Aussie retailer turns brass scars of war into fashion jewellery
ethical gifts, an online australian retailer of fair trade and eco-friendly products, is now importing unique handmade fashion jewellery pieces from cambodia.
the pieces are made from brass bomb shell casings and landmines that litter the countryside of cambodia, a country that has been affected by war and poverty for more than three decades. halo trust, a not-for-profit global organisation has 1,100 staff working to remove the hazardous debris to make the land safe again.
beth chesler, owner of ethical gifts has a strong belief in ethically made products.
“fair trade offers all of us the chance to put out a hand to help lift up others who are struggling,” says chesler. “fair trade is not charity, it offers workers and producers an opportunity to be paid fairly and treated with respect.”
ethical shopping is a growing trend as consumers become more socially responsible with their purchases and start to ask where their products actually come from, and how they were made.
according to fair trade australia and new zealand, australian consumer support of fair trade certified products continues to grow with sales rising almost 40 per cent in 2011 to just over $165 million. the continued growth in sales comes after increasing recognition of the fair trade mark by aussie shoppers, which rose to 44 per cent in october 2011 up from 37 per cent in 2010.
“simply by being a little more aware of the impact of our shopping dollar we are able to have a very positive, life changing effect on workers in impoverished countries. fair trade provides for producers things that we take for granted, regular nutritious food, housing, education, health care and most importantly hope,” says chesler.
“buying ethically produced jewellery is also a unique gift. consumers will find satisfaction from their shopping experience knowing that each purchase has a positive economic impact on the people that made the product. ethical gifts stocks socially responsible, high quality, handmade gifts that are not harmful on the planet.”