Posts Tagged ‘zulugrass’
For two weeks every year Fairtrade Fortnight gives the issues surrounding Fairtrade production to a much higher profile. That’s great of course as the publicity is certainly helpful, however for us it is something that is always on our mind in our hunt for products that give a better life to their producers (and their surrounding communities).
It’s also a good time to clarify how the Fairtrade mark works as you will notice only a few of the products we stock carry the official Fairtrade mark of the Fairtrade Foundation (shown above). This Fairtrade mark is only available to use on certain categories of products eg cotton, fruit and chocolate. Most of the products we stock don’t fall into these categories so there are no official guidelines published for the suppliers to work to.
The main thing we look for from our fair trade suppliers is a close and direct relationship with the producers of the products. Our suppliers visit the producers regularly themselves (rather than relying on agents) and see for themselves the positive effect their production has on the communities.
We also look for the marrying of contemporary British design with the inherent skills of the producers. And for as much of the product to be developed in the country as possible (rather than just a fair price paid for raw materials). In this way the producers can add value to the raw material turning it into a higher value product rather than just stripping a country of it’s valuable resources.
One of the best examples of this Zulugrass by The Leakey Collection – a collection of unique jewellery made by the Maasai women in Kenya. Katy & Phillip Leakey live among the women in the bush in Kenya and harness the raw materials they have on hand (the grass the jewellery is made from) together with the beading skills the women have as part of their heritage. Finally Katy designs the jewellery to appeal to a western market with vibrant, contemporary colours. Find out more and see the range of jewellery here.