I am so excited about my latest project… these gorgeous Fair Trade Toys, I couldn’t wait for the first herd to arrive!
This is ‘Anu’, the baby Indian Elephant toy that I designed for the Blue Mango Fair Trade organization in India. The first batch of Fair Trade toys have arrived and is now ready to go!
Here is how it all got started…
Tamar DeJong set up Blue Mango in 2001 as an income generating program to enable destitute women in the south of India to gain financial independence. The organization targets women who are disabled, abandoned and afflicted by disease or extreme poverty. The women work on treadle machines, and sell their products to boutiques within India as well as to Fair Trade Companies abroad.
Here’s what Tamar had to say…
We don’t accept charity for running costs, as our goal is to enable the women to move from dependence to independence, low self-esteem to self-empowerment.
We are a non-profit company because the money is recycled back to the women. The women are just trying to find a way out of terrible life situations. Their stitching quality is great and this is why we get good orders. I am a fabric artist myself, and expect top notch work from the women! In this way, the toy patterns are very much contributing towards uplifting these disadvantaged women in India.
When I read the stories of some of the Blue Mango ladies, I realized how much we take for granted as ‘liberated’ women living in Australia. You can read more about the daily lives of women in this region as well as the individual ladies’ stories on their website.
I am very proud to be involved with this project, it is really wonderful to be able to donate my time and patterns to be used for such an incredible programme and to give the ladies an outlet to sell their beautiful handiwork in Australia. You can now purchase these Fair Trade Toys directly from the Funky Friends Factory website.
Well, I hope you love these fair trade toys as much as I do!!!!
bye for now,
P.S. It was particularly special for me when Tamar emailed to say that the Bluemango ladies LOVE my Indian elephant design so much that they want to buy the toys for all their children! My own goal is to one day make a living doing something I love, and so it means a lot to me that they enjoy making my toys!