handweaving fair 2022Welcome to the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at the International Handweaving Fair VÄV2022


The weaving fair is an international event that this year takes place in Halmstad, Sweden the 22-24 September. This year's fair has SUSTAINABILITY as its theme. In addition, MAKING also has a central role in the fair. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand will be filled with bags, baskets and hats handwoven with the use of various techniques and the use of the artisans' locally grown natural fibres; raffia palm leaves, sisal, grass etc. Handwoven raffia palm leaves will also be represented in the shape of roses, small gift bags and materials for own creations. More information about the materials, crafts and artisans can be found on the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website. Shops and church communities are welcome to order goods in the stand or on the website during the fair days. The weaving fair has an extensive program with exhibitors, lecturers, workshops and excursions. See the program and order tickets on the VÄV2022 website
The main organizer of the weaving fair is the Swedish Weaving Council

ship in harbourShip in harbour!
We are pleased that container loaded with hats and bags has arrived in Swedish harbour. Genuine Fair Trade crafts from natural materials take a long time to manufacture - but the result is Sustainable from many aspects! Shipping by sea is relatively slow & unsafe - but it is the absolutely most environmentally friendly means of transport. Production has taken one year, transport 2.5 months. In May 30 2022, the ship finally arrived in a Swedish harbour. Women in four villages in the Malagasy countryside have made the hats and bags with help of interest-free loans etc. support from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE. Below are some tips on great news and favourites-in-replay in the assortment.


korgvaska raffia fairtradeBasket bag Etoile GM (Art nr. 24152) Basket bag Etoile has the front of raffia palm leaves skilfully braided into a very beautiful star pattern, the back of hand-woven raffia palm leaves. The basket bag has inside of braided sedges. The braided sedges gives shape and makes the basket bag comfortable to use. The handles are made of double-stitched raffia braids that have extra length so that the basket bag can be carried on the shoulder. If you want to close the basket bag, use the drawstring closure made of cotton fabric. Colour: Natural white raffia with drawstring closure in beige cotton textile. Approx. Dimensions: H32cm Bottom35x22cm Upper width40cm
GM = Grand Modèle: The basket bag Etolie is available in three sizes, of which this one (Art no. 24152) is the largest. The medium (MM) has Art No. 24153, the smallest (PM) has Art No. 24154

tradgards hatt jardinChapeau Jardin (Art nr. 2524) Chapeau Jardin is a functional and stylish garden hat with a round hill and a straight brim that provides good sun protection (width 9cm). The hat is made from the artisans' local, renewable and sustainable natural materials: sun-dried sedges that is plaited. The botanical name of the sedges is Scirpus corymbosus. It is a semi-grass common in wetlands in Madagascar, in the rest of southern Africa and India. The artisans of the highlands of Madagascar call it "Ravindahasa", which is a combination of the words "ravina" = leaves and "lahasa" = work (mainly in the field). More information about basket crafts based on this and other sedges can be found on the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

korg vaska soleilBasket bag Soleil MM (Art nr. 21451) Basket bag that combines the basket's functions with the attractiveness of a beautiful bag: The basket bag has outside of finely pattern braided raffia palm leaves, the inside of braided sedges. The braided sedges gives shape and carrying strength as well as flexibility that makes the basket bag comfortable to use. The handles are made of wide double-stitched raffia braids and have extra length so that the basket bag can be carried on the shoulder. If you want to close the basket bag, you use the drawstring closure made of cotton fabric. The cotton fabric is in a colour that matches the outside of the basket bag. Colours: Natural white with drawstring closure in beige cotton textile. Pastel blue with drawstring closure in pastel blue cotton textile. Pastel pink with drawstring closure in pastel pink cotton textile. Approx. Dimensions: H27cm Bottom28x18cm Upper width35cm
MM = Moyen Modèle: The basket bag is available in three sizes, of which this (Art no. 21451) is the medium size. The largest (GM) has Art No. 21450, the smallest (PM) has Art No. 21452

solhatt chapeau soleilChapeau Soleil (Art nr. 25181) The basket bag Soleil has a matching hat: Art no. Art no. 25181 Chapeau Soleil, which is a feather-light sun hat braided from sun-dried, natural white raffia palm leaves. The brim of the hat is braided in the same beautiful mesh pattern as the basket bag Soleil.

 

 

fairtrade bondhattChapeau à la campagne (Art nr. 2515) Classic farmers’ hat handmade from sun-dried raffia palm leaves that are braided into about 3cm wide ribbons and sewn together. Nice fit with round hill and small brim: approx. 5cm. Hatstring around the hill. Size: Choose between Medium 57-58cm or Large 59-60.

 

 

fairtrade barnhatt gosseChapeau Gosse (Art nr. 2507) Children's hat braided from sun-dried raffia palm leaves. The hat is soft and light and has an adjustable hatstring around the hill. Flat brim with width that protects against the sun. Colour: Nature white, Pastel blue, Pastel pink Child size: 52-54cm

 

 

basketbag woven sisalBasket bag woven sisal (Art nr. 24131) Large basket bag with outside of hand-woven natural white sisal, inside of braided sedges. Braided sisal handle. The handles have extra length so that the basket bag can be carried on the shoulder. Drawstring closure of cotton fabric. The basket bag has an inner pocket with a zipper closure. Colour: Natural white sisal with drawstring closure in beige cotton textile. Approx. Dimensions: H33-35cm Bottom32x20cm Upper width45cm


In the photo at the top:
Handbag Rustique bag (Art nr. 2453) Very durable bag tied of sisal and with handles braided of sisal in combination with recycled denim fabric. The bag has an inner pocket made of recycled denim. The bag is closed with a sisal button. The bag is a genuine Fair Trade craft of - from many aspects - durable material: Sisal. Sisal can withstand wear and tear, salt water, etc. The plant (Agave Sisalana) is also very resistant; disease resistant, low water and nutrient requirements. The sisal plant can be harvested all year round for many years. The sisal in this bag has grown where the artisans live, they have harvested and processed the fibre into yarn by hand. Then they have tied the bag. More information and photos from the sisal craft can be found on the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website. Recycled denim fabric: Using recycled materials (as in this case denim fabric) means reduced resource consumption, reduced garbage dumps. It helps to make the handbag Durable (Rustique). The bag is available in two colour options: Natural white or natural white with a navy blue pattern. Approx Dimensions: H27cm, Bottom diameter20cm, Upper diameter25cm
Chapeau sisal (Art nr. 256) The hat crocheted of sisal is a favourite-in-repeat that perfectly matches the sisal handbag. Chapeau Sisal is a very practical and durable hat that is liked by everyone.

 

international womens day 8 marchINTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 8 MARCH 2022

Choose a Fair Trade sun hat for sun protection - but also for environmental care, poverty reduction, gender equality. Don’t forget the head issues.
In the photo: Fair Trade sun hat braided of the artisans’ local natural fibres: sun-dried, nature white raffia palm leaves. A small photo shows artisan Madame Clarisse with one of the little girls in the village whose future is improved by the mothers' hat production. - It is about women's power over their situation and finances… today and as role models for daughters.

GENDER EQUALITY TODAY FOR A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW
Gender equality is not just a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful and sustainable world. Promoting gender equality in the context of the climate crisis is one of the biggest global challenges of the 21st century. The UN's theme for International Women's Day 2022 is "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". The theme is a recognition of women and girls who around the world take leadership for climate adaptation and reduced climate impact - and thus the building of a sustainable future for all.

