- Politics and Social Issues
Why Does Fair-Trade Matter
Fairtrade offers workers in developing countries a better deal- the opportunity to improve their lives and hope for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty and bring about change through their everyday shopping.
FAIR TRADE IS IMPORTANT
Poverty remains widespread around the world. Many face an uncertain future due to range of factors including volatile world prices which have left many struggling to support themselves and their families.
FAIR-TRADE MAKING DIFFERENCE
Today more than six million people benefit from the Fairtrade system.
Fairtrade delivers a better deal for farmers and producers in the developing world :
Handmade Paper Journals
Lovely handmade paper journals from Paper Craft in Uganda. Paper Craft was set up to provide a sustainable income for a group of socially disadvantaged Ugandans, (mainly women) through the production and sale of handmade paper and paper products. The majority of Paper Craft employees would otherwise find it almost impossible to find a job or to support their families. Paper Craft provides additional income to local farmers by purchasing elephant grass and banana fibre. By choosing Paper Craft you are supporting a sustainable business, promoting environmental awareness and encouraging recycling
Cards Made From Recycled Paper and Tin
Tree Of Life Cards
Using recycled materials and invasive plant species from the wetlands around Lake Victoria in Kenya, these fantastic cards promote the sustainable use of natural resources, recycle material into unique products and assist artisans to sustain themselves through their skills.
Fair-trade Jewellery - Handmade, Eco-Friendly and BeautifulClick thumbnail to view full-size
Forward Bears - Beautiful objects changing lives
Each piece of these beautiful bears is embroidered and appliquÃ©d completely by hand, ensuring no two designs are ever exactly the same. They comprise of 20 parts, each having been made by a different woman, a laborious process taking several weeks to make one tiny bear. The Forward Bears project is an inspiring initiative which now employs and empowers many local women in Cape Town.
Margaret Woermann the founder articulates very succinctly the motivation behind it "My intent was that artworks would be made with the “heart”, but with the ultimate objective of feeding the belly." The fabulous pieces made by this group of ladies, who come from Zimbabwe, the Congo and the Eastern Cape, are an explosion of colour, texture, imagery and appliquÃ©. These talented craftswomen know have the opportunity to earn an income and to rebuild and move their lives forward . The women's individual stories are depicted in each delightful embroidery artwork .
These needlework teddy bears make a wonderful gift for any age and as each is hand-embroidered and a one-off piece, they are collector's items and heirlooms to be passed down through the generations.
Sudanese Shea Butter
Organic Fair-Trade Skin Care
Lulu Life Shea Butter from the Sudan is emerging as a premium product in skin care following research revealing it as possibly the richest source in the world of skin nutrients that heal scars, burns and stretch marks and keep skin young for years longer. Researchers have discovered an active ingredient in Shea oil, unsaponifiables, that help to counteract eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, burns, rashes and wounds.
The secret of Lulu Life's success lies in the type of tree it is harvesting from. Lulu Life Shea Butter is made from the nuts of a tree that grows only in East Africa. East African, or Nilotic, shea butter comes from the vitellaria nilotica tree and is different from the West African Shea butter that consumers are used to. Nilotic Shea butter melts more gently, deeply, and fragrantly into the skin and as it is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants acts to restore and moisturise the skin and even hair. Lulu Life organically grown Shea Body Butter not only promotes cell regeneration and younger looking skin it protects the skin from harmful agents. Lulu Life Pure Shea Butter is soft to the touch and melts directly into the skin as soon as it is applied
Lulu Life Body Butter is organically grown and comes in Natural (fragrance free) as well as range of gorgeous butters scented with essential oils in Lavender, Lavender Spearmint, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lulu Delight (myrrh), Lulu Love (floral), and Mayan Gold.
Lulu Works is a non-profit trust established to provide a suitable revenue for the women of South Sudan. Building on the traditional role of Sudanese women as both the producers of Lulu oil and the guardians of the Lulu tree, Lulu Works Trust provides a sustainable livelihood for these women and their families.
Earth Friendly As Well As People Friendly
Fair-trade journals are lovely as well as socially conscious. (Fair Trade is a system that promotes more equitable global trade, it assists producers in poorer areas get a fair price and enter the world market, but it also acts to protect the environment.)
The journals are not just made under fair-trade conditions they are totally eco- friendly The pages of many Fair Trade journals are made from a fascinating assortment of recycled materials. Some are made from recycled cotton fabric, the others from jute pulp, elephant dung, recycled newspaper or recycled office waste. How cool is that?
