Fair Trade Ornaments

 

The Fair Trade Federation defines fair trade as a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in the international trading system. The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade. Fair Trade Federation members  work with artisans and producers in an honorable  atmosphere to support communities in helping themselves.

Although there are many ornaments that are Made in the USA where there are laws in place to protect the health, safety and rights of artisans and factory workers, there can be products that are made overseas where the rights of employees often may be at the discretion of the employer.

We wanted to feature a few of the ornament vendors that have a fair trade policy in place and who honor the designers and crafters who create the ornaments. This is by no means all of the ornament vendors who practice fair trade. It is a small sampling for your review and there are many more ornament vendors featured on the Ornaments.com directory with fair trade ornaments as well as many ornament shops listed on Ornaments.com that practice fair trade but may not actually be members of the Fair Trade Federation.

Lucuma Design - Fair Trade Knitted OrnamentsLucuma Designs has been a proud member of the  Fair Trade Federation since 1999. As a fair trade business based on collaboration and long term personal relationships, they believe in a world of compassion, strong ethics, prosperity and happiness for all. They  work with over 150 women knitters in Peru who make alpaca wool ornaments. They are provided fair (artist-set) wages, long-term work relationships, design help, micro-financing, and more.

Lucuma strives to create cheer through beautiful designs. A smiling face is their best reward, both from customers and the designers and artists.  Their natural hand-made gourd ornaments shown in the bowl at the top of this article are carved and colored with fire in a small village in the Andes Mountains. The art of creating gourd ornaments has been practiced by the artists of this village for at least 200 years and passed down from generation to generation. The gourds were originally used for storage and also to record history and tell the story and celebrations of the villagers and gradually evolved to become more decorative than utilitarian. The gourd ornaments are great examples of Lucuma Designs’ commitment to beauty, superb craftsmanship and sustainable design that empowers talented women artists and family workshops in Peru to help themselves and their communities. The artists are encouraged to think outside of the box and develop new designs while maintaining the cultural integrity of their art. With prices ranging from $8 – $16, the handcrafted ornaments are an affordable opportunity to own a unique ornament while supporting families in Peru.

The founders of Gifts with Humanity began their fair trade business after living in Kenya for several years and wanting  to see the multi-talented artisans rewarded for their creativity and work. Now Gifts with Humanity  works with local  artists and producers in over 20 countries and the ornaments and other handcrafted items are sold in over 1000 shops in the USA and Canada. The idea for a fair trade business model that would bring new opportunities to the artists and a fine collectible ornament  to western customers has mushroomed from a family owned business into a large  corporation. They work with producers all over the world. You can read more about their programs  in the  Americas , Africa, and Asia. Gifts with Humanity has gourd ornaments, recycled metal ornaments, hand embroidered ornaments, and papier mache ornaments. They will donate 10% of all of their sales at GiftswithHumanity.com to charities which the purchasers may choose at check out.

 Novica.com was created with the artist in mind. Their business model is artist centered rather than just product focused.  That is evidenced by their commitment to fair trade. The artists on Novica are independent and do not pay any fees for being listed.

Not only does Novica help create an atmosphere of respect for artists, visiting Novica is also an educational experience. On every product page, you will learn a little about the artist and their culture. You may want to read testimonials from artists whose lives have been changed by the fair trade practices of Novica. Hearing directly from the artist makes your purchase more personal and important as you enjoy the ornaments for years to come or gift them to someone who will appreciate the item you choose for them.

Novica has over 500 ornaments as well as other handcrafted collectibles, eco-friendly products, folk art, art glass, figurines, jewelry and wearable ornaments. A fun way to navigate the site is to click on the Region tab.  Handcrafted ornaments are offered from many areas of the world such as the Andes , Bali and Java , India , Mexico and West Africa . You can also just follow the link at the bottom of the page and view all of their Christmas Ornaments. You would really have a hard time finding these unique fair trade ornaments anywhere else without extensive travel to remote locations. Instead, you may just end up spending the whole day at Novica.

The ornaments at MataTraders.com are 100% hand-block printed cotton birds and are hand-appliqued in India by women co-op members. The bird ornaments are handmade as part of a fair trade women’s cooperative  that adheres to fair trade principles and creates opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers. Honoring fair trade policies, Mata Traders pays the artists and producers livable wages in safe and comfortable surroundings. They work at home or in small workshops rather than factories and child care and medical care are available as well.

The fabrics are made from eco-friendly vegetable dyes, a process that has been used in the culture of India for centuries. Keeping the designs simple and beautiful, the ornaments are 3″ long and available in four different colors:  Saffron, Purple, Teal or Grey.

The ornaments at Greenheart are fair trade felted wool ornaments and are handmade by artisans in Kathmandu, Nepal. Local artisans handcraft the ornaments out of 100% natural wool which is very soft to the touch. They attach a hanging string to the back of the ornament so that you can hang them on your Christmas tree or anywhere in your home or patio where you want a little touch of color. Certified by the Fair Trade Federation, the artisans and producers working with Greenheart are paid a living wage and are ensured a safe and healthy work environment. The folks at Greenheart suggest that you can change the world by shopping. Each wool ornament that you purchase from them is a vote for sustainable and fair business practices.

Discover more ornaments and figurines that support the work of craftspeople around the world on the Ornaments.com.

 

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