Posts tagged ‘finger puppets’

Fair Trade and the fun of working directly with producer groups

One of the unexpected delights of working in the world of Fair Trade has been the opportunity to work on customized products with our producer groups. Unexpected, because as a retailer we source our products primarily through importer/wholesalers who have the direct relationship with the producers.

However, in several cases now we’ve been able to work through the importer to request custom products (we talked about this before when we launched the vegan market baskets from Ghana).

Our latest adventure in product design has been in the world of finger puppets, working with our friends at Inca Kids.

Since we are based in Springfield, natural habitat of the Red Cardinal (and home of the Springfield Cardinals!) it seemed obvious to have some Red Cardinals made…..this is how they turned out:

The next major event coming to downtown Springfield is the 30th Annual Saint Patricks Day Parade, so now we’re scratching our heads thinking about what finger puppets we should have made……ideas anyone?!

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January 11, 2010 at 23:04 2 comments

Finger Puppets from Peru, made by the Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Project

We’re busy putting things out on the shelves as the holiday season gets in to full swing.

We’ve always had a good selection of finger puppets, but we’ve just unpacked two adorable sets from the the Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Project in Peru.

One is Noah’s Ark: Ten darling hand-knit finger puppets representing Noah’s family and animals fit inside a zippered cotton ark pouch.

The other is an Amazon theme, with eight hand-knit rainforest finger puppets that come in an embroidered bag. Includes a monkey, sloth, anteater, macau, caiman, jaguar, turtle and snake.

The Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Project grew out of the efforts of a network of Peruvian organizations called Joining Hands Against Poverty who are committed to addressing the root causes of poverty in Peru.  Working with women who had no stable income and communities where gifted artisans lived in extreme poverty, they saw the need to create opportunities so that the women and artisans could benefit economically and socially from their work.  The Bridge of Hope project was launched to respond to that need.

Bridge of Hope works with 24 artisan organizations in poor neighborhoods of Lima as well as rural areas of Peru. They assist people living in extreme poverty to form groups that can develop sustainable businesses using the values of Fair Trade. The goal is to help them become independent, successful exporting association of artisans through assistance in the areas of product development, business skills, and export procedures. The work of Bridge of Hope has benefited many artisan groups, and the increased economic security has contributed to the empowerment of women in their homes and communities.

December 1, 2009 at 12:19 Leave a comment

Fair Trade Finger Puppets from CIAP of Peru

We took our first delivery from CIAP of Peru today. Not a large order; we’re increasingly cautious when we find a new supplier. Unless we’ve already seen their products “in the flesh” we tend to make the first order just large enough to gauge the quality of their core range of products, and to see how our regulars react.

Our first order from CIAP consisted of finger puppets, flutes and a few other musical instruments. We’re happy, very happy. Delivery was fast, the paperwork is clear, the quality of the products is great, the price-points seem just right – we’ll be ordering more for sure.

So who or what is CIAP?

CIAP is an Organization of Peruvian Craftsmen devoted to the production and the export of craft industries of various types from various areas of Peru. It carries out multiple activities to improve the living and working conditions of the craftsmen, their families and their communities.

Here’s how they describe their activities:

The principal activity of the CIAP is the export of the artisanal products of its members, which is carried out by the means of the company Intercrafts Peru.

In addition to this, the CIAP Association, carries out the following activities for the benefit of its associates

Formation and qualification. – administrative Management, commercial management, productive technique, etc.
Organisational support. – Consultation, office of consultants and management to improve the structures of the basic Groups
Development of Products. – Qualification and technical aid for the development of products in the Groups basic
Promotion and national and international information
Social activities. – Meetings, meetings, festivals, etc.

They are members of:

World Fair Trade Organization – WFTO
Group Réseau of Ecopnomias Solidaires of Peru – GRESP
Peruvian network of the Equitable Trade and Moral Consumption

Can’t finish this piece without giving you a glimpse – here’s our first little family of finger puppets from CIAP….available in our online store of course!

close up group

August 11, 2009 at 23:19 2 comments


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