CLIMATE CRISIS
The climate crisis is not "gender neutral". Women and girls are experiencing the greatest effects of climate change. The climate crisis exacerbates gender inequalities and poses specific threats to women's livelihoods, health and safety. All over the world, women are more dependent on - but have less access to - natural resources. In many regions, women have a disproportionate responsibility to secure food, water and fuel. UN Women explains the interconnection of gender inequality and climate change in an International Women’s Day 2022 article
The year 2022 has begun with Madagascar being hit by two cyclones and two tropical storms in a month: January 22 tropical storm Ana, February 5 cyclone Batsirai, February 15 tropical storm Dumako and February 21 cyclone Emnati. Storms and cyclones that have caused great losses in human lives, destroyed homes and infrastructure. "Even though it is a cyclonic season in the Indian Ocean, it is rare to see four storms hit the same country within four weeks," said Clare Nullis of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in the UN article, which also reminds of perennial drought for some time back causes famine in the southern part of the country: 2021 was the fourth year of drought and increasingly severe famine in southern Madagascar. As a result of the combination of drought and Covid19, extreme poverty in Madagascar is estimated to have increased to 79.7% of the population by 2020.
See menu selection La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE crafts for Sustainable Development for more information on Fair Trade as a good tool for Sustainable Development

Madagascar - opportunities for inclusive economic growth.

Madagascar challenges for inclusive economic growth and sustainable developmentOn 7 December 2021, the World Bank Group presented "Country Private Sector Diagnostic: Creating Markets in Madagascar for Inclusive Growth". The report contains both a situation analysis and recommendations for Madagascar's economy.
The World Bank Group notes that the covid-19 crisis has taken a heavy toll on Madagascar's economy. The crisis has hit the vast majority (94%) working in the informal sector the hardest, but has also led to unemployment in the apparel industry and tourism. In addition, the rural population (which makes up 80% of the country's population) is increasingly affected by climate change - related natural disasters: droughts, cyclones, floods. 2021 is the fourth year of drought and increasingly severe famine in southern Madagascar. As a result of these crises, extreme poverty in Madagascar is estimated to have increased to 79.7% of the population by 2020.

 

The Government of Madagascar has prepared a crisis plan for the country's economic recovery "Plan Multisectoriel d'Urgence" (PMDU) and adjusted the strategic "Plan Emergency Madagascar" (PEM) to focus on areas that can benefit the economic recovery.

Saving lives and protecting vulnerable people, securing jobs, reducing financial pressure on companies and supporting sustainable growth in business is described as tasks for the Government of Madagascar - but for which support should be given by the World Bank Group, IMF, UN agencies etc international organizations.

The report's situation analysis addresses three obstacles to private sector participation in Madagascar's economic recovery:

1) Regulations: Unpredictable and abrupt changes in policy affecting business. Recurring political crises. Incomprehensible regulations.

2) Infrastructure: 2.1 Transport: Extremely poor and sparse road network, very little railway. Poor road connection from the capital to the country's only major port. Only two international airports. Poor connections within as well as between modes of transport. Natural disasters exacerbate inadequate maintenance of transport networks. High transport costs are also a result of high fuel prices. Road mortality is high (Madagascar is ranked 152 out of 175 countries in terms of road fatality).

2.2 Electricity: Low capacity, low coverage, unpredictable and often lengthy power outages. For companies that are connected to the electricity grid, recurring power outages and variations in the current mean damage in production (eg on equipment), delivery delays, lost sales.
Only 26% of the population has access to electricity of any kind, only 12% of the population is connected to the electricity grid. This means that Madagascar is among the least electrified countries in the world. 
Electrification is of fundamental importance for the digital infrastructure that the country's development needs.

3) Access to finance: The banking system is underdeveloped, especially in rural areas where 80% of the population lives and usually subsist on self-sufficient agriculture. Widespread poverty is cited as an additional reason why only 18% of all households in Madagascar have access to a financial account (which is significantly less than the average for sub-Saharan Africa: 43%). Only 4% of Madagascar's residents over the age of 15 have borrowed from a bank / financial organization. For rural residents, the figure is even lower: 2%. Credit availability is among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Land ownership: Difficulties in obtaining ownership of land mean obstacles to investment due to the uncertainty it entails regarding the future value of the investment. It also makes it more difficult to get credit when this type of collateral is a required.

In the last part of the report, the World Bank Group takes a closer look at three areas for which growth potential is considered particularly good (agro-business, apparel, tourism) and provides recommendations for short-term (1 year) and medium-term (1-3 years) measures.

The full report (125 pages) "Country Private Sector Diagnostic: Creating Markets in Madagascar for Inclusive Growth" is available as a pdf. 

The image above provides a summary of heavy clouds for Madagascar - including its ambitious artisans.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE supports artisans, such as Madame Clarisse and Madame Ariette (on photo), who both live in a village in the Malagasy countryside where they plait hats and bags. Here they are on their way home to the village with the material they use in the production: sun-dried raffia palm leaves from the country's coastal regions. Manufacturing the bags and hats does not require electricity - only craftsmanship. The purchases of materials etc are financed by interest-free loans from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE also arranges the export administration and transport of the goods. Support for artisans on Madagascar has continued since 1995.
Dear consumer, Support the artisans in Madagascar by buying their goods in the shops and church communities that make up La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE resellers. – That’s an action that gives Madagascar opportunities for inclusive economic growth and Sustainable Development!

Are You interested in being a reseller of La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment? - Please find more information on this website. Welcome to register your company!

Christmas trends 2021

 

Christmas trends 2021

 

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE offers genuine craftsmanship with ecology in focus. Crafts from natural or recycled materials. Is that what the interior design world is asking for Christmas 2021?

Christmasworld Trends 2021/2022 shows three trends, which in summary describe increased interest in sustainable material choices; natural materials that have been handcrafted and recycled 'rubbish'. Sustainability and awareness of product selection and product mix are seen as increasingly central to global consumer trends - and this now also applies to this year's festive moments.

Trend 1: "Contemplative approach" focuses on nature. The natural materials play the main role in this style world. The materials are often displayed in their natural shape and colour. The tactile feeling is important. Old crafts become important to further highlight the beauty of nature.
In the photo above left: Fair Trade shoulder bag with outside of sun-dried, crocheted raffia palm and inside of plaited sedges. Seedpod from the raffia palm makes a decorative button. More about the material and the craft on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

Trend 2: "Heirloom feelings" puts flowers and nostalgia in the centre. The style is poetic and young with a cheerful and lively flora. Flowers and scattered flowers give patterns.
In the photo above in the middle: Fair Trade gift wrap and Christmas cards with envelope handmade from bark paper, decorated with flowers and leaves. Artisan and designer Madame Jéstine on small photo in between the Christmas cards. More about materials and bark paper craft on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website

Trend 3: "Spirited response" focuses on sustainability through recycling. This style world presents alternative and unconventional solutions to waste problems. The design is handmade and creative with zero waste, circular economy, recycling as central elements.
In the photo above right: Fair Trade lantern and motorcycle model handmade from collected metal waste and the brothers Fidèle and Fideliss with a bag of freshly picked metal cans. More about the metal recycling craft on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

Swedish Christmas trends 2021

The more Swedish-oriented magazines Elle, Residence and MetroMode show similar trends ahead of Christmas 2021. Quote from Elle: "Christmas is characterized by some clear tendencies, with timeless expressions and sustainable material choices as strong common denominators."

