Bangladesh Artisans

TTV_31965-cushionfleet1The next time you settle in to watch your favourite TV show, you might be snuggling up against two hundred years of history.

When Irani Sen, Director and Founder of Craft Resource Centre in India, paid us a visit in July, we were awestruck when she told us about the complex geopolitical factors that led to the creation of the artisan group that designs and manufactures one of our favourite new products.

I don’t know about you, but when I think fall, I think colourful leaves, walks in the woods, cozy knits and warm drinks. Every September, I get in the spirit of transition, because September was always  back-to-school time. So, even now as an adult, I get the feeling that I’m starting a new chapter of life. Since I’m no longer in school, I love to mark the changing of the season in other ways.

As the weather gets more and more chilly, I’m going to be spending more time in my home – so why not make it reflect those lovely autumn feelings? Here’s how I transitioned my home to fall this year.

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What looks like an egg, is as hard as rock, and has the superhuman ability to help save endangered elephants and rainforests?

Say hello to tagua, the seed of a palm tree found in South American tropical countries ranging from Ecuador to northwestern Brazil. Commonly known as ivory palms or tagua palms, these trees’ scientific name means, “plant ivory.”

Imagine this: One morning, you arrive at your job to find your workplace destroyed – singed, blackened and falling apart from a massive fire.

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When Bombolulu Workshops, based in Kenya, was destroyed in March, the artisans and owners were left wondering what to do next. They worried that their future was in jeopardy. The group quickly rallied – they needed help, and fast. As soon as they could, Bombolulu sent an email to each fair trade organization that purchases products from them. The subject line read, ‘FIRE OUTBREAK AT THE BOMBOLULU WORKSHOPS.’

The fire ripped through the workshop, showroom and their inventory, with total damage estimated at around $200,000 US.