As you know we are very excited about our BAFTS certification. But do people not involved in the Fair Trade community really know what that means? Well, if you do a Google search for BAFTS, the first result that pops up is for the BAFTA awards! So we had the idea of awarding our own BAFT(A)S to some of our suppliers in order to demonstrate the 10 principles of Fair Trade (as defined by the WFTO). These are the principles that they, and we, have to adhere to to qualify as BAFTS members. If you haven’t been following us on Facebook or Twitter, or if you missed any awards, then the full list is here:
Principle No 1, Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers – the award goes to… Dalit Goods Co.
For over 20 years, Dalit Goods partner charity, the Life Association, has been building schools and orphanages in some of the poorest parts of India. The Dalits, also known as The Untouchables, are often forced to drink from clay cups as a sign of their supposed untouchability. It is this powerful symbol of oppression that has inspired Dalit Goods to launch the range of Dalit branded products.
Their candle pots are hand crafted in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai by skilled artisan potters who they work with individually to create the unique designs and provide valuable work for the potter communities that live there. More recently they have introduced a range of Dalit Soaps which are hand made by an all women enterprise in Kerela with a commitment to employing disadvantaged women.
All the profits from the sale of their products go to providing a loving home and education for orphans and other vulnerable children in India. They are committed to the highest standards of ethical and environmental responsibility and work hard to combine western design with eastern skill to achieve this.
Principle No 2, Transparency and Accountability – the award goes to… What Daisy Did
We love these beautiful bags that are made from recycled leather and cotton which would otherwise go to landfill. Daisy and Osric of What Daisy Did are advocates of slow fashion and their ethos is one of complete transparency.
Principle No 3, Fair Trading Practices – the award goes to… Namaste Fair Trade.
Namaste has a strong ethical policy at it’s core and also supports the Esther Benjamin’s Trust, now known as Child Rescue Nepal who rescues and cares for trafficked Nepalese children.
These toys are made in rural Bangladesh, which is an area with very few opportunities for employment. In order to find work, women have to go the sweatshops and factories in Dhaka, which means leaving their homes and families behind, or do cotton picking, which is so poorly paid that the whole family is forced to work, including children By setting up workers co-operatives within the rural area, Pebbles instead gives women the chance of well paid employment without sacrificing their families – they can even have their children and parents with them while they work at making the most beautiful range of hand knitted and crocheted toys.
Principle No 5, Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour – and the award goes to… New Overseas Traders
We have used New Overseas Traders’ great newspaper bags in our shop for a number of years now. The bags are made by an NGO whose main objective is to provide education and shelter to street children. This eco-friendly product is made from recycled Indian newspaper. The organisation was started in 2004 by street children who wanted to give something back in return for the opportunities which had allowed them to escape desperate circumstances. These elder children, now married with children of their own, generate an income by making newspaper bags and jute items. This allows them to take care of thirteen street children that they have saved from the streets surrounding Delhi train station. Support for this wonderful project means that these children can enjoy going to school and playing, rather than pulling rickshaws, shoe polishing, rag picking and worse.
Principle No 6, Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment – the award goes to…Kerala crafts.
Kerala Crafts came into being after Christine went on holiday to Kerala and witnessed the plight of many marginalized people, particularly women. She thought the best way to help would be to buy the products, thus keeping the women in work and she has been fulfilling this goal for the last 16 years. Kerala Crafts have won many Fairtrade awards, but surely nothing as prestigious as one of our BAFT(A)S!
Principle No 7, Ensuring Good Working Conditions – the award goes to… Believe You Can.
This lovely importer works with WFTO approved producers in India. The workers making their beautiful range of fairies, pixies and pirates benefit from secure and continuous employment, excellent and safe working conditions, above average wages, equal pay for both genders, paid holidays & sick leave and sensible working hours. All workers also receive free healthcare for themselves and their wider communities.
Principle No 8, Providing Capacity Building – the award goes to… Añañuca.
In seeking to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalized producers through Fair Trade Liz and David Beasley, who own Ananuca, travel regularly to Chile to meet and work with the artisans. They source beautiful naturally dyed, hand woven textiles, yarns and exquisite baskets. Liz, who is a fellow Fair Trader from Wales, has also run successful Mapuche Weaving workshops in our upstairs room based on the skills she learnt when working with women Weavers who live in Chile’s Araucanía region.
Principle No 9, Promoting Fair Trade – the award goes to… Love Zimbabwe.
Martha Musonza Holman of Love Zimbabwe is an enthusiastic campaigner for Fair Trade both in the UK and her native Zimbabwe. Martha founded the charity, Love Zimbabwe and is the co-founder and managing director of Love Zimbabwe Fair Trade company (CIC). She has helped set up 15 Fair Trade workers’ co-operatives in Zimbabwe and linked a variety of social groups in there with similar groups in Wales. She teaches in schools, encouraging young people to make simple practical changes to support Fair Trade. She also participates in the Global Citizenship program by educating children about African culture, with drumming and singing workshops.
And finally Principle No 10, Respect for the Environment – and the award goes to… Paper High.
All of the products that Paper High sell are made using natural, sustainable resources. These can be the waste products of larger industry, for example, their Khadda paper is made from the cotton left over from the massive garment industry in India. Or it can be a more extreme sort of recycling like their elephant dung paper – no, it doesn’t smell but it does produce a wonderful natural paper! They minimise their carbon footprint by importing goods by sea instead of air whenever possible and offset their carbon emissions when they visit their producers. Here in the UK they still hold true to these values. Brochures and stationery are made using 100% recycled post consumer waste and the packaging they use includes shredded junk mail.
So there you have it, 10 worthy winners of out highly sought after awards. But was it difficult to pick who to recognise for each award? Well yes it was. Because each of our suppliers has to adhere to all 10 of the principles. And our other suppliers who didn’t get an award here are all equally worthy of BAFT(A)S in any category. That is how they get to become members of BAFTS in the first place and why we choose to stock them.
And of course we also have to show how we at Fair and Fabulous confirm to all 10 principles to – but that is the subject of a whole other blog…