In celebration of Fairtrade Fortnight, this week´s blog focuses on how we ensure that all of our Charlotte´s Web products are traded fairly.
The word Fairtrade itself is a trademark, and refers to the organisation which works tirelessly to ensure fair prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. This incredibly relevant organisation focus their efforts on supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities to try and ensure they have more control over their futures and help them to learn new ways of protecting the environment in which they live and work.
At Charlotte’s Web, the way in which our jewellery is created is of the utmost importance to us. The majority of our pieces are made by hand in India, and traded fairly along with our own branded packaging. To us, the phrase ´traded fairly ‘or ´ fair trade ‘means that we go to extreme lengths to ensure that all of the people employed by our manufacturers are treated well, and are fairly paid.
Since day one, we have never used middle men, instead, personally sourcing the finest, most skilled artisans, and ensuring that all working conditions are thoroughly inspected. Building up relationships with cottage industries and small, family run businesses allows us to support them and their communities.
Our main base in India is the vibrant state of Rajasthan, an exotic and mesmerising place with a cast of brightly coloured turbans and saris, camels, primitive villages, and talented local craftsmen.
Here, we also employ women to bring their own individual talents to assist us to make our colourful silk saris, creating ethical fashion, and giving them gainful employment in a still very much male dominated world. We go the extra mile to ensure that no children under the legal age are employed in any of our workshops.
We have grown together with our suppliers, beginning in the back room of a small Indian shop, which has since flourished into a beautiful showroom, newly built last year, showcasing the result of years of hard work, skill and trust which we have created together.
We often hear criticism of Western companies who use ´foreign´ labour to create their products, however, we feel that by bringing our creations to life in India, we are not only harnessing the power of centuries of craftsmanship and skills into creating modern eco chic pieces of handmade jewellery, such as our Karma Spinning Bangle we are also bringing jobs and a sense of community to areas which need it the most.
It is vital to us that we visit our manufacturers at least twice a year, and Charlotte personally spends time checking every process, consulting directly with the team to ensure we are always improving on quality, especially when choosing and sourcing precious stones. Sharing dinner in their family homes and building a mutual respect which has spanned over ten years, these are the people who make our designs into a reality.
At Charlotte´s Web, creating conscious, ethically made pieces is at the very heart of our business, and always will be. We continue to support other companies who work in the same way as us, such as Made Jewellery, who also produce fabulous, eco chic, conscious fashion. In a world where so many are denied basic human rights, we will always ensure that the people who are so invaluable in our creative process are well respected and well treated.
To discover more about our consciously created collections, visit our website https://charlotteswebuk.com/