Asha Handicrafts Association, India
Asha Handicrafts have been practicing Fair Trade since 1975, even before the concepts of Fair Trade became popular abroad. Asha in Sanskrit means 'hope' and Asha have brought hope by providing a marketing outlet to the individual craftsmen. Based in Mumbai, India,
Asha is an association of voluntary businessmen dedicated to helping craftsmen, financially, ecologically and spiritually though its welfare centre and interrelated programs. The team of Asha welfare workers are stationed at different producer groups and cooperatives and move closely with them and their family sharing skills, extending medical help and education. Technical training is also provided to increase efficiency and productivity to encourage the growth and development of cottage industries.
Aspiration International, India
Aspiration are based in Delhi, India and are a fairly small Fair Trading organisation in comparison to others in India. Aspriation believe in sincere work for the welfare of artisans and families which are located all over India including Jaipur and Sarangapur by promoting and developing cottage industries, improving economic and social welfare and proving fair wages.
Aspiration organise groups of semi skilled and skilled artisans and help bring them up from poverty to being able to stand on their own. Some groups have even become self-independent artisans in their own community.
Auromira Exports, India
Auromira is a fair trade organisation based in Pondichery, South India. The principle goal of Auromira Exports is to improve the lives of the less privileged rural youth of the surrounding Villages of Pondicherry by helping them to create beautiful, simple and useful handicrafts in order to become self reliant artisans fully integrated in their communities.
Auromira is a small organisation currently working with 5 producer groups. The organisation is not receiving any funds for its social activities. With their limited margin they can give their producer groups 14 days holiday per year with salaries, free medical expenses, long term loans and short term advances.
Auromira provides Shared Earth with a wide range of incense.
In 1986 during a visit by S.E.L., a French development organization, to their aid programs, a group of women presented exhibitions of some Malagasy handcrafts. S.E.L. was impressed by the work of the women and they sent a craft representative to set up an export structure, so they could purchase and sell their handicrafts in France.
During the next few years, Artisanat SEL (as S.E.L.'s craft division became known) assisted these disparate workshops to form a cooperative structure, which became Bezalila in 1994.
Now independent, Bezalila has 18 workshops, providing Fair Trade employment to formerly impoverished artisans in crafts such as weaving, woodwork, bone carving, and modelling recycled tin cans, called "Kapoaka" in Madagascar.
Bezalila provides Shared Earth with its range of models of old Citroen 2CV cars (the French equivalent of the VW) and other vehicles out of recycled drink cans.
Bugz Workshop, South Africa
The Bugz Workshop started in South Africa as a project to help the residents of an informal settlement in the Cape.The Bugz workshop provides its workers with a decent wage, comfortable and safe working conditions and the dignity which comes from being part of a successful, productive team.The Cape Town City Council has installed electricity and running water into many informal settlements. The Bugz workshop is not a charity. It is a successful commercial enterprise with a vision.
Camilla International Earth Bags, India
Based in the city of Kolkata, Earthbags strives to help the environment by encouraging more and more people worldwide to use earth friendly bags.
Jute is one of the strongest natural plant fibres. It is the second most important vegetable fibres after cotton in terms of usage, global consumption, production and availability. Keeping in mind global trends, the company believes in developing and maintaining sustainable relationships. They demonstrate this commitment by consistently helping the communities where their employees, business partners live and work. They take pride in giving back to the community with a strong obligation to give employment to women and self help groups in and around Kolkata.
Choc-affair is a small family run business based in York that manufacture and package everything by hand, only ever working with high quality, certified Fairtrade chocolate.
CIAP (Inter Regional Centre of Artisans of Peru)
The Inter-Regional Centre of Artisans of Peru, CIAP, is a non profit association, compromised of the handcraft producing associations and groups originating different regions of the country. CIAP was created with the purpose of catalyzing the commercialisation of handicrafts produced by their members, along with the objectives of improving living conditions of artisans and supporting the development of their communities.
CIAP has functioned since 1992 and has consolidated itself as a representative organisation of a great number of artisans from different marginal and depressed regions in Peru. CIAP was founded by 5 organisations of artisans and today have 14 employees and work with 20 associations of artisans in different regions of the country with a variety of craft production. The number of producers working with CIAP is approximately 700 and all the incomes generated by fair trade production benefit to over 2000 people.