Help A Little Girl In Africa
Eco Africa Cards
This handmade paper doll from Zimbabwe comes on a gift card, with a story on the front , inside the card there is more information about the project and the doll. There is even information on how to become pen-pal with a child in Africa. A hanging loop makes it a great decoration for Christmas trees or car rear vision mirrors.
Zimbabwean women are living under often appalling hardships , 95% are currently unemployed. Eco Africa helps women form collectives and teaches them paper crafting skills to enable them to earn an income. By purchasing one of these charming cards you will help to generate more work and a vital income .
Eco Africa - Changing Lives
Swazi Handmade Candles
Candles From Africa
The wax outer shell of these magical handmade candles lanterns doesn't melt but diffuses the light from the soy tea light candle as it burns creating a coloured soft glowing light. Wrapped and tagged these handmade candles all the way from Africa make a unique and thoughtful fairtrade gift
About Swazi Candles
Swazi Candles, is a Fair-Trade organisation situated in the Kingdom of Swaziland and has been producing fine handmade candles since 1981. The artists and craftsmen produce unique candle designs which are renowned throughout the world. Their philosophy is to create unique handmade candles of exceptional quality in a happy working environment.
Embroidery From Africa
Beautifully and individually hand crafted
Beautiful hand embroidered purses from Africa are made by a needlework project which is giving life and hope to women in the outposts of Zululand. The designs of the purses are contemporary, the skill involved in producing each item outstanding and each carefully made item is unique.
African recycled crafts are made out of 'nothing', discarded junk, cans, wire and plastics -the things people throw away and abandon. Ethical Gifts is proud to sell the work of these artists, people with hardly any resources - they pick up the junk around them and fashion waste into exquisite sculptures, passionate representations of African culture and life.
These recycled crafts help us to see our world from a different perspective, that through creativity we can tackle some of our world problems - we have left them with nothing and from nothing they produce bright beautiful art alive with invention and love.
Changing Lives Stitch By Stitch
Kenana Knitter Critters
Another fantastic Fair Trade product hand knitted in Kenya by the women from Kenana Knitters. Kenana Knitters is an organisation that works with and pay fair wages to over 500 knitters and spinners. They export a collection of plush toys, home décor, clothing and accessories to more than 10 countries around the world. By purchasing a Kenana Knitters product, you contribute directly to the pride and advancement of the individual women and their families, as well as impacting the local community. Kenana Knitters is changing lives stitch by stitch
Baskets Woven From Telephone Wire - A new brightly coloured art
South Africa's Zulu people have long been famous for the beautiful baskets they weave. Today these baskets are still woven but the Zulus have developed a new basket woven of recycled telephone wire. The origins of telephone wire is traced to Zulu night watchmen in urban areas who, to banish loneliness and boredom on night shifts took to weaving coloured wire around their traditional sticks. The weaving of telephone wire has now expanded and an amazing range of baskets and bowls are produced at the same time providing for the weavers a dignified and sustainable income.
Sheep Tea Cosy
Fair Trade Handmade and Very Cute!!
Another fantastic Fair Trade product hand knitted in Kenya by the women from Kenana Knitters. This wonderfully cute hand knitted pure wool tea cosy will not only keep your tea hot but will do so in a fun way. Kenana Knitters is an organisation that works with and pay fair wages to over 500 knitters and spinners. They export a collection of loveable plush toys, home décor, clothing and accessories to more than 10 countries around the world. By purchasing a Kenana Knitters product, you not only get to own something handmade and gorgeous but you contribute directly to the pride and advancement of the women and their families, as well as impacting the local community.
Available online from www.ethicalgifts.net.au
Recycled Wire Earrings
Wonderful jewellery made from an amazing assortment of recycled items is being made by crafts people all over the world. The pieces of jewellery range from elegant recycled gold and silver to delightful pieces made from recycled tin and wire Unlike mass produced products each piece of recycled and fairtrade jewellery that is being sold is unique. The purchase of recycled and fair-trade jewellery not only is good for the planet but the jewellery is made by crafts people in developing countries who make the jewellery in the hope of securing for themselves and their children a dignified and livable income and a better future. The spirit and ingenuity of the men and women who make these delightful pieces of jewellery is impressive. Things we would see as trash are gathered and made into beautiful and useful objects. Earrings made from bottle tops , necklaces made from the brass of old bomb shells or beads acquired from melting glass bottles are just a few of the items that are available Our support of these artisans not only allows us to own and enjoy unique handmade jewellery, it is environmentally friendly and helps others to build for themselves and their communities better lives.
African Bead Art - African craft at its best!!!
Beaded Art That Is Taking The World By Storm!!
