Katrina, Putumayo embarked on a campaign to raise funds and awareness for musicians and others affected by the hurricane. Putumayo has contributed more than $250,000 of the proceeds from New Orleans and its other New Orleans-themed CDs to charities working in New Orleans and New Orleans musicians. Other charitable recipients include Coffee Kids, Oxfam, Mercy Corps and Search for Common Ground.
Much of our jewellery, gifts, handicrafts, frames and ornaments are supplied by Shared Earth; a BAFTS-accredited member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation). Through this partner we promote products made by the following artisans and organisations:
Allpa are a private trading company established in 1986. Allpa means 'earth' in Ayacuchan Quechua, reminding them that the objects which surround them and work with come from the earth, such as stone, wood, clay and metal. Allpa currently work with 100 handicraft workshops, with a mission to make the production of handicrafts a source of sustained employment for a major sector of the Peruvian population.
Asha Handicrafts have been practicing Fair Trade since 1975, even before the concepts of Fair Trade became popular abroad. Asha in Sanskrit means 'hope' and Asha have brought hope by providing a marketing outlet to the individual craftsmen. Based in Mumbai, India, Asha is an association of voluntary businessmen dedicated to helping craftsmen, financially, ecologically and spiritually though its welfare centre and interrelated programs. The team of Asha welfare workers are stationed at different producer groups and cooperatives and move closely with them and their family sharing skills, extending medical help and education. Technical training is also provided to increase efficiency and productivity to encourage the growth and development of cottage industries.
Aspiration are based in Delhi, India and are a fairly small Fair Trading organisation in comparison to others in India. Aspriation believe in sincere work for the welfare of artisans and families which are located all over India including Jaipur and Sarangapur by promoting and developing cottage industries, improving economic and social welfare and proving fair wages. Aspiration organise groups of semi skilled and skilled artisans and help bring them up from poverty to being able to stand on their own. Some groups have even become self-independent artisans in their own community.
Auromira exports is the only artisans group in Pondicherry, South India, dedicated to promoting a craft that takes us back to a simple and natural way of living. They aim to promote handweaving, readymade garments, and related crafts (hand-dying, hand-embellishment of textiles, needlework etc.) to create simple and beautiful textiles, of a high quality, as a sustainable approach to generate self-employment in their rural villages. They also aim to train unskilled youths belonging to the most backward, rural communities and establish them as independent producers in any of the weaving related areas, supporting them through our project with marketing and design input.
Bezalila is based in Madagascar and was founded in 1994 as a co-operative to unite disparate workshops which were working with Malagasy handicrafts. It provides Fair Trade employment to formerly impoverished artisans in crafts including the modelling of recycled tin cans, called “Kapoaka”. With the profits generated by the workshops, the Kapoaka artisans have built their houses, bought rice fields and established a pig-breeding farm.
Earth Bags is based in Kolkata, India and specialises in bags made from jute, a sustainable material which is becoming increasingly popular as people search for alternatives to plastic bags. It is not a recognised Fair Trade organisation, but goes out of its way to ensure that its wages and working conditions are excellent.
The Equitable Marketing Association is one of the oldest fair trade organisations in India - its founder worked with Gandhi! They run a community 10 miles from Kolkata in India where disabled people from nearby villages live during the week and make leather products, candles and musical instruments enabling them to contribute to their family’s income. All EMA employees receive a provident fund, pension, medical insurance and a yearly bonus. The charity Ekta Trust was set up by EMA which provide scholarships for widows and unemployed people living in Kamarhati, donates text books to numerous students through its text book grant scheme and develop a centre for single mothers, widows and troubled wives. They also have an aim of planting 10,000 trees per year with the help of youth clubs in South Kolkata.
Karm Marg literally means the 'path of action' and begun with a handful of children living on the New Delhi railway station. With the help of a social worker, they took to bring about a change in their lives by starting a small kitchen on a street-side to prepare free food for children there. The kitchen was run on the money contributed daily by the older children. In the last seven years with the help of a small group of dedicated people, Karm Marg has grown to become a home for about 60 children, based on a 1.5 acres of farm land in Faridabad, outside New Delhi. At the heart of Karm Marg's functioning has always been the idea to provide these children with a strong support system and to enable them with skills that allow them to be self reliant and sufficient. It is not only a home where children get love and care, but also a place where the children are exposed to various learning experiences.
Madhya Kalikata Shilpangan work by the following motto: to promote quality products, provide good working conditions for artisans, encourage environment friendly technology and develop community based production. MKS rejuvenate the dying Indian handicrafts to helping artisans develop their skills through training workshops, educational and medical facilities, financial aid for new equipment and long term interest free loans. In addition they have introduced dust free equipment in their stone production unit to provide a more environmentally friendly working atmosphere.
Mahaguthi produces, exports and markets crafts from Nepal. Over a thousand individual producers are supported, many of whom are from remote and mountainous areas. Forty percent of their generated income provides women and children of the Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram with food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and education. The centre (Ashram) was founded by the late Tulsi Mehar Mahila, who implemented many programmes for the empowerment of women in Nepalese society. Originally Mahaguthi produced and sold only Khadi cloth. Now they produce a wide range of handicrafts.
Mail Vietnamese is based in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, and provides employment, training and promotes self-reliance to disadvantaged women, children and ethnic minority families. The project allows women to supplement their income with flexible work at home with rates far higher than they would get from normal commercial employers. Sales profits are used for funding various social work activities.
The Mitra Bali Foundation was established in 1993 and is based in Bali, Indonesia. As a member of IFAT and a non-governmental and non-profit organisation they act as a market and export facilitator for small craft producers. Mitra Bali work within a framework of approx 100 producer groups employing over 1,000 artisans with access to a free Design Centre facility for producers which provides a library of books, current magazines and consultations with product designers. They also hold monthly workshops focusing on new trends, technical aspects of production, health & safety and the use of environmentally sustainable resources.
