Posts filed under ‘New products’

“Cloud 9” Fair Trade silver and Murano glass pendants

We don’t carry many glass products, partly because one of our closest downtown neighbors is a glass blower  (if you ever visit Springfield, aside from coming to Global Fayre, you should make sure to check out Terry and Gabe’s work at Springfield Hot Glass.

But when we saw these beautiful pendants, we just couldn’t resist.

Sterling silver and murano glass pendantThe maker is a woman from Coapango, Guerrero in southern Mexico, Guadalupe Ramos Rios. Our source, Tom Costello tells us that “As far back as the stories go, and as far back as Ms. Ramos Rios can remember, her parent’s parent’s parent’s were artisans who made dresses, shoes, chairs, flatware, jewelry, and other items for everyday use and for personal dress. I have worked with three generations of her family. Every pendant has six components. When the chain or necklace are counted, that makes seven. We christened them “Cloud 9″ because of there light, floating colors and designs.”

For the moment, we are selling them only in our store at 324 S Campbell, Springfield, MO – but in a few weeks we will add them to our online store.

They have arrived just in time for Valentines Day – and to celebrate, we are giving away a Fair Trade Rose with every purchase from Feb 10 to Feb 14.

February 9, 2011 at 00:59 Leave a comment

Shona Sculptures from Zimbabwe

We just delivery of our first piece of Shona Sculpture from our friends at Venture Imports.

Serpentine is the stone most commonly used by the Shona Carvers;  Shona ranges in hardness from 2.0 to 5.5 on “Mohs Scale of Hardness.” It has a huge range of color variations, but most pieces will have some brown, green or black in them.

Our first piece is this beautiful “Kissing Couple” in natural stone.

 

Jennie from Venture Imports describes the carving process this way:

“The artists chip, chisel, sand and then wet-sand each piece. (Before sandpaper, artists would use river sand and a rag in their hands to smooth out the pieces.) Then they place the piece around, or in some cases actually in, a fire. They finish by putting floor polish on the heated piece which sinks into the piece and brings out the natural colors of the stone and makes it shiny. They keep reapplying the floor wax (they use Cobra wax, I use Johnson paste wax) until the surface cools. Then they buff it with a cloth which makes it nice and shiny.”

Jennie also explains how the carvers learn their craft:

“Most of the artists have no formal training, but they often learn as apprentices under a master sculptor. They begin by washing and polishing the master’s pieces and then start working on small pieces of their own. Some of the artists work in cooperatives which is a fun site to see. They are so quick and sing and talk while they chip away.”

More pieces will arrive soon, and will be added to our online store.

February 5, 2011 at 13:18 Leave a comment

Fair Trade Roses – just in time for Valentines Day!

Over the past few years, an ever growing number of products have gained Fair Trade certification in the US (Fair Trade Certification is usually given via TransFair USA).

As a retail store with limited space (we have around 1,000 sq feet of retail space) we’re always faced with the dilemma of whether or not we can take new product lines as they become available on a Fair Trade basis; not only because they are great products, but also because we know what a difference they will make to the communities that they come from.

Sometimes though, the products shout SO LOUD that we just have to make room for them. Which is a long way round to saying that we have just ordered our first delivery of Fair Trade Roses – just in time for Valentines Day. Fair Trade flowers have been available in the US for a couple of years now, but so far do not seem to have made the inroads that everyone had hoped for. Why not? A few reasons spring to mind; too far removed from the other lines that Fair Trade retailers carry, not enough margin for conventional florists to carry them……

So we figured that we should at least try. We’re just ordered a bunch (pun intended) from One World Flowers – due to arrive on Feb 10th.

Here’s what One World has to say about Fair Trade flowers and themselves:

One World Flowers and Fair Trade

One World Flowers believes in supporting sustainable business practices, human rights compliance, and fair compensation for workers in countries all over the world. We started our company to do just that by offering beautiful Fair Trade Certified™ flowers in the United States. Suppliers of agricultural products are often pressured by American and European companies to lower costs in order to keep prices low for consumers. Many people don’t realize that because of this, hundreds of thousands of workers in South America, Asia, and Africa are exposed to physical, mental, and sexual abuse each day at work. In the floral industry, most of these workers are women who are not paid fairly for the long hours they are sometimes forced to work. In addition, workers are not given protective gear to wear when dealing with the dozens of harmful chemicals that are used to grow flowers. As a result, many of their children are stillborn or have major birth defects. Fair Trade is changing all of this!

