The essence of Fair Trade is in our actions not just our words
Showing we care – going beyond the label
Fair Trade Day on 13th May ‘honours the movement for all labourers in the world to be fairly paid for work they do and the products they create’
Artisanne’s very active approach to Fair Trade means that paying both fairly and directly is a baseline for us because our role goes far beyond that. We truly care about the welfare of our artisans and ensure they have what they need, when they need it and how they need it.
This understanding comes down to the close relationship Emma and I have developed with our wonderful team of women weavers in Senegal over the past 9 years, through visiting, listening and adapting as things evolve. At the start just 3 women were weaving for us and now there are over 120 thanks to gradual improvements in how we work together and us showing our support in tangible ways.
A few things have made a big difference to them like supplying all their raw materials and upfront payments to save time and ensure consistent quality and quantity. This was a new way of working for them at the start, it demonstrated our commitment and trust and has become standard practice.
We also created work for their unemployed husbands and sons during Covid because we were worried about the whole community in the villages and similarly we put back 10% of profits into our ‘Journey to Learning’ initiative. This funded a school bus to save the children a long tiring walk but now happily there’s a local school it covers stationery supplies for 200 pupils instead.
Financially our weavers can rely on our regular payments direct to their mobile phones (thanks to new technology). This is faster and gives them even greater control which they really value.
Fair Trade is clearly not just a label for us, every basket you buy allows us to go well beyond it together and we appreciate your support on behalf of all our weavers.
“Fair and softly goes far”
(Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes)