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Posts Tagged ‘fair trade’

I always want to buy ethically produced clothing if I can, and there is definitely more and more out there, but often it’s just out of my price range so I end up lusting after it but not buying it.  Not any more! I just found Bibico, which sells fair trade clothing at high street prices.

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Boho Blouse: Was £31, Now £23

It was started by Nieves Ruiz, who used to design for Zara and Corte Ingles in Spain.  Her clothes are manufactured in Nepal and India, and I have already got my beady little eye on the items pictured. And best of all – they have a sale on!

stripe_tank_1_largeSailor Tank Top: Was £27, Now £20

crochet_dress_largeSun Dress: Was £39, Now £27

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This seems a good time to do a supplier information post, as we have just started stocking the delicious Mi Mariposa products! picnic_rug_close_up

Mi Mariposa (meaning My Butterfly) was set up by Katherine Thistleton-Smith last year, and is already producing some of the most original and stunning fair trade products I’ve seen. Her main focus is children’s clothes, but as you will see we are starting with some home products that make excellent gifts. pursesKatherine designs and oversees the creation of every piece.  While living in Ecuador, she discovered the skilled embroidery done by the women who now work for her on a trip into the foothills of the Imbabura volcano. Wanting to share their beautiful creations with a wider audience while giving them a fair wage and good working conditions, Katherine started Mi Mariposa. She now works very closely with the women’s co-operative, Nuevo Camino, providing the mothers with a regular living wage, whilst preserving and celebrating an important cultural tradition. napkin_at_table_2Currently, we are stocking the bright and beautiful butterfly embroidered picnic blankets (try saying that very fast!), and the pleated purses, which work equally well as pencil cases or make up bags, complete with tagua (vegetable ivory) keyring. And we are also really pleased to be exclusive stockists of the gorgeous white cotton napkins, with Mi Mariposa’s signature design embroidered carefully on each one. They come in sets of four, and like the picnic blankets, make wonderful wedding gifts.

Click on each image to find it on http://www.boutiko.co.uk.

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mummyandme1I think the people themselves say it better than I could:

“So what’s it all about? Well, it started through travelling. We always loved to travel. A kaleidoscope of cultures, stories and landscapes made it great to get out of the house, even if it was for a year or two at a time. And from this grew Tales From The Earth. We were clear what we wanted from the start – to create silver jewellery, keepsakes and charms that told stories, like those we encountered on our voyages. Twenty years on, we’re still at it. Travelling. Being inspired. Telling Tales. And people still come to us because they want something beautiful and unusual. Fabulously packaged. For any occasion. If your heart still sings, you’ll love what we do.” Jo Culf and John DeCosta

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Tales From The Earth make beautiful jewellery for men, women and children, as well as trinket boxes, cufflinks and christening gifts, all crafted in sterling silver and packaged in gorgeous aqua and bronze boxes or velvety pouches.

guardianangelpouchEach piece tells a story, written on a little card inside the box.

The company also operate a strict fair trading  policy, making sure that working conditions abroad are safe and adequate, that wages are fair, and that no children work for them. They use locally produced raw materials where possible.worldtoexploreboxBack at home, they use minimum packaging, recycle as much as possible, and contribute to a carbon offsetting programme.

Tales from the Earth products are beautifully made and packaged, and any of them make a superb present that will be treasured for a lifetime.

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All Earth Squared’s designs originate in Scotland, and are then made up in Vietnam. Earth Squared has been working closely with a fair trade company based in Northern Vietnam for the past 6 years. They work together to ensure fair trade criteria are embedded into everyday working life, and the company is a member of BAFTS.

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All employees are over 18 years old; are paid 4 times the national minimum wage and working conditions all abide by fair trade criteria. Due to the success of the workshops, good training opportunities and the company’s reputation, there is a waiting list of people wanting to work with the group.

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All of the women working are trained on the job at the workshop in Hanoi. Each person is encouraged to progress and learn new skills so that they can be promoted. The working conditions at the workshops are clean and safe and the staff have regular breaks and days off work. There is flexibility for mothers who breastfeed as well as a system in place for women who are unable to come to work due to a child being ill and off school for example.

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The company give disadvantaged women the opportunity and support to improve their lives through secure work, training and a healthy working life giving them financial security and self confidence.

