Posts tagged ‘green america’

the start of our new chapter

Before getting back to David’s telephone conversation, a couple of  background information “nuggets” might be useful.

Nugget #1

David’s first “proper” job after first graduating from college was with his brother Peter. Peter had earlier launched a jewellery design and manufacturing company called Vipa Designs. Like many other manufacturing businesses, jewellery has changed dramatically in the UK over the past 20 or 30 years. Most of the small to medium manufacturing companies have disappeared, and the bulk of mass manufacturing is now shipped overseas. During that time Vipa has bucked the trend and grown steadily, gaining a reputation for innovative design and high quality manufacturing whether for one-off pieces or for larger quantities.

Nugget #2

Before opening Global Fayre, we had no idea of just how complex the topic of fair trade is. Three years later, our understanding of the whole issue is deeper, but our awareness of some of the complexities is deeper too. Just what “fair trade” actually means differs widely from product to product. When something like coffee is certified as fair trade, we all know that this means that the growers have been paid a fair trade price; it doesn’t tell us anything about the importer or the roaster. Conversely, when you purchase a typical piece of fair trade jewellery, you know that the producer group that made the piece has been treated fairly, but you probably don’t know anything about how the raw materials were produced.

Nugget #3

A really exciting announcement was made in the UK this year on Valentines Day; the Fairtrade Foundation and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) had come together to certify the world’s first fair trade and fair mined gold. Around 15% of the world’s gold production is sourced from small scale miners, numbering around 15 million. Conditions in these small scale mines are often hazardous both to the people working there and the local environment. (more about this in a later blog). The UK initiative focuses on the three core areas of the gold supply chain: a cluster of small-scale mines, a handful of gold traders, and around 20 designer jewelers (again – more of this in a later blog).

So – nuggets over, back to that phone call.

David and Peter have often used each other as sounding boards, personally and professionally. David was doing exactly that with Peter after the closure of Global Fayre when Peter said “come and help me make this fair trade gold thing work” (or something to that effect). Vipa Designs is one of the 8 companies currently licensed to trade in fair trade gold. Quite where this will lead is not clear, but it’s exciting to find a new challenge and to be able to contribute in some way to the growth of fair trade and ethical business.

So – we’re off to England! David, Cheri and the girls are very very excited. We’ll be living near our family there in the middle of the country.

For now at least, this means that Global Fayre is on hold in terms of having an online store and doing educational work. Our hope is that once we get settled in England (we move in August) we can pick the reins back up; however that works out, we’ll keep posting here and on our facebook page. We remain just as passionate about fair trade as ever, and get a real sense that more and more people are joining us in wanting to become conscious consumers.

 

July 1, 2011 at 17:04 7 comments

Fair Trade Hemp and ‘no kill’ leather Bags from Nepal

Today we added some beautiful bags to our online store.

We get these bags from Ganesh Himal Trading. GHT has been bringing Fair Trade products to the US since 1984, and are leaders in the US Fair Trade movement, playing a key part in groups like the Fair Trade Federation, the Fair Trade Resource Network and Green America.  Here’s their story: Since 1984, we have been supplying shops and retail customers in the U.S.with high quality, handcrafted clothing, jewelry, textiles, and paper. We import directly from small cottage industries in Nepal, including development projects working to improve the lives of Tibetan refugees and women.
Our goal has always been to support work that enhances people’s lives and traditions. We work directly with the
producers as a team, expanding each others’ talents and ideas. It is rewarding to work with such skilled artisanswho enjoy what they do and to know that they realize a fair return for their work.

In the mountains of Nepal hemp has been used for centuries because of its strength and durability. This satchel is produced in Nepal by artisans who receive a fair wage and benefits.We’ve added 4 bags; a passport bag, two backpacks and a satchel. The bags are made from hemp, ‘no kill’ leather and cotton. ‘No Kill’ leather is made from cows who have died natural deaths and is softened without using chemicals.

Here’s what they look like:

Fair Trade Hemp Passport Bag from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp Passport Bag from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp Backpack from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp Backpack from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp backpack from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp backpack from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp Satchel from Nepal

Fair Trade Hemp Satchel from Nepal

March 24, 2009 at 23:01 8 comments


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,901 other followers

Categories

Archives

Bookmark and Share

Global tweeting


%d bloggers like this: