Every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of society you want

27 Feb

Back in my late teens I spent a month of my gap year volunteering on a cocoa plantation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was there, harvesting fresh cacao pods alongside the locals, that I got to understand what fair trade really means for people in developing countries striving to support themselves and their families through stable and dignified work. Since then, I’ve built fair trade into the buying choices I make every day, usually by doing nothing more arduous than drinking a nice cup of tea and enjoying a bar of chocolate.

Fairtrade homewares from Decorator's Notebook shop (623x800)

But fair trade is about more than just bananas and coffee beans. Where food has led, other industries have followed and you can now decorate your home with fair trade products too. We are proud to say that, from the beginning, Decorator’s Notebook has supported fairtrade groups, co-operatives and social enterprises that help talented artisans in challenging circumstances work their way to a better life.

This Fairtrade Fortnight we thought it was about time we celebrated by bringing these lovingly-made products together into a proper Fairtrade Collection and introducing you to a few more of the wonderful organisations that craft them.

Fairtrade co operative making leather buckets for Decorator's Notebook (763x800)

Our Leather Bucket is made by members of a co-operative in Rajasthan, India. This community-run group has grown to support more than 40 families. The craftsmen and women use traditional skills to prepare the leather using natural bark and vegetable dyes before stitching each bucket by hand.
Leather storage / kindling bucket, £70, Decorator’s Notebook

Kantha bedspreads made by women's social enterprise for Decorator's Notebook (763x800)

These beautiful kantha bedspreads are handmade by the women of Basha, a social enterprise in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that helps victims of sex trafficking rebuild their lives. The women receive paid training and counselling before being offered a job when they are ready. As well as earning a generous wage the women receive free childcare, daily education classes and subsidised healthcare. Each bedspread is hand-stiched from vintage saris and embroidered with the name of the woman who made it.
Kantha bedspreads, £165, Decorator’s Notebook

Fairtrade pottery Decorator's Notebook (763x800)

Our Dipped Terracotta range of mugs, jugs and bowls is produced by a co-operative in Pondicherry, India. Established in 1985, the group employs both disabled and able-bodied artisans and focusses particularly on empowering women in the workplace. The pottery is handmade using age-old techniques and wood-fired to give the clay its lovely speckled finish.
Dipped terracotta tableware, from £12.95 – £14.95, Decorator’s Notebook

Do come and visit the shop to explore all the gorgeous accessories we’ve handpicked help you create a more unique and meaningful home. We love seeing our blog readers there best of all!

{Photographs Decorator’s Notebook / Nkuku / Basha}

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5 Responses to “Every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of society you want”

  1. carefullycurateduk February 27, 2014 at 22:04 #

    To quote Anita Roddick, “consumers have not been told effectively enough that they have huge power and that purchasing and shopping involve a moral choice”!

  2. Bethan - Decorator's Notebook February 27, 2014 at 14:02 #

    I thought some of you might be interested in the title quote, which is from Anna Lappe. Here’s a little more about her: http://smallplanet.org/about/anna/bio

  3. Michelle February 27, 2014 at 13:25 #

    Love the ethics behind your store. It makes the items even more beautiful.

    • Bethan - Decorator's Notebook February 27, 2014 at 13:38 #

      Thank you Michelle – I know our influence is only small, but it’s really important to us to do things right by our suppliers and our morals!

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