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Fair Textiles: Research

Click on the links below for information and stories that will help you with this project.

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Cotton: traditional vs. organic batik small.jpg (31188 bytes) Batik in Ghana
organic cotton small.jpg (25595 bytes) ‘STEP case study’ - Organic cotton in Peru kente.jpg
‘STEP case study’ - Kente cloths in Ghana
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What are sweatshops? This fair traded bag is made from 100% cotton that is hand loomed by a small family business in Nepal. Click here for source
Traditonal weaving in Peru.jpg (66444 bytes) Textile systems have developed in Peru over the millennia and it is vital to preserve these traditions. Organisations such as The Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco aims to protect and revive Peruvian Inca textile systems. The Centre's approach is to visit, establish and maintain reciprocal relationships with selected weaving communities in the Cusco region.

The Centre purchases textiles to encourage talented weavers to continue weaving and learning while earning money to support their families. Another approach used by the Centre builds on the Andean tradition of partnerships formed between children learning to weave and experienced village weavers. The Centre is encouraging elders in the communities, who carry rare information, to pass their expertise to the next generation.
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The Eco Mule is made from a luxurious Italian microfiber noted for its breathability, easy treatment and water resistance. The microfibre used for the upper is treated without any chemicals using all water-based adhesives, better both for the workers in the factory and the environment. The soles are made from Treetap rubber, a sustainable crop that comes from the sap of rubber trees, sourced from converted Columbian cocaine plantations. Midsoles made from recycled cartons. 100% recycled carton packaging.
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These woollen and cotton jackets, hats, gloves and scarves have been hand knitted in the Kathmandu Valley by home workers, many of whom are Tibetan refugees. Most of the knitters are low-paid agricultural workers. By fitting in the knitting work with their agricultural cycles, they are able to earn extra income from home. The producers work closely with talented British designers who are careful to consider traditional techniques inherent to the local community. These handmade, fairly-traded woollens have timeless appeal.
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An amazing project in Delhi, endeavouring to provide income for the urban poor, has developed a unique and energy-efficient method for recycling discarded polythene plastic bags. Plastic litter is becoming a major problem in India with all kinds of consequences – many cows die from ingesting polythene. Through this fantastic project, artisans are trained (from collection to production) to create coloured sheets of handmade recycled plastic that are pieces of art in themselves. However, with the aid of talented designers, the sheets are turned into beautiful, useful products. Even colours within the materials are created by the clever amalgamation of the original coloured plastic.
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This glorious silk material has been created and supplied by vegetarians who have allowed the silk worms to chew their way out of the cocoons. The lovely characteristic texture in the silk is caused by the break in the cocoon threads. Eternally elegant accessories, these beautiful Mathka silk scarves in rich luscious mulberry, gold and plum, are made in India using traditional hand spinning and weaving skills passed down through the generations to rural craftspeople who are paid a fair wage for their talents.
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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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