Craft aid, Mauritius
Since 1982, Craft Aid has been working hard to provide stable employment for Mauritian individuals with disabilities. Through partnership with this group – a Fair Trade organization dedicated to ensuring all profits directly benefit its employees – artisans are trained in constructing furniture, making pressed flower cards, screen-printing organic cotton t-shirts, and packaging Mauritian tea and sugar. Today, Craft Aid has over 125 full-time employees – 40% of whom are disabled – who are experiencing the dignity that comes from being paid fair wages for their work.
In keeping with its mission of helping the most disadvantaged and needy communities in Mauritius, Craft Aid gives priority to hiring and training disabled artisans for jobs in its workshops. The selection of these employees is done in collaboration with various groups such as APEIM (Associations des Parents Inadaptes De l'Ile Maurice ) and NCRD (National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons), with whom Craft Aid is a member. As part of its rehabilitation strategy, Craft Aid also employs a number of non-disabled workers in order to foster an atmosphere of diversity and to enable disabled artisans to integrate into larger teams. Through stable employment in a cooperative setting, Craft Aid is striving to improve the health, well-being, and living standards of those in Mauritius who need it most.
The Cambodian countryside is littered with bomb casings as a result of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Crafts men and women use the brass bombshells to create fashionable jewellery, statements for peace and the global planet. This symbolic jewellery takes the scars of a country’s horrific history and turns them into something beautiful while at the same time offering a more positive future for the artisans, as well as the direct victims of landmines.
The jewellery shows a creative reaction to violent conflict, a way of reminding us of the impressive strength that lies within so many.
Craftworks Cambodia also make a selection of brilliantly made satchel bags, ladies purses and iPad cases hand-crafted from rice sacks fish feed bags and cement sacks. Home-based women workers, based on the outskirt of Phnom Penh city, stitch the accessories after the sacks have been collected by local farmers.
"Craftworks Cambodia is an organization working to provide vocational training and marketing skills to home based producers through the sale of contemporary arts and crafts items. Craftworks Cambodia offers a range of traditional and contemporary products ranging from home décor to functional home ware as well as gifts, accessories and jewelry based on the finest aesthetic and artistic traditional workmanship of Cambodia. Craftworks Cambodia maintains, and practices, a strong commitment to environmental awareness with many of the products being made from recycled and sustainable materials."
CRC Exports, India
CRC, founded in 1990, seeks to narrow the gap between the traditional craftsman and the burgeoning demand of complex markets with the ethical paradigms of Fair Trade and the limitations of its resource persons. Its mission is to provide specific services that its associates - be it a craftsperson, a group or a micro-enterprise - need in order to take their income-generating endeavour to a self-sustaining level.
CRC encourages the craft people to define their expectations, based upon their strengths and the market situation. CRC is involved in various community development projects such as mushroom cultivation in rural areas, soap nut collection for export or planning of effluent treatment plants in dye and printing units. These activities not only benefit the artisans but the entire community.
Crearte promotes and sells Guatemalan handicrafts. The production of handicrafts constitutes an important source for the generation of employment and income, especially in rural areas.
It involves many producers who are indigenous people, especially women, who elaborate products combining traditional techniques with contemporary elements. With the sales of craft products.
Crearte directly contributes to the generation of employment and income for small craft producers. Crearte supports 500 producers who are organised in cooperatives, social associations, solidarity groups and family workshops.
Earth from the Air
Earth from the Air consists of unique, large scale aerial photographs of astonishing natural landscapes, taken by world acclaimed French photographer Yann Arthus-Betrand. Each photograph shows the beauty of the world yet together with its accompanying caption, illustrates how our planet is changing. Every image stands as a visual testimony to the world we live in today; a world with a growing population, shrinking biodiversity, polluted lands and oceans, a changing climate and a shortage of water.
Equitable Marketing Association, India
EMA was formed in 1977. EMA's nonprofit marketing objective is to help economically disadvantaged groups involved in the production of handcrafts to earn their own living in a fair and equitable way.
While EMA itself is entirely export-oriented, its field workers help groups to establish their own market contacts within India.
EMA works with approximately 2500 producers and has around 136 employees. As a fair trading organization, EMA is completely involved in the improvement of the lives of the producers and the community by for instance distributing books to students and giving grants to students of the local area.
Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives in India
FTCI is based in Delhi and is a not for profit charitable society run by the Tibetan government in exile. With the help of the Indian government and aid from other organisations, a Tibetan settlement was formed in 1959 after 100,000 Tibetan refugees fled Tibet when the Chinese forces invaded.
There are currently 60,000 Tibetan Federation farmers living and working in India.