Papeterie Papeterie is based in India and was founded in 1995 with the objective of promoting handmade recycled paper and paper products. This is both eco-friendly and helps the rural industrial sector. The paper produced is richly textured with a unique matte finish. It specialises in paper made from elephant dung, which is collected from Rajasthan. A small amount of recycled cotton rags is added, and nothing is wasted – once the fibre has been extracted for the paper, the leftover dung is used as fertiliser.
Salay Handmade Paper Inductries Inc. are located in the Philippines and started in 1987 as a family business and have grown to employing over 200 people, making handmade paper, cards and stationery items. The Philippines government regard this project as a mode for creating rural employment without large investment. The employment it creates has brought real stability to the small seaside town of Salay. The production areas are light, airy and spacious and benefits include free medical consultation, dental health and eyeglasses. Workers participate in decision-making and have the option of becoming shareholders. The paper is made from grasses and leaves which are gathered from the streets and gardens nearby and production helps free the village of the weed cogon grass.
TARA Projects (Trade Alternative Reform Action) were founded in 1973 to help poorly organised and struggling artisans in Delhi, find markets for their goods. By creating opportunities for these home-based craftsmen market and sell their goods, TARA projects helps to generate steady work and income. Based on the early success of this program, they have been able to expand to a 120-mile area surrounding Delhi. TARA projects fund non-formal and vocational schools as well as literacy centres for adults and constantly campaigning and educating people about fair trade. Their goal is to end injustice and manipulation in the world mass trade system.
Touch of India was founded in April 1998 and is ISO certified. They produce a wide range including bags, photo albums, jewellery, scarves, boxes and homeware. They pride themselves on using old traditions of hand embroidery techniques and use recyclable materials. There are 150 employees who benefit from provident funds, paid maternity leave and insurance. Touch of India have also adopted 4 children and now provide for their education and upbringing.
Many of our wooden models, puzzles and jewellery items are made by BAFTS-accredited Siiren, who strongly believe in fair trade & personally import 100% of their products. Because they import their own products they can ensure their ethical guidelines are always followed from start to finish. They visit each artisan annually to ensure their products are not being produced in sweatshops and can guarantee no child labour. Many UK importers buy from 'middlemen' who have already paid the artisans and - all too often - have paid them less than a quarter of the price they should. Through buying direct, Siiren ensure the artisan receives 100% of the purchase price, without affecting the retail price in the UK one penny. They're eco-friendly too - they only ever use wood from their own funded plantations and other proven sustainable sources; all trees and wood must have a license before they can be cut. This is policed with a required unique stamp and serial number which acts as proof that the wood is under legal and enviromental control. For every tree that is taken from their plantation a futher six are planted in its place.
Our aprons, ovengloves, tea cosies and other kitchen items are made by Sterck & Co. in India. Their factory is SA8000 accredited, which is an independently audited certification that guarantees, among other things, that there is no child or indentured labour involved in the manufacture of the products. The manufacture of these items also helps support the local SOS Children’s Village in Kerala, paying for the care and upkeep of at least a dozen orphaned and abused children.
Our candles and accessories are made on a farm in a village called St Eval in Cornwall. There they have always believed in trying to impact as little as possible on the local environment, and any impact they may have is deemed to be a positive one. They manufacture in a very rural community with high unemployment and are vital to the local economy. They endeavour to produce as little waste as possible and all the packaging is sourced from recycled materials.
Many of our trinkets and smaller handicrafts are supplied by World Arts and Crafts, who have been importing goods since 1988 and were among the first in the UK to operate a fair trade policy, with everything personally selected and commissioned directly from the artist or craftsperson at source in the country of origin. They work very closely with all their suppliers, and take a keen interest in their lives and general wellbeing. They try to visit them at least once a year and many have become personal friends. They introduce new products and contribute design ideas and modifications to develop their existing range, and offer advice and guidance on presentation and marketing. Every effort is made to ensure that all carved items are made from sustainable cultivated timber, and that non-fade, child-safe acrylics are used on painted products. World Arts & Crafts make advance payments of 50% to enable their suppliers to purchase raw materials, and pay the balance immediately on completion of the order. None of our products are made by children. Their aim is to provide long-term employment for as many people as possible, and their direct trading policy currently provides well-paid regular work.
Edirisa UK works with three craft groups in the Kabale District of south west Uganda. We help to conserve traditional basket making crafts and create new products allowing them to be more competitive in the market place
Our work is based on the principles of fair trade. We pay the ladies an agreed amount for each item they make and all profits from onward sales go towards running the Nursery Schools we have built in the area.
We run workshops teaching sewing and knitting skills making a variety of products from the local, colourful kitenge fabrics. Kitenge is an African garment similar to sarong, often worn by women wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head as a headscarf, or as a baby sling. The printing on the cloth is done by a traditional batik technique and many of the designs have a meaning. We are teaching the ladies to make a variety of garments, bags and lined baskets using this fabric.
The fact that the ladies prepare all their materials makes weaving a basket a long process. Baskets are made from a variety of fibres - papyrus; raffia grass and banana leaf. Papyrus and banana leaf can be grown or collected by the women. Most of the colours are from local plants which they grow in their gardens. The ladies prepare the colours for dying the materials and then add them to the papyrus, raffia grass and banana leaf and “cook” them, allowing them to dry out afterwards.
To weave one medium basket it takes about three days (of course they have other duties to perform during the day). That means that the craft ladies are able to produce two medium baskets a week.