Monkeybiz is an amzingly creative and successful grassroots project that gives employment to poor women and provides them with skills training and HIV/AIDS support. The bead artists produce quirky, one-of-a-kind bead art pieces suffused with the vivid colours, textures, stories and expressions from the townships of Cape Town - African culture is at its uninhibited best.
Each fantastic bead art piece has recognisable artistic integrity, a typically African vitality and exuberance and a quality that can only be described as emblematic of Monkeybiz
Fish Sack Lap Top Bag
Ecofriendly and pretty cool!
Sturdy yet light these fun computer bags are ingeniously made from recycled fish feed bags. Every upcycled lap top bag is different with different Cambodian lettering and fish-related pictures. They are made by a group of disabled artisans who have been injured by land mines or have become disabled through contracting polio. Through the sale of these ecofriendly bags they are being given dignified employment and a hope for a better future.
Ingenious Recyled Art - Flip Flop Animals
The shores of the Indian Ocean in eastern Africa are awash with industrial debris from as far away as China, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia. Thousands of brightly-colored rubber flip flop pieces and parts wash ashore daily, not only causing an ugly blight along the coastlines but endangering the delicate marine eco-system in the ocean that lies between these countries. The flip flop initiative, a brilliant idea by UniquEco was designed to clean up the environment by marketing products made from this waste while also providing employment opportunities to the poor communities hardest hit by this environmental degradation.
Local women and children comb the shores to collect the indestructible pieces of rubber flip flops. Talented artisans and sculptors in the village glue the pieces together in multicolored patterns, then hand carve producing carefully crafted animals, transforming recycled waste into stunning works of art. These unique pieces are now available through Ethical Gifts Australia
These ingeniously crafted sculptures are a perfect example of how consumers can use their purchasing power to help preserve the precious marine environment and at the same time provide employment opportunities to an inspired community half a world away and they have a unique and exciting piece of art which they will enjoy for years to come!
Handmade and Fair-trade Toys are Best
There is an enormous range to chose from when it comes to finding a toy to buy for a child but when it comes to choosing good quality, safe and ethical toys for your children handmade toys are definitely the best. There have been many unpleasant stories recently about the dangers to kids from the plastics in toys. The toxic chemicals that are contained within the plastic can be absorbed by young children causing serious illness in later life. Handmade toys are not only cleaner and safer for children but are usually more environmentally friendly because they are not produced in energy guzzling factories The sale of handmade and fair-trade toys also often helps to support women and their children in less developed countries. Everybody wins!- children, the environment and the artisans who make the toys. Handmade toys may be a little dearer than mass-produced toys from China but they will last longer, will do no harm to children or the environment and can be passed on for generations.
The handmade and fair-trade toys that are now available are also some of the highest quality, the most beautiful and loveable of toys . They are made superbly and filled with their own individual charm which only comes when each item is made with care, by hand and not mass-produced from toxic chemicals by exploited workers in a factory.
Ethical, beautiful, and recycled.
Look fabulous, help the planet and give women in Kenya a chance at a better future with unique beaded necklaces made out from recycled magazines.
These necklaces are made from beads made from the glossy pages of old calendars and magazines and accented with hand blown glass beads Each of the paper beads is carefully hand rolled then varnished to a high-gloss The result! - each paper bead looks like a polished stone or wood. Paper that would normally be discarded is used to make this fair-trade jewellery. The process results in an almost endless variety of different coloured beads making each and every necklace a one of a kind necklace. Through this and other crafts, the women are able to provide for their families and raise their standard of living.
Another impressive project helping young women gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their work.
Finding Value In Waste - Old Tin Cans Become Fantastic Little Cars , Trucks And Motor Scooters
In many countries in Africa, resourceful people have long excelled at fashioning toys from whatever materials are available - tin cans, wire and plastic that is discarded as trash. The motivation behind the recycling is not environmental concerns but because poverty has limited their choices in life and people have found what value they can in the materials available to them. The skill and creativity applied to make these African recycled products is impressive, there is in each and every product ingenuity and humour that makes these simple objects immensely appealing. In addition to brightly coloured tin trucks cars and motor scooters made from cans there are even flowers, brightly coloured cheerful tin daisies. It is the ability to see the value in everything that makes recycled art quite inspirational
Recycled Handmade Cards From Rwanda - Cards From Africa
Fairtrade greeting cards hand made in Rwanda by young people who have been orphaned by conflict or disease.Your purchase of thess cards empowers them to provide education, health care, food and shelter for themselves and their brothers and sisters
Baskets made by Gone Rural, Swaziland
. Gone Rural, a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, is fast becoming a globally recognized model of socially responsible business that promotes understanding and respect of cultural heritage and tradition
Gone Rural products are all handmade from natural and sustainable materials which are made into beautiful home accessories. The producer groups live in the mountainous areas of Swaziland where the Lutindzi grass they use in the basket making is found. The women work from home where they have the freedom to work producing these stunning African baskets and taking care of their children. These African baskets that combine traditional skills with high end design are offering employment and a support system for many women in Swaziland while at the same time adding an uncommonly beautiful object to the lives of those lucky enough to own one
Fair-trade Christmas Decorations
A Christmas tree decoration brighten up any tree. This cute candty cane has been hand-made in Bangladesh by a Fair Trade organisation A very sweet Christmas ornament will not only add a little extra to your Christmas but to the lives of the women who make them.