Trend 1. Green is the colour that is predicted to be extra important both in Christmas and in the future. Green is beautiful, both as a natural, plant-based greenery and colour. Long live green!
In the photo: Fair Trade shoulder bag with outside of hand-woven raffia palm leaves in olive green and nature white. Shoulder strap braided of sisal. More about the bag and the craft on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

Trend 2. Paper is a material related to sustainability and which is on the rise in the world of interior design. Paper is expected to occur more frequently already at Christmas. In the photo: Fair Trade Christmas card with envelope handmade from bark paper, decorated with flowers. See more about this Christmas card and other handmade bark paper items (eg pads, gift wrap, conference folders) on the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website

Trend 3. Tactile surfaces - preferably as soft and inviting as possible - are a big favorited.
In the photo: Gift bag handmade from bark paper. The decoration consists of long needles laid in the bark mass and which give the soft Anteimoro paper a special tactile surface. More about the gift bag on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

Trend 4. Natural colours often contribute to a genuine and rustic feeling. The seasonal Christmas trends 2021 are permeated by neutral colours in all shades. The colour trend marries well with natural materials.
In the photo: Fair Trade shoulder bag plaited of sun-dried sedges (Lepironia Articulata), shoulder strap made of braided raffia palm leaves, wooden button. More about the bag and the craft on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

Trend 5. Candles are a trend that includes both greater variation in the candles themselves and lovely candlesticks that enable finer installations. The candlelight trend is expected to continue long after Christmas.
In the photo: Fair Trade chandelier handmade from collected metal waste. More about the chandelier and the craft on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

Fair Trade crafts in a variety of different materials and with unique results

      

The photo above gives some examples of the diversity of materials represented in the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range and the unique handicraft products they result in. From left to right: Candy frog plaited of sedges (small photo shows artisan Mme Perline when she harvests the material ), hat braided of sun-dried raffia palm leaves (small photo of raffia palm below and small photo of hatmaker Mme Raton at work to the right), bag with outside of hand-woven raffia palm leaves and shoulder strap of braided sisal), card and envelope of handmade bark paper (small photo of designer and craftsman Mme Jéstine with the bark she boils in water to pulp), Citroën van handmade of collected scrap metal (small photo of the brothers Fidèle and Fideliss with a bag of freshly picked metal cans), beads handmade of collected plastic scrap, necklace handmade of polished coconut shell. You find more information about the crafts; products, materials and crafting on La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.

The importance, strengths and weaknesses of the Malagasy craft sector
Since August 2021, Madagascar has had a ministry and minister dedicated to crafts: the Ministry of Arts and Crafts, under the leadership of Minister Madame Sophie Ratisraka. (Previously, the ministry included crafts that also included industry and commerce.)
Minister Madame Sophie Ratsiraka was interviewed on 3 September 2021 by l'Express regarding importance, strengths and weaknesses of the Malagasy craft sector. The Minister pointed to the crafts as being formidably good at fighting unemployment; The activities are often individual or family-based initiatives and are undertaken with unlimited creativity and variety. It has the ability to value the whole country and the ability of the people. The great diversity of the Malagasy crafts (eg in terms of materials) and the internationally recognized craftsmanship are also examples of strengths. Examples of weaknesses are high costs for materials and lack of financing opportunities.

Bottom line:
Diversity provides stability and security - and more of that is needed.
Climate crisis, species extinction, pandemic have actualized the need, n’est-ce pas?

la maison afrique fairtrade celebrates 25 years

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE celebrates 25 years

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE with its raison d'être (mission) "Arts & Crafts from Madagascar with respect for environment, people and tradition" celebrates 25 years. The Fair Trade organization was registered on October 25, 1995.

Respect for environment:
Ecology is the foundation for global Sustainable Development - and thus also for Fair Trade, where "Respect for environment" is Fair Trade principle no. 10.
Climate change is also a very important issue of justice: the poorest countries have contributed the least to the ongoing climate change - but are the ones worst affected. Madagascar belongs to the countries that are hit very hard by, for example, aggravated cyclones, floods, droughts.
Madagascar also has a unique, extremely protected flora and fauna. Belongs to one of the world's biodiversity hotspots.
Respect for nature means that all products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are made from local, renewable natural materials or recycled waste. The natural materials consist mainly of palm leaves, grass, reeds, sisal. These materials are wild-growing without the use of pesticides or artificial irrigation. The material in the metal craft consists of cans for which recycling systems are lacking in Madagascar. The craft thus contributes to remedying a current increasing environmental problems. The production is a genuine, small-scale and environmentally friendly craft. The process from harvesting natural materials or collecting recycled materials to the finished product is highly manual. All goods are shipped by boat from Madagascar to Sweden. A minimum of packaging material is used. More about this can be read under menu heading; La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE Environmental care
Respect for people:
Providing opportunities for the economically disadvantaged to improve their situation is Fair Trade principle number 1. "No Poverty" is also goal no. 1 of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which should be met by 2030. Goal no. 2 is "Zero Hunger”.
Madagascar is currently the country in the world where extreme poverty accounts for the largest share of the population (77.4%). This according to the World Bank's report "Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020". Madagascar is one of the three countries in the world with the most alarming levels of hunger. This according to the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020.
Respect for people means for La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE that all artisans are given interest-free loans before they start the agreed delivery of goods. The artisans also receive support in the form of export administration, tax payments and space in warehouses. This has given genuine micro-producers in the informal sector the opportunity to be suppliers.
Gender equality: The world is not equal. Gender equality is a global justice problem. As a Fair Trade organization, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE takes a clear stand to give more power and opportunities to women in word and deed: About 75% of the craftsmen who manufacture the products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are women. Those who are producer group managers; women or women together with men are responsible for receiving loans and delivering goods. Overall coordination is performed by women. The disbursement of loans provides concrete economic power and opportunities for women. At the same time a great responsibility. The women have proven to be very creditworthy; After more than twenty years of operation, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE still has no credit losses from craftsmen who have not delivered. Given the prevailing conditions in Madagascar (lack of infrastructure, frequent cyclones), this is impressive. Another, greater reason for giving women the financial responsibility and authority is to invest in the future. Experience in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE shows that the income from the craft often goes to the children's university education, improvement of the family's housing, etc. welfare. With their income, the female artisans provide social welfare to their relatives - something that the extremely poor, politically unstable country is often unable to provide.
About 75% of the artisans who manufacture the goods in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are women. Those who are responsible for producer group; responsible for receiving loans and deliver the goods, are women or woman together with a man. The only exception is a hat studio where all the four active are men. Disbursements of loans provide concrete economic power and opportunities for women. At the same time a great responsibility. The women have been found to be very creditworthy; La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has, after more than twenty years of business, no losses from artisans who have received loans but not delivered. Considering the conditions that often prevail on Madagascar (infrastructure that is lacking, frequent cyclones) this is impressive. Another, more important reason to give financial responsibility and authority to women is that they invest in the future. Experience in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE shows that the income from the craft often is used for the children's university education, improvement of family housing, etc welfare.
With their earnings, the female artisans give social welfare to their family and community - something that is extremely poor, politically unstable country state often is unable to do.
That working conditions should be good, the price fair, relationship long-term and that children never participate are obvious for La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE.
For La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE, the 10 principles of Fair Trade, several of which address respect for people, are the starting point for daily activities as well as planning for the future. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE also belongs to the pioneers of the Fair Trade movement who, through active membership of the World Fair Trade Organization, have had the opportunity to influence the formulation of these principles. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE is, for example, one of the founders of the World Fair Trade Organization - Europe.
Counteracting colonial attitudes and structures: The colonial trade pattern was based on Africa being a supplier of raw materials. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE does not trade in raw materials, instead chooses goods with high value added.
The colonial pattern of trade still dominates trade between Africa and Europe to a very high degree. It harms economic and Sustainable Development in Africa - and it is a shame for Europe. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE works for change.
Respect for tradition:
On Madagascar, family traditions often are the foundation for the craft skills owned by the individual. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE support that these skills with pride can be passed over to the next generation.
The arts and craft items are bearers of culture. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE promotion support that the items, in addition to be practical and aesthetical, also create understanding and respect for the craft producer’s culture internationally.
Art, culture and heritage significance for society and potential to create sustainable economic growth in Africa: The African Union (AU) has announced the coming year 2021 “The African Union Year of the Arts, Culture And Heritage" in recognition of the importance of art, culture and heritage to promote AU's Agenda 2063 "The Africa We Want" goal of achieving sustainable economic growth and development in Africa and demonstrating the need to enhance the role that the creative economy can play in this endeavour .
In its “Plan of Action on Cultural and Creative Industries in Africa” AU writes in the preamble that: “1. Africa is experiencing abject poverty, debilitating conflicts, increasing the burden of disease, and malnutrition as well as other challenges. This is paradoxical in that it is happening in a continent endowed with rich natural, cultural and human resources that could be tapped and used for a better, meaningful life. 2. Along with other resources, Africa could make the best out of its own home grown technologies and skills in the cultural sector. African cultural industries have the potential to boost socio-economic development and to provide employment opportunities for millions of men, women, the youth, children and the elderly. 3. The cultural sector uses local materials, skills, and technologies. This has a positive bearing on intersectoral growth since it provides market opportunities for a wide variety of goods and services available at the local level. 4. Cultural products are expressed not only in terms of material goods and services but also they embody values, sentiments, beliefs, world views and individual as well as collective memories. 5. It is therefore imperative that the African Cultural industries should be situated in the context of poverty reduction efforts, sustainable development initiatives and programmes.”

