“fair trade is a window into exciting times ahead”
Recently AfriBeads, with a number of other members of the NSW Fair Trade Network, took a trip down to Melbourne for the Australian Home and Giving Fair. People wove through pathways of stalls, eager footsteps wearing down the carpet. Just off the exhibition hall there was a vibrant hub full of exotic international goods and unique hand-made products. This was perhaps the most exciting thing of all, as it was the first ever Fair Trade Zone.
Thank you so much to all the people who came to visit us at the recent Home and Giving Fair in Melbourne. And an extra hello to those we met for the first time. It was a joy to talk to people about fair trade and AfriBeads and share the story of our Kind Mother artisans in Uganda.
The Fair Trade Zone was an area designated to fair trade. It provided a fantastic way to show case the variety of hand-made, colourful and global products not usually available in Australia.
AfriBeads exhibited some of our new stock and old favourites. All-in-all our best sellers were Jinja drops necklaces, multi-strand necklaces, the woven bowls, and market bags.
Rosemary, the founder of AfriBeads relished in the rare opportunity to see so many fair trade goods and traders in one place. “Not only was there AfriBeads jewellery, but a new range of designer pyjamas… There were great new shoes from Peru, scarves and some other great baskets from Bangladesh, and statues and bowls from other parts of Africa.”
Fair trade, however, is essentially about people, and that was where the joy of the experience lay. It was a wonderful opportunity for old stockists to catch up on how AfriBeads is going and for new retail partners to join the journey. It was also “a really great atmosphere”, Rosemary said, “being able to work with other people who are like-minded and supporting communities around the world.”
It was a remarkable chance for people to help grow not just AfriBeads, but the fair trade story as well. Having a fair trade section is a window into exciting times ahead with ethical consumption rapidly becoming the new way to shop. We would love it if you came and visited us at the Sydney Home and Giving Fair in February next year. We look forward to seeing you there!The AfriBeads team