Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Artisans working in Cambodia use the bombshells that litter the country side after decades of war to make jewellery. In each piece of this intricately made brass jewellery that is being sold in stores around the world lies a story that reflects both the best and the worst aspects of human nature.
Cambodia is a country that has been torn by continual wars; the late 1960’s saw Vietnam and the US bombing the country and decades of turmoil followed. The cost in human suffering and damage incalculable, but one thing appears to have been indestructible human optimism and ingenuity and it is this spirit that is lifting Cambodia from the rubble.
The old bomb casings are being gathered and some are being caught in the nets of fishermen. The brass casings of the bombs are then reused to make fairtrade jewellery. Bracelets, pendants, earrings, decorative pretty pieces that are destined to adorn women from wealthier countries. The brass from the bomb shells is now simply decorative jewellery and is being sold back to the countries from which the bombs initiated. An unusual and very attractive legacy of war.
Saturday, 03 December 2011
To a growing number of people, the value of an item that provides a positive change to another human being is great, add to that is the desire to own and give gifts that are earth friendly, are made by hand and where human talent is evident in the skill and creativity of the product. When one takes time to measure the overall value of fair- trade gifts to our basic humanity, to our curiosity, to our desire to own unique and interesting items, mass-produced, factory products bought in big box stores appear unimaginative and impersonal. Fair-trade items will never be price-competitive with mass-produced items, they can't be as the time required to make each item is hours often days, not minutes as in machine made products. But despite the cost difference the demand by shoppers for a greater positive impact of their dollars is evident in the increased desire for fair-trade and eco friendly gifts..
Even a small gift item with positive human impact shows your recipient that you’ve given their gift a lot more thought and haven't just grabbed something in a mad dash through a superstore a week before Christmas. Fair-trade gifts show your loved ones they are very important to you, you value the future of humanity and the environment and you put your dollars to work in a positive way. Not every gift can be fair-trade, but when fair-trade gifts are appropriate to your recipient, they are a wonderful choice