The importance of Fair Trade craftsmanship for a living and productive cultural heritage in Africa is also important from the aspect that the continent currently are considered to be deprived of more than 80% of its material cultural treasures. Artefacts that were mainly stolen by colonial powers and are still held in Western museums, galleries and private collections. Demands for return to its rightful owners have grown stronger since the publication of the Sarr-Savoy report “The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage. Toward a New Relational Ethics ”November 2018, which states, for example, that the Musée du quai Branly in Paris contains over 70,000 art treasures, mainly from Chad, Madagascar, Benin and Mali. The report recommends that French museums create thorough inventories that are shared with the relevant African countries, and from November 2022, France should return all identified works of art. The Sarr-Savoy report was commissioned by French President Macron. In 2020, New African has published a series of recommendable articles under the theme "Return of African Icons 2020".

Promote Fair Trade and create awareness about the cultural significance of arts and crafts is part of the principles of Fair Trade. During its twenty-five years of operation, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has participated in a large number of national and international events. The first major international event was "Images of Africa" in Copenhagen in 1996 - an event that for three weeks included high-quality music, dance, theatre, arts and crafts from many different African countries. The first major national event was a Women Can trade fair in Karlskrona in 1996. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has in the following years participated in a large number of international trade fairs, mainly for arts, crafts, design and fashion: FORMEX at the Stockholm Fair (a total of 25 fairs during the years 2006-2018), Formland at Herning Messecenter in Denmark (2010, 2011, 2014), Gift & Interior at the Oslo Fair (2005, 2006), Copenhagen International Fashion Fair, CIFF at Bella Center (2012, 2013). In addition, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has been an exhibitor at the BIOFACH World Fair for Organic products in Nuremberg in 2007 and 2008.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has also participated as an exhibitor (and partly engaged in the launch and arrangement of) the Fair Trade forums which were held yearly in various locations in Sweden, starting in 2004.
Participation as an exhibitor at trade fairs has been complemented by lecturing on themes such as "Madagascar - nature and culture to preserve", "Fair Trade crafts for Sustainable Development". Lectures have included slide shows and demonstrations of handicrafts. The lectures have usually been given on order from educational associations in southern Sweden, study associations or associations within Fair Trade or the environmental movement.
Photos at the top: Sifaka Madagascar is one of the worlds “Biodiversity hotspots”. One of the most notable features is the extremely high floral and faunal endemism not only at species level, but also at higher taxonomic levels. It is a biodiversity hotspot with high global importance for mammals, plants and reptiles. Almost a third (31%) of all lemur species in Madagascar are now Critically Endangered – just one step away from extinction – with 98% of them threatened, according to IUCN press release 9 July 2020. Among those newly listed as Critically Endangered are Verreaux’s Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)
Artisan Madame Augustine plaiting hats using sun-dried raffia palm leaves. One of two daughters, who both go to primary school, is standing beside her. Ms. Augustine also has a son who studies mathematics and computer technology at the University of Tamatave. The photo was taken in her garden where she also grows vegetables. The house they live in is made of plaited bamboo, the roof is made of straw. One of many fine examples of women with high crafting skills, ambitions for future generations and whose minimal ecological footprint provides space for continued life on the planet.

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE can look back on 25 years.

Considering the state of the world, the raison d'être (mission) "Arts & Crafts from Madagascar with respect for environment, people and tradition" appears to be of high current importance - but what future opportunities are there for its activity?

 

PLASTICFREE SEAS Say no to plastic say yes to fairtrade crafts of natural materialsNO PLACE FOR PLASTIC IN OUR SEAS! - Say no to plastic, say yes to Fair Trade crafts of natural materials.

Take a look into La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range of handbags and hats handmade of the artisan's local, renewable natural materials. Natural fibres that are beautiful and functional. See also the comprehensive assortment of gift and interior products handmade of natural or recycled materials.

World Wildlife Day March 3, 2019 has for the first time focused on the marine environment: "Life below water: for people and planet". On the campaign's website, María Fernanda Espinosa, President of the UN General Assembly, emphasizes the importance of the marine ecosystem and wildlife. The ocean contains nearly 200,000 identified species and even more unidentified. According to her, it is not accepted that we - as now is the case - every year throws about 8 million metric tons of plastic into the sea. (That means that every minute a garbage truck worth of plastic makes its way to the sea.) Plastic waste of which a smaller part remains in its original form, while a much larger part is broken down into micro plastics that are consumed by fish, other creatures and which also finds its way into people's food and water.

On March 27, 2019, the European Parliament approved a law banning the type of disposable plastic that today accounts for 70% of all marine litter. The law prohibiting these disposable plastic products comes into force in 2021. In addition, collection targets 90% for plastic bottles by 2029 and stricter application of the "polluter pays" principle.


world fair trade day2019 world migratory bird day2019World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on the same day as World Fair Trade Day, ie other Saturdays in May: 2019 May 11. This year, World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on the theme "Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution". Birds are affected by plastic waste in several ways: Foraging behaviour makes seabirds prone to ingesting plastic. Plastic is often mistaken for prey, both by form and by smell. Birds unconsciously feed their young with plastic. The chicks are even more vulnerable due to their underdeveloped organ. When swallowed, the damage caused by plastic also depends on its shape: Sharp plastic particles cause immediate death by penetrating the internal organ. Most of the time, the plastic ingestion leads to the starvation of the bird, as it gives the feeling of constantly having a full stomach. The toxicity of plastic is another threat. Entanglement in fishing nets is a deadly heat towards, in particular, seabirds. The number of seabirds dying from the effects of plastic every year is currently 1 million and growing. Research highlights the urgency of the matter: not only do 90 per cent of seabirds are estimated to have plastic in their guts, but at this rate the proportion of seabirds ingesting plastic will reach 99 per cent by 2050.
(World Migratory Bird Day is also celebrated on other Saturdays in October, ie the day is celebrated twice a year.)

In May 2019, about 180 of the world's countries approved a new UN regulations to prevent plastic waste being dumped in the seas. The Basel Convention of 1992, which was created to control the export of hazardous waste, has through this agreement made an addition in the form of a legally binding framework also for plastic waste. It is a question of making global trade in plastic waste more regulated, while at the same time more secure, both for people and the environment. So far, rich countries have been able to use poor parts of the world as a giant dump for their plastic waste. Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were the largest recipients of plastic waste in 2018. The rules are expected to come into force in a year's time.

On June 12, 2019, WWF published the analysis "No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People". Based on approximately 50 scientific global studies on human consumption of micro plastics, the global average is estimated to be 5 grams per week (which corresponds to the plastic in a credit card). Drinking water is one of the biggest sources, but people also get micro plastics through food such as salt, beer and seafood. Plastic pollution is also a major threat to wildlife and their habitats. Global measures are urgent and necessary to deal with the plastic crisis, says the WWF.

Plastic consumption in Sweden increased by 300,000 tonnes per year from 2010 to 2017. This means an increase of approximately 30 kilos per person and year (!) The plastic used is mainly from fossil raw material and only a small part of it is recycled. This showed a report carried out on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and published on June 19, 2019.

