Fair Trade Jewelry

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Compostable Jewelry

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I cannot think of any other kind of pretty jewelry that can be more suitable to be compostable at some point in time than Tagua nut and seed jewelry.

Tagua is very hard and durable, but is not water resistant. Water will not destroy Tagua, but prolonged exposure to water or sun may cause the color to fade or the piece to damage or crack.

In one of my trips to Colombia I decided to create a few unique pieces of jewelry to wear. With Viviana’s help I created beautiful Tagua nut beads that combined with burlap and cotton strings made each design one of a kind. Whenever I wore the pieces, I received compliments and positive comments; even at the supermarket!

I left some of the pieces in the washroom cabinet for some time - right under the U shape pipe, unfortunately. Who would have though it was going to leak! I checked the wet bag and to my surprise the pieces started decomposing. Everything was full of mold. I could not save anything. I was sad because I lost my jewelry pieces but surprised and amazed as without intention, I proved the Tagua nut jewelry is compostable.

In United States alone, recycling and composting prevented 82 million tons of material away from being disposed of 2009, up from 15 million tons in 1980. This prevented the release of approximately 178 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the air in 2009—equivalent to taking 33 million cars off the road for a year. [source: EPA]

Why choosing sometimes polluted non fair trade, non eco friendly jewelry when there are other alternatives out there. I am adding another reason to choose Tagua nut jewelry over jewelry made from metal chains, plastic and other man-made materials; Tagua jewelry is compostable!

We walk on it, we grow on it and eat from it!

Fair Trade Jewelry

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, and flowers.

Taken from Wikipedia

Fair trade is a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in the international trading system by

  • Providing fair wages in the local context,
  • Supporting safe, healthy, and participatory workplaces,
  • Supplying financial and technical support to build capacity,
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability,
  • Respecting cultural identity,
  • Offering public accountability and transparency,
  • Building direct and long-term relationships, and
  • Educating consumers.

Taken from the FTF website

Why Fair Trade?

Fair Trade empowers producers in developing countries:

  • By giving marginalized producers access to markets which they otherwise wouldn’t have
  • By Establishing Sustainable and Equitable Trading Relationships
  • Through Capacity Building & Empowerment
  • Through Consumer Awareness Raising & Advocacy

Fair Trade in Plain English…

Fair Trade gives the producers, usually individual artisans or collectives, ability to sell their products in markets which they otherwise would not be able to access. For example, whereas artisans generally have access to their local market, working with a fair trade importer such as Pueblito, gives these same artisans access to worldwide markets regardless of how small they are. The size, geographical remoteness, poor telecommunications access, language barrier or lack of credit rating and traditional corporate structure would in a standard trading relationship present a barrier for importers to work with these artisans. Within the fair trade framework this barrier is overcome as a part of the fair trade relationship and in the interest of working with marginalized producers.

The trading relationship must meet certain criteria to be considered fair trade. For example, buyers/importers of fair trade goods MUST pay producers fair wages (or equivalent thereof) in the local context.  It also requires traders to provide technical and financial support which may include loans/credits, knowledge transfer or direct financial or technological support. If working with collectives or larger producers, the traders must ensure that producers provide safe, healthy and participatory workplaces.

How does buying fair trade tagua jewelry help?

In simple terms, buying any fair trade product helps by ensuring that producers see a larger portion of the price you pay. However these producers receive more than just more money. They receive assistance, knowledge and placement of their products in markets they could not reach on their own. It gives talented but disadvantaged or marginalized producers an opportunity to participate in a leveled global market.

Where can you buy Fair Trade jewelry?

Due to growth in popularity of Fair Trade, it has become much easier to find fair trade jewelry and goods. A simple search through your favorite search engine should reveal at least a few local shops.  Here are our suggestions:

On-line Eco-friendly Jewelry Store:

Bricks and Mortar stores:

To Be added