Meet the Artisans – Just Trade UK
“Thank you for the work, for me and my family it has been a blessing from the heavens and really I don’t know how we could have coped without it.”
Primi – Hope Jewellery, Peru
Hope jewellery is handmade by women living in two shanty towns in Lima and two provincial cities in Peru so that they can work from, or close to, home. This work has made a significant difference to their household incomes, meaning the women have been able to improve their homes, pay for medical treatment and educate their children, as well as spend more time with their families.
“I love working at Flowering Desert, I feel safe here and have hope for the future. I have learned so much and this year I have even begun to teach others.” Valli – Flowering Desert Project, India
Just Trade UK works with the Flowering Desert Project, based in a rural community in Tamil Nadu, Southern India, where they would otherwise have limited means of earning a regular income. The ladies work in a safe, supportive environment and receive a fair wage. This project offers a way for the women to increase their skills and future work possibilities, often bringing them status within their community for the first time.
The Thai group, based in Mai Chau, are the third largest ethnic group in Vietnam. Their ancestors migrated to Vietnam thousands of years ago and settled mainly in the Northwestern regions. They have a long, rich culture of textile weaving, using cotton and silk on traditional manual table looms.
This group use their daily surroundings for inspiration. The patterns used in these pieces are based on a type of wild fruit called the Pili nut, or Asian olive which grows in the jungle of the local area and is used in their daily meals. As a way of giving thanks for the fruit, the Thai women weave these patterns into their textiles. These products help to cultivate the artisans’ traditional weaving heritage and also improve their lives by providing regular work and a fair wage.
“I want to thank you for your orders and for your support, especially after the terrible earthquake that affected our town. With the income from this work we have been able to start rebuilding our lives.”
Darwin – Sosote, Ecuador
Just Trade collaborates with four workshops in Ecuador, each specialising in a different traditional technique using hand carved tagua. Tagua is a nut from a type of palm that grows in the South American jungle; often known as vegetable ivory, it is a sustainable and environmentally sound alternative to animal ivory.
The artisan selects a nut and then forms it using a variety of sanding processes. Details are added with hand tools and the final product is polished and sometimes dyed.
Just Trade have collaborated with these artisans to develop training programmes and design workshops, enabling the production of jewellery suitable for export.