Our fair trade business model sees that everyone in a product’s supply chain gets a fair piece of the pie. For some reason, this unique model has often been typecast in a certain hemp-blurred light. Well yes, we do love natural materials. And yes we do have a penchant for the exotic and the ethnic. But anyone who’s actually been into a Trade Aid store knows the truth – that fair can undoubtedly be fresh. And our latest range of leather bags are here to prove it.
Our new collection are the workings of a collaboration between our product design team and EMA, an artisan co-operative based out of Kolkata, India. Trade Aid’s craft team felt that there was huge potential in the EMA artisans’ work, and that with a little support, their bag range could compete with the best of them. This led to our craft developer visiting the EMA co-op for a week-long hands-on creative workshop in 2015. Swatches and samples galore took over the workbench as EMA’s chief patternmaker Raja worked his magic interpreting our ideas into leatherwork patterns. Samples were made up, and the results were gorgeous. From this foundation our relationship has grown into an annual collection of bags and wallets.
The success of this range has led to increased orders for Raja’s team as we keep up with demand here in New Zealand. Hand cut, hand stitched and hand finished in the EMA workshop on the lush co-operative owned complex, EMA’s stunning goods make it clear – you don’t need to compromise style to be principled in your purchasing. And this is a movement that is genuinely growing.
We are on board, and we hope you will be too.
These beautiful images are from Sophie Louise. Sophie is a Christchurch based photographer and screen printer. You can check out her work via @theproductstylist on Instagram or via her website: www.sophielouisecreative.co.nz