Tradition and innovation
We are seeing a shift in working methods giving way to the intensity of making, crafting, and creativity in so many forms. During the Pandemic on an individual level, people embraced creativity in isolation and in a time of global adversity made the most of beautiful things. An appreciation of homespun traditional techniques emerged, making do and mending, re-using what was to hand. On a global level, with the recognition of the need to adopt more sustainable practices to reduce our environmental impact, small-scale production has also developed as a trend. New innovations are being developed to combine craft with technology bringing contemporary design and new approaches to material use to the forefront.
This theme celebrates traditional craft demonstrating an appreciation of authenticity and the talent of global artisans. It also values the creativity and resourcefulness of artisan communities willing to apply new innovations to their heritage techniques. Fair Trade makers connect with this re-engaged craft enthusiasm all over the world and invite you to celebrate the masters of their crafts and promote the champions of their trade.
As the climate crisis affects more and more populations across the planet, the conversation is changing from aspirational planning to taking shared responsibility for implementing change. In the world of trade, in order to see our environmental footprint reduce, commitment is needed to change energy use with a move from the use of fossil fuels towards renewables. The nature of global production needs to focus on the use and management of sustainable resources. What is increasingly evident is that if we don’t commit to this change in practice for the long term, environmental and human disasters caused by climate change will increase, affecting the poorest communities in the world most severely.
Fair Trade Social Enterprises demonstrate this commitment by respecting and valuing natural resources. By using local natural and recycled materials, and by developing innovative approaches to their production practices, craft artisans work to reduce environmental impact as well as increase social impact within their communities.
Sharing new spaces
This unique time of the last few years has given way to the desire to connect with old and new friends, chatting about our forced re-look at the world… a common sense of purpose. We have learned to work in new ways with our colleagues, adopting new technologies. ‘Virtual meetings’ have become part of our vocabulary. We look at each other in digital grids, convenient-sized boxes gaining a little insight into each others’ home lives. Our personal likes and dislikes are also shared on social media in a digital world of imagery and comment.
However, as this increasingly digital world envelopes our world of work and play, as our high streets change and shopping is increasingly carried out online, there is also a trend towards seeking new shared experiences and spaces. As humans we are still looking for real-life connections, sharing new social interactions of dining, shopping, exercising, or learning together.
In this collection, Fair Trade artisans have adapted to this trend by creating interactive modular forms suited to shared dining and home living. The interesting and impactful background stories of products and their makers also become conversation points in these shared spaces, where products can be appreciated for both their beauty and their background.
Events of recent years have led to collective international responses where people joined together to protest against injustice or to act collectively against war and disaster. Whilst we look positively towards a new normal in a post Pandemic world, the underlying ugly injustices of racism, inequality, political instability, war, conflict, and oppression continue to spread and cause pain and suffering in the world.
During this time another sense of collectivism ensued, making the world turn on itself and look in the mirror to challenge its reflection. It has been a time to collectively look at injustice and do something about it. The frustration, energy, and strength of communities working together have helped galvanise the attention of the world by bringing together a sense of collective spirit.
The Fair Trade community shares this collective spirit and promotes this ethos whilst supporting disadvantaged artisans and refugees with meaningful employment in Fair Trade Enterprises across the globe.
Wherever we were in the world, the challenging and unprecedented situation that occurred during the COVID19 Pandemic led to a neighbourly connectedness, a sense of a joint mission, a sense of collective responsibility, kindness and compassion towards others, and common community respect. ‘Lockdowns’ imposed on us created an opportunity to appreciate our family members, our homes, our immediate vicinity, our neighbors, and our community.
Never before has there been so much need for global shared responsibility whether it be in relation to the environmental crisis, trade justice, or supporting those affected by conflict.
Fair Trade Enterprises have always taken a holistic approach to the way that they function, sharing community responsibility, and working collectively to improve the livelihoods of the wider community through the development and promotion of their crafts.