Tradition and innovation
The Pandemic and lockdown situation has led to a change in working methods giving way to an intensity of making, of crafting, and creativity in so many forms. People have embraced creativity in isolation, and in a time of global adversity have made the most of beautiful things. An appreciation of homespun traditional techniques has re-emerged, making do and mending, re-using what is to hand.
This theme celebrates traditional craft techniques demonstrating an appreciation of authenticity and the talent of global artisans. 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.
Changing practices in global production and travel have seen our environmental footprint lessen and we have started to see evidence of the world healing. During ‘lockdown’ skies around the world were vapour trail free, pollution was visibly reducing, the sky became clear blue and with that came blue sky thinking, maybe life can be better, maybe we can also slow down, maybe we will all need less, maybe we can appreciate more beauty in what we have.
There is a growing awareness about the need to preserve our worlds natural resources and a new appreciation of ‘less is more’. By using local natural materials and recycling techniques, Fair Trade artisans demonstrate this commitment to environmental responsibility.
Sharing new spaces
This unique time 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 had to learn to work in new ways with our colleagues, adopting new technologies. To ‘Zoom’ has become part of our vocabulary. We have had to look at each other in grids, convenient sized boxes gaining a little insight into each other’s lives.
Our homes have become virtually shared, converted into multi-use spaces. We have had to maintain social distance relying on close friendship bubbles and family for our shared social experiences whether it be listening to music, exercising or dining. Fair Trade artisans have adapted to this trend by creating products suited to such shared experiences.
Although we collectively are finding ways of coping with this new normal, the underlying uglier injustices of racism, inequality, political instability, conflict and oppression continue to spread and cause pain and suffering in the world. Events of recent years have led to collective international responses where people joined together to protest against injustice or to act collectively against disaster.
Another sense of collectivism has 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 fair trade community shares and promote this ethos whilst supporting disadvantaged artisans and refugees across the globe.
A neighbourly connectedness has appeared, a sense of all being in the same boat wherever we are in the world, a sense of a joint mission, a sense of collective responsibility, kindness and compassion towards others, common community respect. The lockdown situation imposed on us during the pandemic created an opportunity to appreciate our familiy members, our homes, our immediate vincinity, our neighbours and our community.
Fair Trade Enterprises have always taken this approach of sharing community responsibility, working collectively to improve the livelihoods of the wider community through their crafts.