Submitted by: G Knights
So why should you consider looking at Fair Trade gifts this Christmas time? In fact what is Fair Trade? – “Fairtrade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers and workers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system”.
And what can you expect buying Fair Trade? Well, for a start exquisitely made (more often handmade or from recycled materials) and original items can be found, and also perfect gifts for Christmas and the festive season this year. Products sold from the best UK fair trade stores are from suppliers that are members of British Association of Fair Trade Shops. These products are not only eco-friendly, but made by wonderfully skilled artisans, all the more reason to feel truly happy when buying fair trade gifts.
Often known as a ‘double giving gift’- Firstly, the buyer can rest assured that the gift is not only good for the lucky recipient, but also that the money from the purchase helps support the British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS). This organisation includes shops and vendors that are dedicated to enabling hard workers and expert crafters to produce their wares and to be paid fairly for those products. These truly positive relationships form bonds of trust and friendship between the producers and the suppliers and also open up wonderfully diverse markets, to us, on the other side of the world. There are individuals, families and entire communities that make their entire income trading through BAFTS and really reap the benefits of this sustainable way of providing a living.
While being a social project, the ‘fair trading’ that such shops engage in with BAFTS is also an environmental one. The local artisans that make the products sold are working for a fair wage, and live in healthy surroundings. There are no big industries polluting the air or looking to simply make the fastest ‘buck’. The products are made from raw, sustainable or recycled materials. Wood has been ecologically cultivated and paints are from natural sources and are non-toxic. Fabric and paper is made from natural, biodegradable fibres. So make that a ‘triple giving gift’ – Recipient, Producer and Environment!
The scope of Fair Trade is worldwide, which of course opens us up to more and more cultures and markets, as local producers give us the chance to discover their own wares. Each company and association that produces for BAFTS uses natural, sustainable resources from their country – like local clay, wood, grasses, recycled metals, etc. From these countries BAFTS is supplied, like from Nepal, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Peru and we then get to enjoy the fruits of their labours. The artisans are happy to be using their artistic skills and to show off their ancient traditions, while being paid to make unique, interesting and useful items like paper, bags and totes, cloth, glassware and so much more. These people are able to provide better food and clothing for their own families, send their children to school to get an education, implement better social welfare and health programs for their communities and so much more.
When someone buys products from a fair trade shop they can really feel good about their purchases. Whether they are buying handmade jewellery for someone they love or an eco friendly or recycled gift, they are also buying a treasure that has been hand crafted by an individual who is an artist. These skilled artisans are from developing countries and they are so glad to put their expertise to use and make a fair wage to support their families, and improve their communities. They are using environmentally sustainable methods and materials that benefit the entire the world.
About the Author: Graeme supplies his wizardry to Magic Online Solutions, an award winning SEO & Website Design Agency
– writing on behalf of Love Fair Trade –