Saturday, 21 July 2012

Fairtrade, eco and all that jazz

We like to think we're pretty ethical people here at Three Bags Full but if we limited ourselves to selling only officially fairtrade yarns we wouldn't have the breadth of stock that we want to offer.

But now and then someone will pop in and ask what we have that's fairtrade or whatever. And well, put me on the spot about anything and I flounder about, mind totally blank. So, while I'm on the ball, these are a few examples...

Artesano yarns: Artesano are 'socially conscious' wool suppliers and each hank of their beautiful Manos yarns from South America benefits the community it's produced in. At the moment we sell mostly the Artesano alpaca (also South American, from Peru) but are trying out some special purchase Manos Silk Bend, which is gorgeous.

Mirasol: Mirasol yarns support the children of Peruvian shepherds. A percentage of each sale is donated to the funding of a school in the Puno region. The project is named after a real little girl called Mirasol and you can read more about it here. We have Mirasol K'Acha and Akapana.

Zimame: okay, not yarn, but we buy most of our buttons from Zimame who supply beautiful carded, handmade, ceramic buttons, the sales of which support women in Africa. This is what their website has to say:
Zimame Trading Co supports fair trade companies, selling high quality, hand-made goods from producers in Southern Africa...
The term fair trade does mean different things to different people, but to us it essentially means that products have been sourced from companies who pay a fair wage and assist their workers, mainly women, to maintain a better standard of living. They are often the only, or main wage earner, supporting large extended families. A fair wage means they can send their children to school, have proper food and gives dignity and hope.
Some of the companies we support were set up to directly support orphans and their carers.

So, those are the main contenders, altho' we also have other odd things - the Debbie Bliss Eco Aran springs to mind, both fairtrade and organic - and we'll aim to add more as and when we can.

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