Vandanamu Fair Trade
Vandanamu Fair Trade imports and sells textile and wood products from South East India. The focus of this enterprise is the fishing village of Chinna Mudaliar Chavadi, near Pondicherry, which was devastated by the tsunami. Here Vandanamu set up a sewing unit, Sathya Handicrafts, to provide training and livelihood for survivors.
They mostly make screen-printed cotton bags, now sold in the UK, Jersey and France. Vandanamu also supports Venkateswara Wood Products, a family business in the same village. With their Fair Trade premiums and substantial donations, these woodworkers have built a two-story workshop, which now also houses the sewing unit.
Ethical and Environmental Policy
Our principal aim is to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities, under fair conditions, for a long-marginalised village community which suffered the additional severe distress of the tsunami. This we have done by creating and supporting in the village two fairly-trading producer groups, setting up in the UK a network of sympathetic volunteers who develop and inform the client base, and fostering links between them all. It is a people-to-people enterprise, a partnership between producers and individual consumers based on mutual trust and respect. It receives considerable local support and encouragement - in India from Maya Organic, a large "collective of collectives", and in the UK from the Co-operative Membership. Our most important goal is to grow our sewing unit into a completely autonomous women's co-operative.
Ecological considerations impose constraints - or provide opportunities, depending on one's viewpoint. With the help of Maya Organic our sewing unit will soon be using only certified organic cotton (difficult to achieve, for a very small business). Our wood-workers use only Acacia Mangium, a cultivated monsoon-Asia close-grained wood. Cotton bags reduce plastic pollution and beautiful wooden spoons discourage use of steel or plastic ones. Happily the`"Social Premiums" funded by our trade, and substantial donations, also provide opportunities to combine social and ecological benefits: the solar-powered lighting system we have provided to the adjacent village night-school is an example we hope to extend and repeat elsewhere.
Vandanamu Fair Trade is listed in the following categoriesClothing & Fashion / Fabric & Textiles
Clothing & Fashion / Accessories
Business Services / Suppliers
House & Home / Furniture, Textiles and Upholstery