The Foundation has supported a wide variety of projects and initiatives; many are small. They often involve sharing of expertise or bringing local organisations together. Mostly they involve capacity building; they help to support Fair Trade artisan textile and craft groups run more efficiently and safely, so they can continue to provide decent employment to vulnerable people and protect their communities.
Because People Tree has worked with these groups and knows them well and they know us, we can target help precisely, knowing it will be valuable. We seek projects that are sustainable, so knowledge and expertise will continue to be passed on without our help in the future.
Occasionally there is a crisis at one of People Tree’s artisan producer groups or in their communities; and the Foundation sends small cash grants.
We receive a small amount of funding through the generosity of People Tree’s customers, but for larger projects we have to fundraise elsewhere. Currently we are seeking funding for Gender Awareness and Equality Workshops in Bangladesh and Nepal.
Covid Emergency Support with Creative Handicrafts
– India, 2020
Creative Handicrafts is a social enterprise based in Mumbai, India. Their mission is to empower disadvantaged women through the making and selling of Fair Trade food and garments and handicrafts.
When lockdown came so suddenly to India on 22nd March 2020, they had to close many of their enterprises. The women they had supported had no resources to fall back on.
“Our domestic sales suffered immensely with absolutely no sales during the last 5 months. The shops are open now. However, there are no customers… Export orders are also facing the same challenge with the sales of our buyers dipping and the order value dropping considerably. We depended on domestic sales in the past to tide over these kind of challenging times. However, as this is a global phenomenon there seems no support system available.” Creative Handicrafts. September 2020
The Foundation donated some funds for benefit the women and the children associated Creative Handicrafts, when many had lost their regular income and were struggling to make ends meet.
& Chemical Storage - Project Ongoing
Dyeing is a messy process and the waste water, if not properly treated can seep into ground water and pollute water supplies.
We have supported the building of collecting tanks for dyeworks waste, where the water is evaporated to leave a solid residue which can be disposed of safely.
DevTech has recently installed chemical storage tanks and soon will be commencing work on collecting tanks, which has been delayed by the pandemic.
We have also been seeking funding to support the improvement of the technology behind waste water treatment for small artisan groups in conjunction with academics in UK and Thailand. LEARN MORE.
Artisan weavers can produce a huge variety of original fabrics in small quantities, something which is inefficient and expensive for large scale manufacturers.
The joy of working with artisan weaves for Fair Trade fashion companies is that they can develop a range unique textile; but they need to see and test new fabrics before they can design garments made from them. Sampling on full size looms takes a lot of time and uses a great deal of yarn.
Converting old full-size looms into small sample looms is more efficient and cuts waste, a simple, environmentally friendly solution.
The foundation has funded cutting down looms at three artisan weaving organisations. Dev Tech, Artisan Hut and Swallows.
First Aid & Health and Safety Workshops
– Bangladesh and Nepal, 2017
The People Tree Foundation funded two workshops in Health and Safety and First Aid in Bangladesh in November 2017. They were organised by the ECOTA Fair Trade Forum and held at the Corr The Jute Works head office. Participants came from People Tree UK and Japan producer groups and other Fair Trade Organisations in Bangladesh, who would not normally be able to afford to hold these workshops individually. Certificates of participation were given to all attendees, who will become the health and safety officers at their workplaces.
First Aid course for 2 days and attended by 20 people, 2 from each of the People Tree producers attended.
Health and Safety for 3 days and attended by 20 people, 2 from each of the People Tree producers attended.
People Tree Japan’s NGO, Global Village. Funded the Nepal workshop.
Flash Flooding Emergency for Bombolulu
– Mombasa, Kenya, 2017
Due to heavy rains, Bombolulu Workshops were flooded and operations had to temporarily stop. Thankfully, no one got injured and no life was lost.
However, they lost vital equipment such as computers and tools and making repairs so the Foundation helped by purchasing new ones to help Bombolulu get back to work.
Joint Yarn Procurement Project
The cotton yarn the Bangladeshi producer groups can buy individually is of variable quality and price. As part of this project, the Foundation worked with producers to band together to buy larger quantities of cotton in advance. This helps get them get better prices and higher quality yarn, improving the quality of their products and making them cheaper and therefore more saleable. RAGS Initiative.
For artisan groups to grow, they need more sophisticated skills for production management, business planning, personnel management as well as improved technical skills.
With major funding from the British Government’s Department for International Development, the Foundation ran several projects in Bangladesh and Nepal as part of the RAGS Initiative.
The Foundation helped groups to implement grassroots management system developed by the World Fair Trade Organization. Guidance and templates the Foundation developed for this process are now used by artisan producer groups in over a dozen countries. This system helps groups become more efficient, deliver products of consistent quality on time, manage their workforce better and improve their working conditions. Learn more about this project.