Easy Ways To Support Fair Trade
Fair trade is a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in international trading by ensuring safe working conditions and prompt, fair wages for workers
We all want do the right thing by others and supporting Fair-trade is probably something you have thought about but sometimes breaking habits and making changes is difficult Here are 4 really easy ways to make small changes that make a big difference.
Buy fair trade coffee or tea- Most people drink quite a bit of one or the other. What if your daily hot beverage of choice was fair trade? This is probably the simplest way to support fair trade and you'll be impressed the quality and flavour of your new brew. There is no need to pay more for your daily caffeine hit as Fair-trade coffee now is available in supermarkets at very competitive prices
Buy one fair trade item every time you go to the Supermarket. This is now a lot easier than it used to be. Major chocolate manufacturers are starting to go fair trade with some of their range. When you make your list, just make a conscious effort to get at least on fair trade item - this is an easy habit to get into and as more people adopt it the difference it will make will be huge
Make your next pair of shoes or T- shirt or even underwear fair trade! There are styles and designs to suit all tastes. Check it out!
Buy fair trade gifts for birthdays, Christmas anniversaries, weddings and other special occasions. The people you are giving to will appreciate that your gift gives in more ways than one and the range available is just fantastic
Jewellery that transform the scars of war into the beauty of peace.
Bomb casings and bullets used to make jewellery
These eye-catching necklaces, earrings and bracelets are hand crafted from brass bombshell and bullet casings by Cambodian artisans. This gorgeous jewellery turns the painful legacy and ugliness of war into a beautiful item and at the same time offers a more positive future for the artisans who make the jewellery as well as the direct victims of landmines. The Cambodian landscape is littered with unexploded ordinances and bomb casings, many of which are still being uncovered. Today, artisans use the brass from these bombshells to create fashion statements that symbolise peace. In one special necklace doves are hand cut from brass casings using a jeweller's saw and then stamped with the word peace on each wing in Khmer and in English.
The jewellery shows a creative and positivity in human nature that is inspiring and it is a way of reminding us of the impressive strength that lies within so many.
A Kinder Christmas
People Friendly and Earth Friendly
Christmas is the perfect time to try to be a bit kinder to the planet and to the people who live in parts of the world where life is a constant battle. Here are some ideas for a greener and kinder Christmas.
Reuse, reduce and recycle: Look at things creatively many items can be used for other purposes or reused. Cut up last year's Christmas cards to make gift tags , send e Christams cards or for the nicest touch, make your own.
Buy good quality and ethically made gifts one way to protect the environment is to make sure that every item that is produced is wanted, needed and fully used and one way to protect the vulnerable is to refuse to buy goods that have been made by exploiting the labour and lives of others.
Avoid commercially produced gift wrapping paper So much paper, and therefore trees and energy, is wasted every year just to end up thrown in the bin. Use ecofriendly recycled paper and decorate it. Get the kids to help it is great for an afternoons fun. Use fabric ribbons and coloured string which can be reused Decorate old boxes with paint, cut out pictures or fabric scraps Sew reusable gift bags, some very pretty material can be bought from op shops. Gift bags look terrific and can be reused
Plan Christmas. That way you will avoid impulse buying those last minute gifts which are often unwanted and discarded after a few days.
Ethical Gift Ideas. A soft toy like the ones in the Barefoot collection helps provide families in Sri Lanka with a dignified income. Fair-Trade Pebble soft toys will not only provide hours of fun and bedtime comfort but these delightful toys generate an income that helps other women to feed and care for their children. Bags and wallets made of recycled materials are another great ethical gift idea they not only look terrific but are durable enough to be used for many years.Many of these are made in underdeveloped countries.
Buy Local- Christmas is the perfect time of the year to discover your local farmers market if you haven't already. The produce is fresh, there is more variety and it is usually produced locally. Besides saving on fuel miles you will also be supporting others, those who live in your local economy
These are just a few ideas for a greener, kinder and more ethical Christmas. We would love to hear yours.
