Fair Trade: What does it mean?
The Most Marvellous Gift Emporium work very closely with our suppliers to make sure the fair trade gifts we sell through our website are produced in keeping with our ethos of fair trade. We have worked with many of our suppliers since 2010 and so have built up a close business relationship of trust and friendship.
Our suppliers visit the country of origin several times a year to check on production, place new orders and to continue friendships that have been made over many years of trade. This means we can be happy in the knowledge that the products we sell have been produced by happy adults who are paid a fair wage and work in decent conditions.
Many of our gifts items are produced by small communities who gather together as a family unit to create the wonderful gifts we sell. Many producers are small time business people with an eye for making fine items and quite often enlist the help of family members to make the business a success, many families sit in a circle together and talk about the things they have been up to while painting, carving or sewing items into life.
It should be noted that many of these small cottage businesses have been handed down from generation to generation quite often with the children wishing to take over and learn from the head of the family and so everyone learns a part of the handicrafts that have keep them going for so long.
In this modern world it is still great to see that traditional techniques are handed down and passed onto younger members of the family so these useful and beautiful skills are not lost.
Keeping with the theme of fair trade is also sustainability; many of the fair trade gifts we sell are produced from such things as mango wood, bamboo, recycled glass, recycled metal as well as other recycled items. Mango wood and bamboo are both a fast growing natural material, this means that by using such materials it lessons the impact on the environment.
Mango trees do not have a long life span for producing fruit so once they have finished the wood is used to make boxes, instruments and many other things. Bamboo is well known for being an extremely fast growing plant and so is wonderful for making things like wind chimes or didgeridoos. The use of coconut shells is also widely used in the production of handmade gifts, the shells are a byproduct of the coconut industry and so making nothing go to waste the shells can be used to made all manor of things.
Unfortunately many things still wash up on the shores of Indonesia and so instead of just ignoring this waste old washed up coke cola bottles are melted down and made into vases and other glass giftware items, drift wood is transformed into works of art, and bottle tops are turned from useless sea junk into mirror frames, picture frames and clocks. It’s also quite amazing what can be done with an old coke can as the talented sculptures produce works of art.
At the end of the day countries like Indonesia shouldn’t have rubbish washing up on their shores from other nations who waste so much, but at least these ingenious people have found ways to make money from the rubbish that washes on on their shores by turning them into beautiful fair trade gifts. Our hope is with the help of certain sea cleaning techniques that are currently being explored as well as educating people in the richer countries of the world about our seas and the waste that goes into them our seas will become a cleaner place in the near future.
Our fair trade gifts are made in several countries including, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Mexico, Guatemala and Thailand.