In the modern world we often do not think about where our goods come from. All we want is high quality goods at the lowest possible price and we really do not think about where the goods were made. Indeed, those who want handmade bags just want something to show off and do not really get concerned if the person who made it was paid well or not. Sustainable products too are sometimes only brought in from third world countries but no one knows how the product was made in this instance either.
Because of the way in which goods are sourced, it is often the middle man or the company bringing in the goods which make the most money out of a product. Little goes to the artisans who produce the goods but because they have no voice, they are often side tracked in the ensuing melee.
Many large companies famous in the malls and high streets around the world have woken up to the fact that people are now more socially aware and have started to ask questions about where the goods come from. Indeed, some stores have been boycotted when the public found that their goods were made in sweat shops with children as young as five having to put in a long day just to get a few cents.
Because of this, fair trade companies have sprung up and will only bring is goods where the artisans get a decent living wage depending on which country they live in. One such company brings in sandals made from recycled tires which are made in East Africa. The soles are literally the treaded tires with the tops being decorative bead work or leather straps made by people from that country also.
Because of this kind of trade, women have been able to put their children in school, where they belong, instead of having to carry the kids with them and everyone having a hand in stringing beads etc so that the family can have a meal at the end of the day. We, the public, feel better that the profit is being shared on a more equitable basis and we can also be assured that the materials used are recycled. A sort of double whammy for the buyer!
Look out for internet sites which sell all kinds of fair trade goods since they will certainly not stock anything which does not come from sustainable sources. Even the leather used to make sandals or bind books are the secondary resource after the animal has been killed for meat. Since the herds are grown specifically for meat and killed humanely, at least this goes some way to righting the balance for over indulgent westerners.
Of course, nothing will ever replace fair pay for the worker who toils all day at whatever craft he is good at. But at least by going the fair trade route, customers are assured to some degree that these workers will be treated with some dignity. Think of this the next time that a new handbag is in the offing!
Article Source: http://www.bharatbhasha.net
Article Url: http://www.bharatbhasha.net/family.php/274345
Article Added on Monday, December 6, 2010
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