SAY NO TO PLASTIC, SAY YES TO FAIR TRADE CRAFTS OF NATURAL MATERIALS

plastic free sea orderliness fishLook into La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range - and don't forget the orderliness-fish. The orderliness-fish are sewn of the artisan's locally growing, sun-dried and hand-woven raffia palm leaves. The orderliness fish is fine in many ways: A) Hang on the wall (wall basket) for storage. B) Laying on the table as a coaster, for example for carafe or water jug. C) Statement-fish: No-place-for-plastic-in-our-seas.

made in africa future africaWith nature into the winter - and forward - choose Fair Trade crafts of natural materials for global Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development is based on ecological, social and economic sustainability. Choosing Fair Trade crafts of natural materials is to make a concrete effort to meet the global goals for Sustainable Development. What could be better at Christmas times?

The Global Objectives for Sustainable Development are 17, Number 1 is "No Poverty".
According to the World Bank's latest report "Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018", Madagascar and the Central African Republic are the two countries in the world with the largest proportion of their population in extreme poverty; 77.5% and 77.7%, respectively. Globally, extreme poverty has fallen from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015 - but at the same time it has become increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa: The average for the region was 41.1% in 2015. Looking at the evolution of absolute numbers (millions of people), this means that half of the world's extremely poor 2015 lived in sub-Saharan Africa.
The forecast states that 9 out of 10 extremely poor then will live in sub-Saharan Africa in 2030.

Made in Africa makes the future for Africa:
Africa is rich in raw materials - but when processing is not done in Africa, Africa does not get rich. Exports of raw materials make Africa loses value added chains, remaining dependent on imports of consumer goods and capital goods. In addition, Africa loses technological development and jobs for a population that, according to the UN, will double in the years 2017 to 2050.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE focuses on high value-added goods, does not deal with raw materials. In the colonial trade system, Africa was supplier of raw materials. We work for change.

Madagascar is not only one of the world's countries with the largest share of its population in extreme poverty - it is also a country with one of the world's richest and most unique flora and fauna to preserve. Madagascar, along with smaller neighbouring islands, is one of the world's "biodiversity hotspots". More about under the menu item "Fair Trade crafts for Sustainable Development".

Since start in 1995, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE a non-profit Fair Trade organization that supports and cooperates with artisans on Madagascar. "Raison d'être" is summarized in the logo: "Arts & Crafts from Madagascar with respect for environment, people and tradition. FAIR TRADE". The materials used are local natural or recycled materials. Production is small scale and environmentally friendly. The goods is shipped by sea from Madagascar to Sweden. The artisans (most are women) are supported with e.g. interest free loans and export management.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range is presented on the website menu selection "Fair Trade Wholesale". To view prices and order goods, the company (or church congregation) needs to be registered as a customer. Registration is made under menu item "My Account" then "Registration".

world environment day 2018 Beat Plastic PollutionWorld Environment Day 5 June 2018 #BeatPlasticPollution
Say no to plastic, say yes to Fair Trade crafts of natural materials.

The theme of the World Environment Day 2018 is "Beat Plastic Pollution." The theme is a call for all of us to make changes in our daily lives to reduce plastic waste. The pollution caused by plastic waste causes major damage to wildlife, human health and the environment. Approximately 13 million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in our oceans. In the oceans, plastic waste threatens vulnerable marine wildlife and coral reefs. The plastic waste decomposes into micro-plastics and seeks into water supply - and thus into our bodies. What harm causes it? Scientists are still not sure, but plastic contains a number of chemicals, many of which are poisonous or disturb hormones. Plastic can also act as a magnet for other pollutants such as dioxins, metals and pesticides.
Plastics have many valuable uses - but too often (50%) it becomes single use items, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles etc single use items. Only used once and a short time – but remaining as a very long-lasting problem for animals, nature and coming generations. Source: UN World Environment Day

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE recommends: Say no to plastic, say yes to Fair Trade crafts of natural materials.
fairtrade shoppingkorg handmade of natural materialsA) Choose Fair Trade shopping basket handmade from natural materials instead of plastic bag when going shopping. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE offers a range of shopping baskets which all are handmade of natural materials.

fairtrade picnic basket to beat plastic pollutionB) Plan and pack your Fair Trade picnic basket instead of visiting fast food / take-away with its plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, etc single use items. Find a picnic basket from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE here.

gardenhat and potager for plastic free and environmentaly friendly foodC) Garden Hat & Potager: The combination of flowers and vegetables will give you buzzing bees, birdsong + guaranteed climate friendly and plastic packaging free food. Fair Trade garden hats for sun protection - but also for environmental care, poverty reduction, gender equality. Don’t forget the head issues. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hats have style & Function – here you will find out more about the various models.

BeatPlasticpPollution with fairtrade gifts made of recycled plastic and metal wasteD) When it's time to buy gift for someone who already has "everything" (...) choose Fair Trade crafts made from collected, recycled plastic- or metal waste.
The problem with plastic waste, etc. environmentally hazardous waste will continue to be large. The problem of desperate poverty in parts of the world as well. Madagascar is one of the world's economically poorest countries. About 80% of its population lives in extreme poverty. At the same time, Madagascar has a unique flora and fauna; belongs to one of the world's "biodiversity hotspots". That this environment is protected from littering, any type of waste, is of immeasurable great value. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE craft range includes many different vehicle models skilfully handmade of collected metal- and plastic waste. Under the menu heading ”Bijoux” there are also beads handmade of collected plastic waste. Crafts that shows impressing creativity and practical environmental engagement. BeatPlasticPollution

formex 2018 exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE

Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10: 41 at Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 17-20 January 2018.
At La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE you find functional and timeless beautiful crafts with focus on ecology. During the spring fair, the Formex stand will be devoted to our large assortment of hats with matching bags and baskets.

sunhat chapeau soleil art nr 25181La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hats
Approx 30 different hat models will be shown in the Formex stand. All hats are genuine crafts made of the artisans local wild-grown natural fibres.
The great majority of hats are made of raffia palm leaves that has been hand-woven, knitted or crocheted. The sun-dried raffia palm leaves is an excellent material for making high quality hats; beautiful, comfortable to wear on the head, easy to bring along on the trip.
Sunhat La Maison Afrique FAIRTRADEIn addition to the hats of raffia, there are hats braided of natural green mountain grass and sedges.
In La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range there are hats for all occasions; the beach, the garden, the party etc. The range includes many really good sun hats; hats with wide brim that provide good sun protection to face as well as neck and shoulders.
Hats are available for both small (i.e. children sized hats 48-53) as well as large (i.e. adult size medium 57-58 and larger 59-60-61).
fairtrade farmer hatPhotos to the right and above give just a few examples from the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hat range.
All hats that can be ordered from stock in Sweden can be found on the website under menu item "Hats".


La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE bags
axelvaska ekofashionApprox 25 different bag models (handbags, shoulder bags, shopping- and picnic baskets) will be shown in the Formex stand. The bags match the hats, as they are also genuine craftsmanship (hand-woven, woven, braided) of essentially the same natural fibres as the hats. What is different is that bags and baskets contain more of the sturdy, durable mountain grass and sedges. Most bags and baskets are made in two layers; an outer layer of hand-woven or crochet raffia palm leaf, an inner layer of plaited sedges. The inner layer of plaited sedges is what gives the bag fairtrade korg vaska sisalor basket shape and durability. In addition, some have an extra inner lining of hand-woven raffia or cotton fabrics.
Handles and shoulder straps are made of vegetable tanned leather, bamboo or raffia.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE bags are stylish, nice to carry.
The shopping baskets handmade of natural materials are the ultimate Sustainable alternatives to plastic bags.
fairtrade shoppingkorgPhotos to the right and above give just a few examples from the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE bag range.
All bag models that can be ordered from stock in Sweden can be found on the website under menu item "Bags".