FTCI now also works with local Indian artisans. The objectives are to help and create infrastructure for member cooperatives and producers, to research new markets for the new products of poor farmers and generate revenue for their member cooperatives for free medicine, housing, etc.
Folk Nepal is a social welfare organisation established in 2000. Its mission is: To contribute to improve the lives of underprivileged and needy people in Nepal in the sectors of health, education and income generation by selling quality fair trade products in its showroom but also with exports.
- to assist handicraft producers by promoting and selling their products world wide
- to provide medical support to underprivileged people in remote areas
- to take on an active role in supporting education and capacity building activities to improve the overall development of the country
Gopalas creates beautiful traditional embroidery, patchwork and other Indian textiles.
Gopalas was established in Jaipur over 20 years ago and is a family run business. Two brothers and their sons are the cogs of the initiative.
It aims to work as a platform for Indian artists and uneducated craftspeople who are in the need of work.
The patchworked textiles have been a staple product of Shared Earth's for about 10 years now. The patchworking is mainly done by Gujerati women and continuing the patchworking tradition enables them to provide an important supplement to their family income. Many of the women are from families who have migrated to India after finding it difficult to make a living in their homeland.
Men are very skilled at sewing too! And tend to do the machine stitching to back and edge the pieces. The image shown here is Mr. Hukma Ram and he has been working with Gopalas for the last 7 years in the stitching department. Here he is working on our most intricately collaged piece. Hundreds of velvet and fabric pieces are sewn together to make each one.
Karm Marg, India
Karm Marg literally means the 'path of action' and began with a handful of children living on the New Delhi railway station.
With the help of a social worker, they began to change their lives by operating a small kitchen on a street-side to prepare free food for children there. The kitchen was run on the money contributed daily by the older children. In the last seven years with the help of a small group of dedicated people, Karm Marg has grown to become a home for about 60 children, based on a 1.5 acres of farm land in Faridabad, outside New Delhi.
At the heart of Karm Marg's functioning has always been the idea to provide these children with a strong support system and to enable them with skills that allow them to be self reliant and sufficient. It is not only a home where children get love and care, but also a place where the children are exposed to various learning experiences.
Madhya Kalikata Shilpangan, India
MKS is a non-profit organisation founded in 1994 to create a market for small artisan groups in India, to offer a fair price for their products and to ensure that the artisans can obtain raw materials at a reasonable price.
MKS works with a variety of artisan groups that create silk, leather, stone, wood and brass products. MKS helps artisans develop skills and become self-reliant.
MKS social commitments include medical aid, education, loans and financial aid. MKS reports a significant increase in artisans’ awareness of the fair trade movement and their commitment to product development. MKS encourages environmentally friendly technology.
Mahaguthi produces, exports and markets crafts from Nepal. Over a thousand individual producers are supported, many of whom are from remote and mountainous areas. Forty percent of their generated income provides women and children of the Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram with food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and education.
The centre (Ashram) was founded by the late Tulsi Mehar Mahila, who implemented many programmes for the empowerment of women in Nepalese society.
Originally Mahaguthi produced and sold only Khadi cloth. Now they produce a wide range of handicrafts.
Manos Amigas is a Fair Trade organisation dedicated to the exportation oh handicrafts and alternative tourism, created in 1991.
One of the aims of the organisation is to allow Peruvian art to be known through the exportation of a great variety of handicrafts made by talented hands of the artisans from various places in Peru.
Manos Amigas contributes to the technical and economic development of the artisans by paying fair prices and is also involved in the ongoing actions of social responsibility with the needy children of Peru.
Motif’s motto ‘the essential detail’ reflects the ethical and sustainable company that they are; generating and fulfilling deep hope and decent livelihoods for increasing numbers of women and men in Bangladesh.
Its accessories combine a love for fabric with an ‘essential detail’.
Motif work with recycled fabrics, using kantha stitch, batik and adding interesting embelishments.
Mitra Bali, Indonesia
The Mitra Bali Foundation was established in 1993 and is based on the island of Bali.
As a member of WFTO and a non-governmental and non-profit organisation they act as a market and export facilitator for small craft producers. Without direct access to the Bali road arteries, it is difficult for those producers who have little working capital to access or even accept large orders without a fair deposit and prompt payment for goods. Yet, the contribution of these artisans to the development of the island is substantial. Their artistic output represents the visible face of Balinese Culture, which, ironically, helps to draw tourists and buyers to Bali.
Mitra Bali works within a framework of around 100 producer groups employing over 1.000 men and women. The head office works with 31 employees.
