FairTrade Designers (FTD) is an initiative of three Danish industrial designers Pil Bredahl, Liselotte Risell and myself. We founded FTD in 2007 and started our first projects in China in ’08, then in Ghana in ’09 and ’10 and in Zimbabwe in 2011. We have been involved in expos, workshops, teaching and developing work here in DK and in the co-operating countries.
Fair trade is normally associated with products made out of straw or coconut shells in little villages on the edge of the world. This is still part of the truth. But now we add e-mail, webcam, blogs and Skype meetings to Fair trade.
The fact that the people involved in Fair trade productions often are illiterate and have very little theoretical training is not an obstacle to the introduction of technological devices and services in Fair trade. Actually it is the reason for it. Introducing technology makes it possible to communicate through photos or drawings of products send by e-mail or shown on webcam. And this solution facilitates and improves the possibilities to develop design and innovate the production.
The design itself is the design process surrounding the products manufactured within sustainable design. In close collaboration with artists and handicrafts people in developing countries, FairTrade Designers work to develop and innovate the production design. A collaboration with the mission to connect a methodical design process with local art craft skills, traditions and culture. This way, the products that are the result of joint projects, have the ability to survive in a commercial market and thus create an economic foundation that can enhance the local arts craft life. For each new task we often develop new communication forms together with contacts in the current country. The process is both product-oriented and strategic, taking into account both economy and sustainability.
The goal is to use design as levearge for environment, social, culturel and economic development. The power of consumption!
See a selection of FairTrade Designers products here and read more about our projects at www.fairtradedesigners.com
‘Fair & Square’ – HOMEmade pillows in hemp with embroidery – from Yunnan Province in Southchina
WORM3 and WORM5 – handcarved bowl in FSC certificed wood from Ghana.
Wedding Soles – Hand and Homemade in Yunnan Province i Southchina.
Integrete – handcarved bowl in FSC certified wood from Ghana.
Pot, handmade stone bowl made in black Springstone by local sculptors in Chitungwiza Artcentre, located outside Harare, Zimbabwe.
3 ‘collars’ i diffferent materials – shown at ‘Bæredygtig Mode’ Koldinghus ’09.