Fair Trade Certification means farms that grow flowers are given a fair price for their produce, workers enjoy safe working conditions, fair living wages are paid to workers, and environmentally friendly growing practices are used. It is a commitment made by each company in the supply chain to maintain higher standards in our business practices, even if it costs a little more. In short, everyone can benefit from Fair Trade from the worker in the field, to the company that owns the farm, the environment, and even you!

One World Flowers is a TransFair USA licensed importer and distributor of Fair Trade Certified™ flowers. We currently sell our beautiful wholesale flowers to customers throughout the United States including individuals, grocers, florists, and co-op markets. We are expanding quickly, and are always looking for people and busineses to partner with who share our passion for Fair Trade and corporate social responsibility. If we are not yet in your area, we’d love for you to request One World Fair Trade flowers from your local florist.

We strive to be the market leader in Fair Trade Certified™ flowers by educating consumers about Fair Trade practices, and how to be aware of the human rights violations that happen every day in the global supply chain. One World Flowers doesn’t just want to sell flowers; we want to make a world of difference.


January 25, 2011 at 01:34 3 comments

It’s Memorial Day Weekend!

If you are on our email e-blast list, you will already know that you can get 25% discount on any single item on Saturday and Monday (YES – you can come back again and get the discounts on both days!). If you are NOT on our e-blast list, you should be….sign up by clicking here!

May 27, 2010 at 19:39 Leave a comment

Another great roast from Kickapoo Coffee

We’re really pleased that we found Kickapoo Coffee last year.

We started with the Organic Colombia, which they describe as “syrupy sweet and aromatic with an effervescent intensity and a core of candied red fruits and dark chocolate”. How do we describe it? “just a GREAT coffee”! It quickly became our best seller, with a steady stream of regulars bringing their cans back for a refill.

After that we added the Organic Guatemala; “Deliciously fragrant and complex with juicy sweet acidity and notes of lemon and berry in the sweet finish”. Another hit.

So this week we tried our third, Organic Peru AA.  This roast is described thus; “Impeccable depth and balance with notes of mandarin and toffee, a chocolaty core and a clean, sweet finish. The producer is the Cenfrocafe Cooperative – more of that in a later post.

April 10, 2010 at 16:10 4 comments

Fair Trade market baskets from Ghana

We just got a new batch of Bolga baskets from Ghana. The full size ones were a mixture of the traditional leather handles and the cloth-handled ones that we started having made last year for our vegan customers.

The baby Bolga baskets all had leather handles – we’re still waiting for our first batch of cloth-handled ones.

We’ll add a selection of the baskets to our online store in the next day or so.

I had a very special helper when it was time to shape them….

March 31, 2010 at 19:08 2 comments

One example of reconstruction in Haiti; a strategic plan to save 500 artisan jobs

Recent events in Haiti has prompted Global Fayre to step up its level of commitment to the artisans of that country (we talked previously about the need for sustained support in the long term as well as short term crisis relief).

As a result of our search for new sources, we came across Caribbean Craft.

Based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Caribbean Craft was founded in 1990 by young Dutch and Belgian entrepreneurs who wanted to address Haiti’s high unemployment with artisan training, design assistance and new export market outlets. In 2006 Caribbean Craft became a Haitian women owned company.

They encourage their artisans to work in a sustainable way with recycled products.  As you would expect, a large part of their output is concentrated on the highly original and internationally renowned “oil drum art”, made from recycled steel drums.  They also use paper maché made from empty cement bags and starch made from locally grown, renewable arrowroot to create beautiful and festive ornaments, money or “piggy” banks, serving trays, and other useful creations. They even produce their own glue from the starch of locally grown manioc and use plastic bottles and gallon containers.

Prior to the January earthquake, Caribbean Craft employed over 300 people in Port-au-Prince and another 200 artisans in the regions. The earthquake rendered their rented premises too dangerous to use, leaving these 500 artisans on the street (literally, in many cases, with their houses also being destroyed).

Far from being knocked back by this, Caribbean Craft quickly responded by putting together a short term plan to get their people back to work as quickly as possible, as well as a longer term plan to build their own facility capable of withstanding future earthquakes.

You can read the whole plan here.

We got our first consignment of products from Caribbean Craft last week. The pieces are beautiful, and response to them has been great!

Here are a few examples:

March 6, 2010 at 18:24 Leave a comment

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