Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Be a Fair-Trade Wedding Guest

We're delighted to be featured in the Fair Trade Federation's Fair Trade Wedding Guide, which is full of ideas how wedding planners and wedding guests can add joy to the day. As the introduction to the guide says, "Fair
Trade is an economic partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. What better way to start your new life together than choosing items for your wedding that represent these values?"

We have lots of ideas for fair-trade wedding gifts. As featured on page 31 in the FTF guide, our wedding mola would make a spectacular gift. Handmade by the Kuna women of the San Blas Islands of Panama, this mola uses reverse appliqué. The women layer fabric and cut intricate patterns that expose colors in the underlying layers. This one-of-a-kind piece is collector quality with fine, even lines, invisible sewing and lovely composition. Our molas look beautiful framed (we recommend a framer who specializes in textiles), or fashioned into a sumptuous cushion cover.

Those who like to give tableware should check our our offerings from Bulgaria. Traditional designs have been incorporated into ceramic tableware that is food-safe, ovenproof, and microwaveable. Crossroads Trade carries plates, individual and serving bowls, mugs, and steins in a variety of colors and patterns.

Our telephone-wire baskets from South Africa are part of a story of local entrepreneurship. The first telephone wire baskets were made from multi-colored plastic-coated telephone-wire scraps, which had been carefully saved by basket weavers.After much experimentation, the artisans devised a technique of weaving over a form a fantastic multi-color bowl from the top down. As the baskets became more popular, telephone lines were raided to provide more raw materials. Our suppliers now use specially-purchased telephone wire for their works. 
Our Rwandan baskets are part of the story of Rwanda's rebirth following the 1994 genocide. The thousands of widows and orphans who were left alone after the slaughter are rebuilding their lives through their own talents, including the hand crafting of these baskets. Our baskets are not only beautiful and useful, but contribute to that rebuilding process.

We have lots more items on our Crossroads Trade web site and our pages on World of Good. We ship all over the world, either to you or to the happy couple. Bring extra-meaningful congratulations and best wishes this wedding season.

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