From Our Blog
Hey, what is felt, anyway?
A: Felt is a fabric made of wool fibers or animal hair held together without spinning, weaving or knitting. Fibers that will "felt" include wool, fur, and certain other hair fibers that hold together under appropriate conditions because of their peculiar microscopic structure.
How these trivets produced?
A: After carding (a kind of combing that gets all the wool fibers going in the same direction), the wool is dyed and dried. Then, skilled laborers compress the raw material by hand with the help of soap & hot water. While still wet, the felt is rolled into the ball shape. The shaping is done by hand without sewing or patching.
Hand manipulation and rubbing in combination with the application of hot water achieve the desired shape. The felt balls are then sun-dried.
These trivets and coasters are produced for us by a women's development aid project in Kathmandu that is dedicated to enhancing the dignity of severely disadvantaged Nepali women. The project helps these women develop the skills necessary to earn a living as well as providing benefits such as welfare and retirement programs, warm meals, bonuses, and a girl-child education fund.
You probably already know the hazards of regularly eating fast food. Heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, not to mention digestive issues, can be the result.
Did you know that buying fast fashion can be hazardous too?
The health and well-being of workers all around the world suffer because of the fast fashion industry. “Fast fashion” refers to clothing that’s made as quickly and cheaply as possible to meet an ever-changing desire for what’s deemed to be the most stylish and trendy.
The tragic downside of fast fashion was made painfully clear three years ago when 1,134 workers were killed and over 2,500 others were injured in the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was found that the morning of the collapse, workers were ordered by factory managers to enter and get to work even though several large cracks were visible in the building.
In addition to unsafe working conditions, laborers in the fast fashion industry are regularly denied bathroom breaks, not given sick leave, and are verbally and physically threatened by managers. People suffer through because they do not believe they have a better way to support themselves and their families. This not only happens in Bangladesh, but also in China, Cambodia, the Central African Republic and other countries in the developing world.
It’s up to each of us to choose a fashion “diet” that’s healthier for workers across the globe and also healthier for the environment. This choice is good for us, the consumers, too!
Fair Trade fashion offers great clothing in a variety of styles which are skillfully-crafted and don’t come at the cost of workers’ dignity or their safety and well-being. Certified fair trade artisans are guaranteed a living wage, safe working conditions, and in many artisan groups, health care and education support.
Global Gifts purchases handmade clothing (as well as jewelry and accessories) from fair trade organizations like Mata Traders, who work with sewers in India and Global Mamas, whose artisans are based in Ghana. Here’s a peek at just a few of the new fair trade fashions we’ll have at Global Gifts Short North for the Trunk Show starting May 6th!
[Photo Credits: Global Mamas]