10 Reasons To Support Fair -Trade
An article I have seen posted on many different web sites and republish the article here for you to enjoy.I can't give credit to the author because Idon't know who has written the article originally. If you know, please tell .
1 Fair-Trade Means Fair Pay and Working Conditions For Farmers and Producers
By choosing Fair Trade, consumers can ensure that the products they consume and enjoy were made in safe and healthy working conditions and the farmers and producers who made the items were paid a fair wage for their work.
2 Fair-Trade Is Better For the Environment
By using eco-friendly farming practices or raw materials found in nature or recycled, Fair Trade supports sustainable practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
3 Fair-Trade Means Better Quality
Since items are made in smaller quantities and by hand, artisans take pride in their work and produce items with great detail and quality.
4 Fair-Trade Tastes Better
Farmers are involved in their farms and invested in the entire production process. Crops are grown and harvested in smaller quantities so the result is fresher and tastier food.
5 Fair-Trade Is Safe
Fair Trade actively promotes integrated farm management systems that improve soil fertility and preserve valuable eco-systems and limits the use of harmful agrochemicals that present dangers to farmers' health. That means food that's safer for you and the farmers who grow it!
6 Fair-Trade Supports Communities
By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans and small farmers are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare and schools.
7 Fair-Trade Is Trade Farmers Can Count On
Fair Trade is committed to strengthening direct partnerships between buyers and producers. These partnerships provide an avenue for buyers to purchase quality products from people they trust and offer a sustainable and reliable way for farmers, artisans and their families to improve their livelihoods.
8 Fair-Trade Connects You With Other Cultures
Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
9 Fair-Trade Means Sustainable Local Economies
Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than work for a middleman, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
10 Fair-Trade Means What You Buy Matters
By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and the goods you use.
Fair-Trade Making A Real Difference
You can play an influential role in the lives of others solely by being conscientious about the kind of products you buy.
You don’t need to change any of your purchasing habits to become a participant. Keep on buying coffee, tea, chocolate, clothing, footwear, and craft items same as you’ve always done. The only adjustment that you will make to engage in Fair-Trade practices is to purchase Fair Trade products.
Fairtrade is just what it sounds like. It is when everybody involved in a product makes a fair, sustainable living from the product.
This includes the craftsmen and growers. For far too long craftsmen and farmers from developing nations have been taken advantage of by the global marketplace. Fair-Trade guarantees these workers, who are usually struggling financially, a reasonable living from their life’s work. When you buy Fair- Trade products, you are purchasing products that pay a fair price to the growers and craftsmen.
The majority of Fairtrade producers are small business people who create their products and grow their crops traditionally. Such traditional values are more often in tune withgreen livingthan bigger producers. In this way, fair-trade often goes hand-in-hand with environmentally aware practices and sustainable standards.
It is true that, in your shopping, you may find Fair-Trade products to be a little more expensive than their counterparts. This is where your conscience comes into play. The greatest power you have over corporate policies of greed is the power of your wallet. By deciding your priorities in favor of the growers and producers, and paying a little more to do so, you send the message that the marketplace should be equitable. You help to change that very marketplace with your resolve to buy Fair Trade. This is your part in global commerce.
Small farmers and inventive craftspeople are being pushed out of commerce by large business concerns all over the planet. This is mainly true in developing nations, where corporations have a tight hold on the marketplace. By purchasing Fair-Trade products, you are allowing the small enterprises to stay in business in spite of the corporations and helping to protect generations of traditional farming and crafts.
Don’t undervalue the fact that by purchasing Fair-Trade products, you are making a real difference to the lives of others
Fair Trade Link List
- Welcome to the home of Fairtrade | Fair Trade
- People for Fair Trade - Australia
People for Fair Trade (PFFT) are a voluntary network of people in Australia who are committed to fair trade with producers of goods, through the support of education and alternative trade.
- Eco friendly and Fairtrade Gifts - Handmade and Eco Gifts.
Delightfully different handmade ecofriendly and Fair-Trade gifts. Earth friendly and people friendly gifts for you or someone you care about
Great Stuff on Amazon
There is a great deal written about how much Fair-trade can change the lives of those who live in countries where life is harsh and unjust, where poverty, war and disease make survival extremely difficult...... All true! But very little is written about how much we can gain from involving ourselves in the joy and creativity of other cultures, how much we gain from looking outside our own lives and giving just a little of ourselves to others and how much pleasure we can gain from owning some of these unique and very wonderful hand made crafts.
It has been said that we need Africa as much as Africa needs us .I believe this to be true.