Celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight with ethical African bags from BagsandMore
We’re in the midst of Fairtrade Fortnight (24th February – 9th March 2014) which focuses attention on better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
So it’s a perfect time to hear once again from Jackie Savage at BagsandMore. Jackie who is from the north west specialises in ethically sourced bags and accessories.
We’ve asked her to tell us a bit more about how her bags are made and introduce us to this season’s additions to her collection.
After all the terrible weather the UK’s suffered over the past months, nothing could be better to cheer you up than a bag or scarf from BagsandMore.
This Indian Ocean island is one of the poorest countries in Africa. In 2012, its population was estimated at just over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less than two dollars per day.
Any initiative which offers to improve the lives of the people has to be a good thing, and our bags achieve just that.
The work involved in making these bags is complicated and it’s important to appreciate the input of the craftspeople working in these communities.
The outside of the bag is made from the leaves of the raffia palm which are harvested then hand processed, dyed and sun dried before being hand woven into these colourful designs as mats ready to produce baskets.
The mats are cut ready to be assembled for the outer surface and appliques. The bags are then individually machine-stitched together with their linings and finished with the leather straps and corners, which are put on again by hand.
Finally all the elements are brought together and this is what you see here – our BagsandMore bags!
The work involved in making every bag is demanding. However it not only provides income, it also offers an opportunity to develop new skills and generate self-respect.
So when you buy a beautiful Madagascan bag, remember the person who has put much time and effort into making that bag in Africa. Check out the new additions to our range below.
Buying handcrafted items
Finally, a story to demonstrate the importance of recognising the role of the artisan in every hand-crafted item you see for sale:
A woman saw a beautiful crocheted dress in a local shop so went in to find out the price. When the artisan told her how much the dress would cost, the lady thought that the price was too high and said “I want to buy a dress from you, but I think you charge too much.” The artisan was a little taken aback but replied “OK, how much do you think I should charge?”
The lady replied “I know the cost of the raw materials and the yarn, the ribbons and the buttons. I will even factor in the price of scissors.” Eventually she gave the artisan a price based on these calculations.
The final price which the woman had calculated was a lot less than the original price, but the artisan thought about it and said “OK then, give me a week”.
The woman was very pleased with herself and told all her friends what a clever deal she had negotiated.
A week later her parcel arrived. Full of excitement the woman opened it and inside discovered yarn, ribbons, buttons and a pair of scissors. Angrily she contacted the artisan and asked “How could you do this to me? I asked you for a dress and you sent me a box of yarn, ribbon, buttons and scissors?!”
The artisan quietly replies “My dear, you got exactly what you paid for. If you think there is something missing, you need to pay for it.”
The moral of the story is when you buy handmade goods you are not just buying the materials, you are paying for the time, effort, love and dedication which goes into making the product. Never undervalue this element – it is the most important one.
To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and the launch of the new BagsandMore SS14 collection, we’ve got a gorgeous demi-lune bag (first prize) and a Mara Marin scarf (second prize) to give away to two lucky winners.
All we want to know is:
What’s lurking at the bottom of your bag?
Pop it in the comments box below – but only one comment per person please.
So don’t be shy – whether it’s a supermarket receipt for family size Toblerone, a pair of flip-flops or some emergency wet wipes , we’d love to know?
Web site: bagsandmore.co.uk
Previous articles from BagsandMore:
By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.
Competition closing date: 9pm Monday 17th March 2014.
The winners will be the first names selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Monday 17th March 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.
Previous competition winners (last 6 months)
Creative Stitches & Hobbycraft Show – win tickets (1st September 2013). Winners Claire Jackson, Pauline Rendell, Joanna Arthur, Fran Morgan, Liz Ferguson, Michelle Smith, Dil Price, Pam Gregory, Linda Weatherley.
The Independent Interiors Show – win a house hamper (3rd September 2013). Winner Nichola Gill.
Indulge Fragrance Boutique – win bottles of perfume (8th September 2013). Winners Gillian Shiels, Leanne Williams, Julie Ward.
Creamline Dairies / Getting Kids to Eat Breakfast – win a Saturday Cookshop course with a celebrity chef (18th September 2013). Winner Sara Perry.
The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.
The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.
MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.
New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.
Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.
Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.
Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.
Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.
Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.
Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.
Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)
Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February). Winner Laura Vitty.