Fair Trade Principle 8: Cultivate Environmental Stewardship

Earth Day Every Day Bag {The Little Market}Photo by Alandra Chavarria

Fair trade is a multifaceted movement considering the well-being of producers, consumers, and the environment, which captures the linkages between production and quality of life. Under the fair trade framework, producers promote environmental stewardship by, whenever possible, reducing, reclaiming, and recycling materials. Supporters of the movement recognize that reducing the environmental footprint of production cycles has a positive effect on entire communities. Many artisans are subsistence farmers who have resided in ancestral lands for generations. Mass production and chemical waste can pollute water supplies, reduce agricultural productivity, and decrease air quality, thus resulting in negative health implications for agricultural artisan communities, particularly for children.

Fair trade proposes a pathway through which current generations can meet their needs without compromising the environment for future generations. A fair trade production cycle, takes into consideration the long-term implications of water usage, and waste disposal, among other processes, on the environment. At The Little Market, we are proud to practice fair trade principles and carry products made in an environmentally responsible manner. Some of our products are even made entirely of recycled materials.

Mudcloth Journals {The Little Market}Photo by Alandra Chavarria

Craft Boat

Our exclusive gift boxes, journals, stationery sets, and gift tags are made with 100 percent recycled cotton handmade paper. On a daily basis, Craft Boat recycles tons of cotton T-shirt waste from the garment industry and turns them into beautiful paper goods. The artisans begin the process by cutting the cotton into scraps and mixing the with water to create a pulp. The pulp is then compressed into individual sheets, which are then hand-painted. This process gives a new life to waste that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills. This process not only creates sustainable employment for artisans, it helps maintain the craft of papermaking while reducing the impact on the environment.

Silver Bowls {Marisa Vitale - The Little Market}Photo by Marisa Vitale

Jeevankala

The materials used in the creation of JeevanKala products include organic grass-like material and recycled wrappers. The wrappers are collected by volunteers working on recycling programs focused on reducing trash pollution in Himalayan villages. The wrappers are woven in a circular pattern and held by twine that is threaded through every strand. In addition to reducing trash waste, the production of these unique decorative pieces provides opportunities for artisans, many of whom are single mothers, widows, and individuals with disabilities.

To see more of our collection, visit our site to see a variety of options, such as reusable burlap bags, hand-woven baskets made from locally grown grasses, glassware made from recycled materials, and bags repurposed from huipil  fabrics. We are proud to work with artisan groups that implement fair trade practices and create products in a sustainable manner while preserving cultural techniques. Thank you for supporting artisan-made products and environmentally friendly practices!

You may also be interested in:
Fair Trade Principle 5: Pay Fairly & Promptly
Fair Trade Principle 6: Support Safe & Empowering Work Conditions
Fair Trade Principle 7: Ensure the Rights of Children

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