Wikipedia describes Fair trade as "an organized social movement that aims to help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. It advocates the payment of a higher price to exporters as well as higher social and environmental standards.
Fair Trade is at the heart of our business at Tropical Traders Africa.
We have around 15 families that produce all our different products. They are self-employed and do not work out of large factories or warehouses. Every single item is hand made and we work very closely together in developing new styles and designs. This is what makes our product so unique and special. This has had an enormous beneficial impact on the families concerned and has created a huge upliftment within their communities. We pride ourselves on being a Fair Trade company.
Our products are hand-made from raffia and recycled materials where possible.
Some interesting facts about raffia and the manufacturing of our products: Raffia is obtained from the raffia palm tree or raphia farinifera, which has the largest leaves of any palm tree, so it is a logical source for fibre. The tree is now cultivated specifically for harvest, meaning raffia is produced from a sustainable natural resource. It is valued by crafters as it is soft, durable and easy to dye. It is invaluable to outdoor projects as it does not shrink with moisture, yet is pliable enough to weave. It is dyed using natural vegetable dyes and then woven into lengths which are then used to manufacture all the different items available.
The Raffia is dyed by hand:
See these vibrant colours!
...and woven to create our beautiful fabrics and baskets.