For more information about La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10:41 at Formex 17-20 January 2018, visit the Stockholm International Fair website. Search Formex-exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE.
Formex opening hours 17-20 January 2018
Wednesday 9.30am-7pm
Thursday 09.30am-7pm
Friday 09.30am-6pm
Saturday 09.30am-5pm

The climatechange is unfairClimate change leads to natural disasters. - It is unfair that the poorest countries suffer the worst.
Madagascar is an example of an extremely poor country, which in 2017 suffered from two major natural disasters; drought and then cyclone with subsequent floods.

Worldbank Madagascar overview (13 October 2017): “Social context: While Madagascar has great potential, the country has lagged on several development indicators: almost 80% of the population lives on less than $1.90 per day, with one child in two under 5 years suffering from stunting, and Madagascar is the fifth largest country in the world with the highest number of unschooled children. Moreover, the rate of access to electricity is 13%, one of the lowest in the world. Madagascar is also one of the countries that are most exposed to extreme weather events and experiences, on average, three major natural disasters per year. In addition, repeated political crises, the last of which shook the country from 2009 to 2013, often threaten the development progress made.”
The country overview in its entirety can be found here.

During 2017, Madagascar has suffered from two major natural disasters: Drought and then the cyclone Enawo with subsequent floods. The latest (23 Nov 2017) World Bank report on Madagascar's economic situation has the title “Coping With Shocks: Madagacar’s Economic Update” Press release and the report in its entirety can be found here

See La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE webpage about Fair Trade crafts for Sustainable Development.

fairtradeforum2017 linkopingFair Trade forum 2017 Theme: Sustainable lifestyle

Fair Trade forum 2017 theme is ”Sustainable lifestyle”; textile and fashion, food, electronics. Linköping is the host for the 2017 edition of Fair Trade forum in Sweden. Opening ceremony the 5th of October 20.00 with a concert at Linköping forum theatre.
Fair Trade forum exhibition and market:
6 October 13.00 - 19.00
7 October 10.00 - 16.00
Place: Kårhuset Kollektivet, Ågatan 55 in central Linköping.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE participates as exhibitor.

Fair Trade forum program:
6 October kl 13.00 - 20.30
7 October kl 10.00 - 16.30
Fair Trade forum offers a great number of program items connected to the 2017 Fair Trade forum theme; Sustainable lifestyle”. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE participates with program item ”Sustainable fibres in Fair Trade handicrafts” 7th October 12.15 - 12.45.
Place: Kårhuset Kollektivet
More about Fair Trade forum 2017 in Linköping
.
Sustainable lifestyle for Sustainable Development – What can be more important?
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE at 2017 forum!

Formex exhibitor august 2017 La Maison Afrique FAIRTRADEThanks for visiting La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 23-26 August 2017.
Welcome back 17-20 January 2018!

la maison afrique fairtrade formex august 2017Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 23 -26 August 2017.
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10:41

In the stand you will find Fair Trade bags and hats handmade of natural fibres. More information in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE e-stand on Formex website.
At La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE you find blooming handcrafts made of beautiful natural fibres
- and of what would otherwise be environmentally damaging litter, e.g. metal cans, plastic, textile waste. You find flower decorated bark paper as greeting cards, vehicle models made of recycled metal cans and much more under the menu Gifts and Interior on the website. There will not be room for all this in the Formex-stand – but the products can be ordered on-line by registered customer companies.
With approx. 900 exhibitors, 23 000 visitors and 800 media representatives, Formex is the largest Nordic meeting place for design, crafts and interior. Besides the opportunity to do business, the fair gives visitors information about trends, inspiration and knowledge in the form of exhibitions and lectures. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has participated as an exhibitor twice yearly since 2006. 23-26 August 2017 will be the 23rd Formex fair for La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE.

made in africa for the future of africaMade in Africa makes the future for Africa

Africa is rich in raw materials - but when processing is not done in Africa, Africa does not get rich. Exports of raw materials make Africa loses value added chains, remaining dependent on imports of consumer goods and capital goods. In addition, Africa loses technological development and jobs for a population that, according to the UN, will double in the years 2017 to 2050.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE focuses on high value-added goods, does not deal with raw materials. In the colonial trade system, Africa was supplier of raw materials. We work for change.
Photo shows children's hat handcrafted of local, sun-dried natural white raffia palmleaves. Dyes used meet environmental and health requirements. One of the women who braided (Madame Clarisse Razanadrazery) is seen together with a little girl whose future the production contributes to. 
The United Nations forecast for population development is presented in the publication "World Population Prospects Key findings & advance tables 2017". The world's population is expected to increase from 7.55 billion in 2017 to 9.77 billion by 2050. Africa's population is expected to double from the current 1.26 billion to 2.53 trillion.
Africa's fast-growing population means that 450 million jobs need to be created over the next 20 years. Less than a quarter of these jobs, according to the report, Africa Competitiveness Report 2017, compiled by the African Development Bank (ADB), the World Economic Forum and the World Bank, will be created with current policies. For example, in the short-term development of value added chains for raw materials are necessary to achieve economic diversification, sector-specific reforms in labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, construction and micro-enterprises. In the long-term, stronger institutions for implementation and improved infrastructure are needed. The report was published 4 May 2017, can be downloaded in its entirety as a pdf file.

In order to understand Africa today it is important to know its history. The documentary " How the Europeans Divided Africa " ​​by the well-known expert in Africa's history, Basil Davidson, tells us how the European colonial powers divided Africa and then exploited through a trade pattern where Africa was a raw material supplier.

In summary: Buy products MANUFACTURED in Africa for future in Africa.

When will Europe start amortizing the colonial debt? Interest rates?

World Environment Day 5 June
A day it suits extra well with genuine Fair Trade crafts of natural materials and recycled materials.
world environment day 5 june 2017

To the left: Photo from a location on Madagascar's east coast which has an (extra) large and unique biodiversity. The hat is made in this location, handcrafted of sun dried raffia palm leaves and recycled cassette tape. Material that are ecological from two aspects; The sun-dried palm leaves are included in the natural, wild-growing flora. The harvesting of the palm leaves makes the palms to continue sprout new. Cassette tapes are local waste for which recycling plants are missing.
To the right: Basket handcrafted of sun dried mountain grass and raffia palm leaves. The grass is wild growing around the village where the craftswomen live. Handle of vegetable tanned leather. Lining and pull-string close of unbleached cotton fabrics. Perfect for a little picnic.

Anything else to add? Yes. The place where the hat is made often suffers severe cyclones. The cyclone Enawo in March 2017 was an example of this. It made landfall here reaching peak intensity: 62 m / s (230km / h). The cyclone left many homeless.
The women who make the hats are environmental heroes in a world with a very unfair climate change (!)
Many more hats, bags, gifts and interior items all being genuine Fair Trade crafts of natural or recycled materials are to be found at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.
Dear Consumer, support the artisans in Madagascar by buying their goods in the shops and church communities that make up La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE resellers. Do you work with retail? Welcome to register your company in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE customer register so that you will be able to order products online.
Fair Trade - MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain
8 March International Womens Day
March 8 - International Women's Day

The world is not equal.
Gender equality is a major global justice issue.
Being a Fair Trade organization, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE takes clear position in words and actions to give more power and opportunities to women.
About 75% of the artisans who manufacture the goods in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are women. Those who are responsible for producer group; responsible for receiving loans and deliver the goods, are women or woman together with a man. The only exception is a hat studio where all the four active are men. The overall coordination in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE is carried out by women.
Disbursements of loans provide concrete economic power and opportunities for women.
At the same time a great responsibility.
The women have been found to be very creditworthy; La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has, after over 20 years of business, no losses from artisans who have received loans but not delivered. Considering the conditions that often prevail on Madagascar (infrastructure that is lacking, frequent cyclones) this is impressive.
Another, more important reason to give financial responsibility and authority to women is that they invest in the future. Experience in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE shows that the income from the craft often is used for the children's university education, improvement of family housing, etc welfare.
With their earnings, the female artisans give social welfare to their family and community - something that is extremely poor, politically unstable country state often is unable to do.

color of the year 2017 greeneryColor of the Year 2017: Greenery

“Greenery symbolize the reconnection with nature, one another and a larger purpose” With these words concludes the Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute why greenery was selected the colour of the year 2017.
Greenery is a fresh yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors. Greenery is nature’s neutral – it is a color for every day and everywhere.

