I am originally from Germany. I trained as a librarian and worked in the media industry running a commercial photo library for 18 years before deciding to get involved in fair trade. I like the idea of fair trade and paying fair prices for handmade, high quality products that bring joy to one's life and also make great presents.
Consumerism is now a hot topic, but let's face it - we cannot go back to a time where we travelled around in horse drawn carriages, we believed the world was flat and we knew nothing about other cultures and people with different believes.
Instead we should concentrate on buying goods that are not made by child labour, in unsafe and unhealthy environments and for which the workers are paid so little, they cannot even afford to buy the seeds to grow their own food. If we want to buy accessories and fashion then let's at least make sure they are fair trade and eco friendly - and there are a lot of innovative makers and artisans out there that help reduce waste, use sustainable resources and no chemicals in the making of their artworks.
50% of our products are sourced from BAFTS, IFAT or Fair Trade Federation members. The other 50% come from small suppliers that cannot yet afford to apply for membership of any of these organisations - I feel they need to be given a chance and as much support as possible which is why I work closely with them.
Are the artisans compensated fairly for their work?
Yes. According to the World of Good Fair Trade Calculator www.fairtradecalculator.org – the artists are earning between 7 times to 15 times of their ‘national minimum wage’ for their piecework. The prices are set by the cooperatives and production is in their control.
All of Cebra's other accessories and the organic skin care range are sourced with the same ethical principles in mind: help less fortunate people help themselves, rather than make them dependent on charitable handouts that keeps them in poverty and gives them no incentives and hope for their future. But make sure that sustainable and/or recycled materials are used as well as pure organic vegan ingredients in the creams, lotions and soaps that we sell.
Buy with a clear conscience - buy fair trade and eco friendly.
P.S. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive FREE updates, tips, info and Special Offers. Read about my battle with acne and how I won it - click here