Fair Grounds is a Fair Trade social enterprise, based in Leeds, see http://shop.fair-grounds.org.uk We work with artisans around the world to bring their beautiful and hand-crafted gifts, jewellery and homeware to the UK, both for wholesale and retail. We’ve developed long-term relationships with the producers we work with and have seen the positive impact fair trade is having, not only on themselves as individuals, but also for their families and wider communities. Here are 3 stories of people we are working with.
Every week in a small community, a group of women with disabilities known as the Rag Rug Collective meet together to socialise and patiently create vibrant, stunning rag rags using sack cloth and scraps of colourful fabric, off-cuts from a local factory. These rugs vary in size, shape, colour and design but all have one thing in common, made with love and pride they provide an income and empowerment to women who previously had to rely on family and friends for everything.
A small rural cooperative of 12 women, 10 of who are single mothers, are making a living designing, producing and selling colourful, stylish pewter silver jewellery set with acrylic, shell and stone. Jewellery making is part of their heritage and the traditional skills they use have been passed down through the generations.
“Our mission is to preserve our artisan traditions and to provide for our families. We are proud of every piece we create.” Paula (cooperative member)
Baguio City, The Philippines
Newspapers to be thrown away are gathered up by members of the cooperative who then recycle the old news, skilfully transforming the paper into brand new stylish and hard-wearing tablemats, coasters and photoframes. Since forming on a small scale 20 years ago, the cooperative now provides well paid jobs for over 100 people, in a region where many people are exploited through work.