According to Forbes the choice of greenery as the color of the year 2017 also shows environmental engagement has moved from being none-controversial or revolutionary to be a crescendo. The environmental engagement is expressed in the trend for vegetarian food, environmentally conscious fashion etc consumption.

environmental care at la maison afrique fairtrade
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE is delighted to see more and more embrace the green trend. More about environment - passion in practice at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE

Environmental engagement is always an engagement for greater justice.

La Maison Afrique Fairtrade exhibitor at Formex 2017 thanks for visitingThanks all who visited La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm International fairs 18-21 January 2017. The visitors make the trade fair valuable for the artisans on Madagascar – and make participation a pleasure.
Pleased to meet You. Thanks!

formex spring trade fair 2017 la maison afrique fairtradeFormex Stockholm International fairs 18-21 January 2017
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10:41.
Spring starts here. Welcome!

At the spring-fair, the stand will be devoted to our large assortment of hats with matching bags and baskets. All genuine craftsmanship using natural, ecological fibres. Functional and beautiful, in addition Fair Trade. On Formex website, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE e-stand shows some of the products together with material and artisan. There is also a link to map showing where the stand is located in the hall. Don’t miss the opportunity to see newly designed and newly arrived Fair Trade bags and hats.

Newly arrived 2017 in La Maison Afrique Fairtrade range

Newly arrived in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range.
New models of hats and hand bags handmade of natural fibres, flower decorated greeting cards of bark paper, miniature model vehicles of recycled cans - all made by the use of interest free loans the artisans received from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE. Environmentally friendly, genuine craftsmanship that has taken a lot of time. The container arrived to Swedish port in December 2016. See the newly arrived goods at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website under the menu item Fair Trade wholesale. The fine handicrafts will also be shown in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 18 to 21 January 2017.

New models of bags and hats handmade of natural fibres.
axelvaska horisont o hantverkare hantaBag Horizon has outside of hand-woven raffia palm leaves, shoulder strap of braided sisal. Stability and durability of the inside layer of plaited reeds. Lined with natural white cotton fabric. Inside pocket. The bag closes with a zipper on the top, has a large zipper pocket on the front. Horizon shoulder bag comes in two sizes: Art Nr 24101 and Art Nr 24102. Both are available in four different colour options: Light grey + nature white, pastel blue + nature white, pink + nature white, olive green + nature white.
Bag model Horizon is the result of the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE cooperation with artisan and designer Madame Hanta. Work on the development of the model began in the autumn 2015, the production has taken place in 2016. The results are now in stock at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE in Sweden. The photo shows the bag Horizon and Madame Hanta home-studio where she and four other manufactures. The studio is located on the Malagasy countryside. They moved from the capital a year ago - and I think they got a much better environment for working and living on the countryside.

axelvaska hatt o hantverkare riversideShoulder bag Riverside is braided of natural green sedges, the shoulder strap of stylish round braided nature white raffia. Closes with large, round carved wooden button at the front of the bag. Size and design that makes the bag ideal for documents in A4 format. Approximate dimensions: H = 32cm Width = 22cm Depth = 6cm
Men’s hat Chapeau Homme Riverside is matching shoulder bag Riverside in shape, colour and materials. The hat is made in large sizes. Like the bag, the colour is natural green. Together they are – naturally stylish.
The shoulder bag model Riverside is the result of the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE cooperation with artisans and designers on Madagascar's east coast. The material grows very commonly in the region and the crafting provide significant income to women. Madagascar's east coast is often hit by cyclones. Infrastructure (roads, water, electricity) are very poorly developed. Cash revenue to supplement subsistence agriculture is important. Work on the shoulder bag model Riverside began in the autumn of 2015, the manufacture of the bag (and hat) has continued in 2016. Both the bag and hat are now in stock at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE in Sweden. The photo shows bag and hat Riverside and the designer and artisan Madame Tilda. It may be interesting to note that the plant is common in several countries in and around the Indian Ocean from Madagascar as far away as Australia and Fiji. On Madagascar it is much appreciated as a material of good quality for making crafts; strong, flexible, easy to work with. (There are recent example of that the plant's value as material for handicrafts has led to restoration of its habitats after being destructed during mining projects. The plant habitat is important to preserve given that it also is a good environment for e.g. amphibians.) More about the plant, its propagation and usability on the website PlantUse.
Hat and hatmaker artisan Madame MarietteThe hat model Chapeau Mariette Ruban is made of sundried raffia palm leaves braided into band and sewn together. The hat is nature white with band around the hat crown, rosette and brim edge in three colour options: Pink, Sea Blue, Olive Green. Beautiful summer hat! La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE cooperates with designer and artisan Madame Mariette since 2007. Several hat models have been created over the years, of which Mariette Chapeau Ruban is the latest. Photo shows how Mme Mariette step-by-step makes the hat. More of Madame Mariette’s popular hat models are available under the menu item Hats.

Hat with large bow The hat Chapeau Bow is made of handwoven raffia. It is an elegant woman's hat with big bow on a 9cm wide brim. The extensive work done on the material, that is, the hand-woven raffia palm leaves, gives the hat a high quality. The hat is available in three colour options: Nature white, black and various shades of grey. Photo shows the hat model and designer and artisan Madame Vololona at the sewing machine.
Examples of newly received bags and hats that are favourites
A number of much demanded bag- and hat models have arrived and are now again in stock at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE in Sweden.
Fairtrade baskets woven raffia, leather handles, inside pocket with zipExamples include baskets with outside of handwoven raffia, leather handles, inside pocket with zipper. The baskets are now newly arrived in three sizes: Art nr 211, Art nr 212, Art nr 213. They are now also available in more (6) colour options: Nature white, Pastel Green, Olive green, Mauve, Jeans blue, Multicolour. Photo shows Art Nr 211 Basket Woven raffia, leather handles GM in the two new colour options nature white and pastel green.
fairtrade basket with lining and pull-string closeAnother example is Art Nr 2114021 Basket Rariboka PM. The basket is braided by a combination of mountain grass and sun dried raffia palmleaves. Crafting technic "rariboka" gives a very beautiful structure. The basket has both lining and pull string closing of cotton fabric. The basket is newly arrived in two colour options; patterned with orange or patterned with olive green. The latter colour option is new. The cotton fabric lining and pull-string close is nature white. See the new colour option and cotton textile lining/close on the photo.
Examples of popular hat models that are now back in stock are the durable crocheted sisal hat (art nr 256) and the crocheted raffia hat art nr 2581 Chapeau Eliane.
Men's hat homme le grand la maison afrique fairtradeThe popular men's hat art nr 25235 Chapeau Homme Le Grand is back - and now available in more colour options; natural white, dark brown, black. Photo shows the men’s hat in nature white and black as well as the craftsman Monsieur Norbert (with his hat press, which is operated by hand and heated with charcoal.)
sunhat soleil and artisanThe beautiful sun hat art nr 25181 Chapeau Soleil is also back - and also in more colour options; nature white, bright red and jeans blue. Photo shows the new colour options, red and blue as well as artisan Madame Odette.
sport bike model recycling and fairtrade Newly arrived model vehicle handcrafted of recycled metal
The classic car models; Citroën 2CV, van 3CV Citroën, Citroën DS, Peugeot 404, VW beetle made in miniature (L = 7-9cm) are now back in stock in Sweden at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE. The newly arrived vehicle model also includes the sport cycle model , miniature motorcycle and helicopter. See them all under the menu item Metal recycling: Model Vehicles.
Handmade fairtrade flower decorated greeting card with envelopeNewly arrived flower decorated greeting cards handmade of bark paper
The popular double flower cards with envelopes are now back in square format: art no 1115 15x15cm and art no 1116 10x10cm. See them and others under the menu item Anteimoro paper: Greeting cards etc.
Orderliness-tool Triple basket for the wallOrderliness
The steady demand orderliness-tool art no 282 Triple Basket for the wall has arrived in three colour options: Anise Green, Cerise and Multicolour. It is one of the best sellers for more than ten years. The triple basket is smart in many ways: Can easily be hung up wherever orderliness is needed; hall, office, closet, camper, cabin on boat etc etc. The triple basket can easily be packed together to make a small compact package, making it easy to pack and store. Natural materials and craftsmanship method is climate friendly, i.e. globally smart.
Time for Sustainable Development
Environmentally responsible, genuinely fair trade crafts take a lot of time.
Maritime transport is also slowly - but that’s all right because it is environmentally best transport option: Sea freight container generates only 12.1 CO2 emissions per tonne-km vs. airfreight: 552-950 CO2 emissions per tonne-km. Comparison shows that the sea freight is charging only 1-2% of what the same quantity of goods would as airfreight *).