Noahs Ark, India
Noah’s Ark is a fair trade handicraft marketing organisation created in 1986 and based in the city of Moradabad.
Most of the artisans are women, who benefit from the fact that they can work from home and maintain their responsibilities for children and the home. Noah’s Ark provides benefits such as education and medical treatment for artisans and their families.
Noah’s Ark was founded before the concept of Fair Trade existed in Moradabad and their objective was to eliminate exporters taking advantage of artisans and their crafts. They provide regular employment to 300 people, run evening schools for children in remote villages and help artisans to build and establish their own workshops.
SALAY Handmade Paper, Philippines
SHAPII are located in the Philippines and started in 1987 as a family business and have grown to employing over 200 people, making handmade paper, cards and stationery items. The Philippines government regard this project as a mode for creating rural employment without large investment. The employment it creates has brought real stability to the small seaside town of Salay.
The production areas are light, airy and spacious and benefits include free medical consultation, dental health and eyeglasses. Workers participate in decision-making and have the option of becoming shareholders.
The paper is made from grasses and leaves which are gathered from the streets and gardens nearby and production helps free the village of the weed cogon grass.
Sasha Exports, India
Sasha Exports was founded in 1978. The organisation is committed to fair trade; fair wages, equal opportunity and human rights.
It is a nonprofit marketing outlet for many small member cooperatives of Sasha Association for Craft Producers. Sasha offers design services, and training in business skills development and other management principles.
The wide range of crafts offered by Sasha draws on tradition, retaining cultural context, yet making products contemporary for present-day living.
Tagua Land, Ecuador
Tagua Land is Shared Earth's newest supplier and is a result of Shared Earth taking part in Pro-Ecuador. A marketing module held in Guayaquil which showcased Ecuadors craft sector.
Tagu Land is based on the coast of Ecuador. It works honestly and responsibly with the best artisans in that area and is concerned primarily with their fair treatment, offering them jobs for a better life for their families.
The tagua nut is collected on these coastal areas where the nut is of the highest quality. When the nut falls from the tree it is dried for 6 months before the shell is peeled off - leaving a wonderful smooth creamy nugget - hence its nickname of vegetable ivory!
Shared Earth and Tagua Land work together to bring you the tagua jewelleries. The jewelleries you see in our collection are so smooth and tactile, and the colours wonderful.
Tara Projects, India
TARA Projects (Trade Alternative Reform Action) was founded in 1973 to help poorly organised and struggling artisans in Delhi, find markets for their goods.
By creating opportunities for these home-based craftsmen to market and sell their goods, TARA projects helps to generate steady work and income. Based on the early success of this program, they have been able to expand to a 120-mile area surrounding Delhi.
TARA projects fund schools for children as well as literacy centres for adults, and are constantly campaigning and educating people about fair trade. Their goal is to end injustice and manipulation in the world mass trade system.
The Heart of a Garden
Eco-friendly cards: Card sourced from responsibly managed forests (FSC® C007915), vegetable-based inks, recycled paper envelopes, compostable outer slips.
Touch of India
Touch of India was founded in April 1988. Touch of India is an organisation oriented towards the exportation and the constant innovation in the products.
They produce a wide range including bags, photo albums, jewellery, scarves, boxes and homeware. They pride themselves on using old traditions of hand embroidery techniques and use recyclable materials and many natural materials like wooden beads, shells and stones. There are 150 employees who benefit from provident funds, paid maternity leave and insurance.
Touch of India have also adopted 4 children and now provide for their education and upbringing.
Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal
Created in 1989, WEAN is a non-profit organisation that focuses on marketing the products of women artisans in order to build a countrywide co-operative for joint promotional entrepreneurial activities.
WEAN aims to represent the collective efforts of women entrepreneurs in the economic progress of the nation and decision making at national and international levels.
Felt making is a traditional craft in Nepal which requires great skill and this vibrant range includes both kids and ladies bags.
Zuri Design is a BAFTS registered Fair Trade Importer. Zuri Design works with 10 producer groups in Kenya. All the producer groups started as small grass root projects which aimed to improve their community’s standard of living through the trade of crafts.
The main objective of Zuri Design is using fair trade to bring long term development and poverty alleviation. Many of the projects are located in the slum areas around Nairobi. They focus on youth rehabilitation (many young people in slums are drawn into crime and drugs to survive) and employment.
Zuri Design has work on product development and quality to create a network of producers capable of production for export to the UK.