Each purchase helps us all to create more work opportunities for other disadvantaged women and change their lives and those of their families.

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The products include various ranges of bags, scarves, purses and jewellery rolls, our perennial bestsellers. Each piece is made with care, producing pretty and affordable gifts and accessories for all occasions. Check out our recently added spring scarves and beach bags, and silk velvet jewellery rolls.

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Lanka Kade make Fair Trade wooden toys. All the toys are designed in house in the UK, and made on a Fair Trade basis in Sri Lanka.  elephantaz

Lanka Kade translates as ‘the Sri Lankan shop’ and was set up in 1994 by husband and wife team Upul and Diane, with the aim of providing an outlet for items produced by small craft enterprises in Sri Lanka. As time went on Lanka Kade developed a product range of educational toys and gifts for young children utilising Diane’s teaching and playwork background.tortoise1to5

Their joint experiences of living and working in Sri Lanka made them determined to operate Lanka Kade with a fair trade approach.

All their products are handmade by seven family based enterprises with whom Lanka Kade has long term working commitments. New products are designed in the UK for each supplier to utilise their individual knowledge and skills. Their aim is to provide continual employment throughout the year for each supplier, their families and their employees.

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Each business is independent and supplies direct to Lanka Kade. Lanka Kade does not use middlemen, nor does it pay commissions thus enabling the suppliers to receive a fair and full price for their products. They work closely together to maintain, improve, and update each supplier’s working practice and understanding of fair trade. Lanka Kade is currently assisting three of their suppliers with long term interest free loans used for the development of their businesses.

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In return, their 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. Lanka Kade (UK) Ltd have been approved by BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) since 2001 as a fair trade supplier.

smallnoahsarkMany of Lanka Kade’s products are made from rubberwood sourced from exhausted rubber plantations that are replanted every 10 – 15 years. They use recycled products when available – the majority of their outer packing cartons are already once used and the packing materials are either shredded paper or materials supplied by local retail outlets from their own deliveries. Lanka Kade products and packaging are all PVC free and they strive to avoid the use of excessive packaging.

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We’ve had a delivery of Oneless bags, in the most beautiful jewel colours:

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Here are the Oneless facts:

~ Handmade from recycled saris by disadvantaged women in the UK and India

~ Fair trade

~ Can carry up to 2kg (although I reckon it’s a lot more than this – these bags are STRONG)

~ Machine washable

~ Tuck away into their own pocket to fit easily into your handbag

~ Only £8.99 until January 31st!

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World Fair Trade Day this year falls on May 10th. It was started by Safia Minney of People Tree, adopted by IFAT (the International Federation of Alternative Trade), and is the first global campaign for the Fair Trade movement that connects producers and customers worldwide. This year the theme is Fair Trade and Ecology, and this is what they say about it:

“Fair Trade is a force for protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development. Fair Trade favours the sustainable use of natural resources and production methods that are not capital and oil intensive, favouring hand production and organic agriculture – to reduce the carbon footprint. Because Fair Trade is committed to paying a living wage and works in long-term partnerships, it enables producer partners to invest in environmentally friendly production. In turn, these initiatives promote environmental awareness locally and internationally.”

World Fair Trade Day draws our attention to buying more Fair Trade products – an ever easier option with  supermarkets and high street shops selling wider and wider ranges, not to mention all the online options. People tend to think Fair Trade products are going to be more expensive but this actually isn’t the case a lot of the time, and stocking up on necessities while helping those who would otherwise struggle to make a living really is a win win situation.

Throughout May there will be events across seventy countries to celebrate justice in trade, including fashion shows, talks and concerts. “Fair Trade products from marginalised communities in the majority world, including coffee, tea, clothes, jewellery and handicrafts will be showcased on World Fair Trade Day.”

Here at Boutiko we stock fairly traded products, such as our embroidered silk and satin jewellery rolls and handbags. For a wider range of Fair Trade goods, check out Only Fair, a lovely site selling all sorts of Fair Trade items, such as coffee and chocolate, homewares, jewellery and children’s products. Kate, the owner, is very friendly, and very knowledgeable about all things Fair Trade too!

For more information on World Fair Trade Day, visit: http://www.wftday.org/

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