Fair Trade crafts is a good tool for sustainable development.
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE booth B10: 41 at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 18 to 21 January 2017.
*) Ref Kommerskollegiums report ”Handel, transporter och konsumtion”.

no to plastic bags yes to fairtrade shopping basketsSay no to plastic bags, say yes to Fair Trade shopping baskets handmade of natural materials.

Choose Fairtrade shopping baskets handmade of natural materials - they are excellent good use products that replace environmentally harmful plastic bags. Plastic bags have already been banned in several countries of the world *). There are many good environmental reasons for banning plastic bags: They are most often used only once - but as litter in nature or sea - the plastic bags take 100-500 years to degrade. During the degradation time they make a chemical load (leakage of toxins) into the environment. Animals suffer – and dies – directly due to that they e.g. swallow plastic; seabirds feed on pieces of plastic, cows swallow thin plastic bags while grazing.
8-20 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans every year. Ca 15% lands on beaches, 15% floats on the surface, 70% sinks to the bottom of the seas. The global production of plastic has doubled during the last 15 years. The production 2013; 299 million tons was 4% higher than the year before. An average person living in Western Europe or North America consumes 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging. In Europe, 26% was recycled, in USA 9%.
Plastic bags are substantially (92% EU 2010) made of a finite resource; crude oil.**)

Citing Magnus Breitholtz , Professor of Ecotoxicology Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM ), Stockholm University in Swedish Society for Nature Conservation Report : Everything you ( do not ) want to know about plastic : " Even without the dangerous chemicals, plastic usage result in climate - and littering problems. Minimization of the total output of plastic and to reduce use are important steps in the right direction. " ***)

Considering animals, humans and environment today - and tomorrow - say no to plastic bags, say yes to Fair Trade shopping baskets handmade natural materials. Shopping baskets (etc bags) in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are all handmade of renewable natural fibres; reed, grass, sisal, raffiapalmleaves. These materials are wild growing without any application of pesticides or artificial irrigation. It is material that has a tradition in the crafts and which sustainable use gives wild growing a place in Madagascar's economic development. The manufacturing is a genuine, small-scale and environmentally friendly crafting. The process from the harvesting of natural fibres to the finished product is highly manual: Palm leaf are harvested by cutting, grass by hand, reeds by cutting etc. The natural fibers are prepared with hand-driven processes and sun-dried. Most of the natural fibres are used undyed. In case dying, dyes that meet requirements for environmental and health (Oeko-Tex 100 standard) are used. Most baskets and bags are sewn together with hand-woven material (outside), plaited reeds (inside). This makes them durable, yet flexible and comfortable in daily use: It is easy to pack goods in the shopping baskets, comfortable to carry, easy to place in e.g. boot or seat. Some have handles made of leather. The leather is vegetable tanned, free from chrome. The leather handles are double stitched and have a braid of sisal inside, which further strengthens the handle and makes it comfortable to hold. There are also shopping baskets with handles made of bamboo and there are several different models of baskets and bags that have shoulder straps of braided sisal or raffia palm leaves.
All the products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range are shipped by sea from Madagascar to Sweden. A minimum of packaging material (recycled cardboard boxes and sacks) are used. In Sweden, the goods are packed in cartons for deliveries to shops; Shops that make a very important work when they make the products available to consumers. Find your nearest under heading “Retailers
View the range of La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE shopping baskets and bags.

*) European Parliament passed a law on 28 of April 2015 which aims to halve the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags in the Union before the end of 2019; maximum 90st plastic bags per person per year. Then further halving by 2025; maximum of 40 plastic bags per person per year. Note that the law applies to lightweight plastic carrier bags (<50 micron). Nothing prevents, however, that countries adopt stricter ban.
Outside the EU, Morocco is one of the countries which have introduced a total ban on plastic bags. The introduction came into force on 1 July 2016. Rwanda introduced the ban on plastic bags back in 2008. A number of countries have introduced a ban on lightweight plastic bags (<50 microns), for example, Madagascar October 2015.

**) Each year July 3 is celebrated International Plastic Bag Free Day. The global campaign organized by Zero Waste Europe and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). The campaign website provides information on plastic bags and the argument for reducing the consumption of plastic bags.
Worldwatch Institute: Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags.
Plastic Oceans Foundation
European Commission Science for Environment Policy IN-DEPTH REPORT: Plastic Waste Ecological and Human Health impacts.
***)Swedish Society for Nature Conservation Report : Everything you ( do not ) want to know about plastic/Naturskyddsföreningens rapport: Allt du (inte) ville veta om plast
Fairtrade crafts handbags and hats at Formex exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE 2016Thanks for visiting La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex Stockholm international fairs 24-27 August 2016. Welcome back 18-21 January 2017.

formex exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stockholm aug 2016

Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10 :41 at Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 24-27 August 2016

At La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE you find functional and timeless beautiful crafts with focus on ecology. During the trade fair in August, the stand will mainly be devoted to our large assortment of bags handmade of natural fibres: Shopping-and picnic baskets, handbags and shoulder bags, envelope bags. In addition, matching hat assortment.
You will – as always –find the stand in the hall area CRAFT. A map showing the location of the stand is available from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE e-stand on Formex website.

Formex trend theme is “Nordic me”:
The meaning of Nordic me is described as, citing: “It’s time to get personal and return to who we are. To take care of ourselves and the world around us. To seek, feel and express ourselves. We do this because we feel good doing it, but also because our choices stand tall when shown to others. We find well-being in our own origin and in nature. This is where we find the purity and durability that challenge our feeling of a troubled world. We interact in the real world - not only on social media - and act carefully with our choices. We consume consciously. Today, we design our own world and our own well-being.”

Choices that take care of the world around us. Conscious choices that stand tall when shown to others. Products made of beautiful and pure natural materials, from Sustainable production. – Welcome to choose La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment!

Formex opening hours:
Wednesday 24 August 09.30-19.00
Thursday 25 August 09.30-19.00
Friday 26 August 09.30-18.00
Saturday 27 August 09.30-17.00

sunhat sun protection with elegance Sun protection.
There are approx. 600 different sun protection creams. Which should the consumer choose and how should it be used (?) … that is a whole science accordingly to skin doctor at Sahlgrenska academy, interviewed in the Swedish radio program “Plånboken”.

We recommend: Wide brimmed Fair Trade sunhat. That is problem solution with elegance.

See La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hat assortment on the webb. Try and buy hat at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE retailers – you find them all-over lovely summer Sweden.

Fair Trade sun hat for sun protection – but also for fighting poverty, environmental care, gender equity. Head issues not to be forgotten.

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