Meet the Artisans of Caribbean Craft

  • Caribbean Crafts

    Founded in 1990 by a multinational group of young entrepreneurs, Caribbean Craft promotes employment in Haiti by training unskilled craftspeople, and by assisting the independent artisans through the introduction of new designs and new market outlets for painted Haitian metal art.

    Caribbean Craft's specialty is the brightly colored, artistically hand-painted Haitian metal art wall hangings. These hand-painted Haitian metal art pieces are truly works of art. Wall art designs include painted metal geckos, painted metal dragonflies and painted metal frogs.

     


  • About Caribbean Craft

    Source: http://www.caribbean-craft.com/shop/auxpage_1/

    Based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Caribbean Craft was founded in 1990 by young Dutch and Belgian entrepreneurs who wanted to address Haiti’s high unemployment with artisan training, design assistance and new export market outlets.

    Caribbean Craft works to both coordinate producers and export their products wholesale. In the course of their work, they have created jobs for hundreds of local artisans, providing income for over 500 families in 2008. Haitian artisans have gained a sense of dignity and empowerment by becoming wage earners, either independently or as in-workshop artists. Haiti is a center of artistic creativity and inventiveness, which is exemplified by the vibrant tradition and continuation of self-taught painting with colorful style and lines.

    Caribbean Craft strives to find ecological uses for recycled materials. The highly original and internationally renowned “oil drum art” is made from recycled steel drums. The steel is molded into ornate forms and the selections range from Folkore art, to Voodoo; it can include mystical and religious symbolism, as well. Trendy paper maché comes from empty cement bags and starch made from locally grown, renewable arrowroot; it is fashioned into beautiful and festive ornaments, money or “piggy” banks, serving trays, and a variety of other useful creations. They even produce their own glue from the starch of locally grown manioc and use plastic bottles and gallon containers. Caribbean Craft also helps artists design functional products from these recycled products, including napkin holders in tropical designs for picnics and barbeques.

    Caribbean Craft long term vision is to continue producing in a sustainable manner and to increase the diversity of art and opinions that are passed on to established business in the United States and Canada.

    Haiti, intermittent with hunger riots and hurricanes, directly benefits from the infrastructure built by Caribbean Craft. Hurricanes—and the flooding and disease that follow - have caused hundreds of deaths since 2007. Caribbean Crafts supports Haitian artisans with fair wages, health and accident insurance, a pension system, and interest-free loans to meet their own needs when these crises strike.

    Caribbean Craft offers retailers the opportunity to buy many every day items that American and Canadian consumers need. From toys, household items, décor, holiday items, and art, their goods can supply any child with a fun gift or any adult something that might just come in handy, such as a doorstop, magnet, or keychain.

    Taken from Network Publications, Newsletter of the Fair Trade Federation, Volume 16, Issue 2, written by Francois Dresse & Danielle Powers.

    In 2006 Caribbean Craft became a Haitian women owned company.

     


     

  • Fair Trade Matters!

     

    Fair Trade Organizations
    At Yoga Geek we feel that the principles of Fair Trade mirror the finest principles of the various Yoga and Meditation traditions and practices that we respect. Fair Trade is a global movement that began in the 40’s and exists now as various parallel initiatives throughout the world. Driven by the efforts of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and socially motivated individuals, Fair Trade began by providing advice, assistance and support to disadvantaged producers. Fair Trade has come to be a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.

    In keeping with the spirit of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, here are eight reasons we feel so strongly about, and are happy to be offering, Fair Trade products to our Yoga and Meditation communities:

    1. Fair Trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, where artisans receive a fair price and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
    2. Fair Trade embraces practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
    3. Artisans take pride in their work. Crafts are handmade, which translates into closer attention to detail and in the end higher-quality products
    4. By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare, and schools.
    5. Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
    6. Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than working for a middleman, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
    7. By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and/or the goods you use.
    8. Fair Trade prohibits child labor, ensures health and safety measures are established in order to avoid work-related injuries and follows International Labor Conventions (ILO). Workers are guaranteed access to healthcare and community development premiums can be used to provide greater access to /quality of healthcare and education.

     


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