Handmade felt finger puppets double as ornaments created and assembled by skilled artisans working in a fair trade production center in Kathmandu, Nepal. Artisans use 100% natural wool and non-toxic, azo-free dyes. 6.25 inches tall.
Exceptional and skillful hand felting techniques are employed in the making of the delightful Wild Woolies line. Because the felting and most of the stitching process is all done by hand with natural materials that can be sustainably harvested, hand felted products have a relatively soft impact on the environment.
About Dropenling Handicraft Center
In the heart of the old Tibetan quarter in Lhasa, just a ten minute walk from the Jokhang temple, is the Dropenling Handicraft Center. Dropenling means “giving back for the betterment of all sentient beings.” The program is the brainchild of the Tibet Artisan Initiative (TAI), a project of the Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund a Boston-based organization founded in 1997 to help Tibetans in Tibet.
Some of Dropenling’s most popular products include their hand and finger puppets. A professional costume designer was brought to Dropenling to work with a group of seven tailors to develop these wonderfully animated animals. From top to bottom and tip to tail, the woolen appliqué detailing is more than captivating. The group started with snowlion and tiger puppets as they are commonly found throughout Tibetan art, and make great characters!
In 2007, Dropenling became a self-sustaining business whose profits are re-invested into further support of the Tibetan artisan community. In addition to providing a steady market to Tibetan artisans through the Dropenling store, TAI has developed a number of other economic development programs that address problems and issues faced by the artisans today.
Fair Trade Matters!
At Yoga Geek we feel that the principles of Fair Trade mirror the finest principles embodied in Yoga and Meditation traditions of the past and present. 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:
- 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.
- Fair Trade embraces practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
- Artisans take pride in their work. Crafts are handmade, which translates into closer attention to detail and in the end higher-quality products
- By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare, and schools.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.