| Ethical Gifts Blog |
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Rwanda one of the world's poorest countries is known mostly for the genocide and war, in which over 800,000 of Rwanda's 8,000,000 people were killed in 1994. As a result of this tragedy and the the HIV/AIDS epidemic an estimated 8 percent of the total population in Rwanda is orphaned
Cards from Africa is helping to support a few of these orphans. The idea for Cards from Africa came to British founder, Chris Page, in 2004. Chris teamed up with a Rwandan artist and together they learned how to make paper and create simple cards. Their first employee was a young orphaned woman. After one month they asked her to bring another friend to train but she brought two. It didn't take long before twenty more orphaned young people were trained and Cards From Africa was born
The handcrafted cards are made from recycled office waste, discarded scraps. Without chemicals and using the traditional African method of making paper, they create interesting and varied textures using natural products.
Typical of the sad stories behind those who make these cards is the story on Cards From Africas web site about a young woman called Germaine. Before the genocide Germaine lived securely with her large family of 9 brothers and sisters, her mother and father, who were a businessman and a teacher. Her parents and her five eldest siblings were slaughtered in the genocide and she was left at age 11 a frightened traumatized child who had to care for her 3 younger sisters and younger brother. Nothing of Germaine's past life was left No house and no belongings. Her siblings were in desperate need food , shelter and clothing., Germaine spent a long time scared and lonely, often crying for days and nights on end. She was deeply hurt and there was no one left to care for her.
Germaine is now 23 years old and still looks after her brothers and sisters. She has a job at Cards from Africa and is able to earn money to pay rent for a house they can live in, feed themselves buy clothes, and school supplies for their education.
Most of us won't ever have a chance to assist directly but we can help by supporting organisations that do
Monday, 26 September 2011
Fair-Trade allows you to play an influential role in international commerce simply by being conscientious about the kind of products you buy.
You don’t need to change any of your purchasing habits to become an active participant in changing the world. Buy coffee, tea, chocolate, clothing, and craft items same as you’ve always done. The only adjustment that you will make is to purchase Fair Trade products.
Fairtrade is when everybody involved in a product makes a fair, sustainable living from the product.
This includes the craftsmen and growers. For far too long artisans and farmers in under developed countries have been taken advantage of by the global marketplace. Fair-Trade guarantees these workers, who are usually struggling financially, can earn a reasonable living from their work. When you buy Fair- Trade products, you are purchasing products that pay a fair price to the growers and craftsmen.
You may sometimes find Fair-Trade products
to be a little more expensive than their counterparts. This is where your conscience and your purchasing power come into play. The greatest power you have over corporate greed is the power of your wallet. By choosing in favor of the growers and producers, and paying a little more to do so, you send the message that the marketplace should be equitable.
Small farmers and inventive craftspeople are being pushed out of commerce by large business concerns all over the planet. This is particularly true in developing nations, where poverty weakens the bargaining power of producers and corporations have a tight hold on the marketplace. By purchasing Fair-Trade products, you help the small enterprises to stay in business in spite of the corporations and helpi to protect generations of traditional farming and crafts.
There are lots of sites on the internet where you can buy
Fair-Trade products and details regarding shops and supermarkets retailing Fair-Trade goods.
Don’t undervalue the fact that by purchasing Fair-Trade products, you are playing a crucial role in improving others lives.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
The joy of writing with a good pen on quality paper is a pleasure appreciated by many. If journal writing is a part of your life then you will find the selection of Fair-Trade journals now available very appealing. Not only is there impressive skill involved in hand weaving covers from recycled newspapers or packaging and the warmth of the papers made from jute or recycled papers but the knowledge that the income generated from the sale of the handmade notebooks and journals goes to provide dignified employment and a chance at a better life for the womaen who make them
Friday, 16 September 2011
Kenana Knitters started in 1998, the primary object being to help rural women find some much needed form of income utilising their spinning and knitting skills. The group buys homespun wool produced locally, then knits it into adorable soft toys.
The wool comes naturally in cream, browns and greys colours are obtained from dying the wool with traditional plants, propagated and grown in our garden so as not to impact adversely on the environment.
Kenana Knitters group enables its workers to directly benefit from their efforts. Knitting is ideal. it requires minimal equipment, can be done in snatches when time permits. When the rains come and the family crops and vegetables need tending not much knitting gets done, but in times of drought and crop failure there is now another source of income for these creative women
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
The idea behind Ethical Gifts idea is to combine ethical production and fair trade practices with innovative, creative and exciting design. Impressive skills have been applied to all the products and discarded materials such as paper, plastic and cement bags ingeniously recycled to create contemporary, functional, unique, products.
The Ethical Gifts collection includes stunning examples of African township art, amazing bags and wallets made from recycled materials, jewellery and delightful handmade and fairtrade toys.
We stock only products that comply with fair trade and ethical production standards
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
These bags are brilliant.
Not only do they look fantastic but they are a great size and made out of old cement sacks, which means they are very strong and waterproof. Handmade by a fairtrade cooperative in Southern Bangladesh, this toiletry bag is a great way to recycle the large numbers of cement sacks that are prevalent in Bangladesh.
These products are not only eco-friendly
they provide people with a decent wage at the same time.
Thursday, 08 September 2011
The most likely origin of bead and wire art is necessity. For many years, due to poverty young Sth African boys have been fashioning their own toys out of discarded coat hangers, wire, tin cans and whatever else they can get their hands on.
It wasn’t long before others recognised the uniqueness and marketability of these wire toys and began making their own wire creations and selling them to tourists and visitors to the region and the vibrant medium of wire art was born and grew.
Today, this genre is a thriving legitimate and highly collectible art form in its own right, Many ‘wire masters’ support their families by selling their creations on street corners, at craft markets and in shops.
Products made range from wire animals, key rings, to CD stands, wire picture frames, baskets, vases, wine racks, egg cups, beaded sculptures, in fact the scope and range of wire and bead art products is almost limitless. There is a broad appeal to these unique pieces of Africana, and Ethical Gifts is proud to stock a selection of this wire and bead art.
This unique and dynamic genre of African wire art is providing skills, training and support to unemployed men and women providing them with a dignified income and a way to use their natural creative talents
Monday, 05 September 2011
These vibrantly coloured and richly textured bracelets are handmade from recycled glass by the women artisans of Global Mamas in Ghana. The bracelet design reflects the interconnected ecosystems of the earth, with specific beads representing oceans, atmosphere, rainforests, and wildlife. Each bead tells a story which is explained on the attached description card.
It is a small beautiful handcrafted bracelet but it tells an epic story. Global Mamas is the name brand for goods produced through the efforts of Women in Progress, an international not-for-profit organization assisting women in Africa to attain economic independence. All proceeds made by Global Mamas’ sales go to benefit the women who produce the merchandise. Each bracelet is a one-of-a-kind gift that will not only bring delight but support conservation and provide women in Ghana with a dignified income
Fair Trade raising the standards for women and children in Africa