Our newest collection of gifts and decor is dedicated to the comfort of home and the balance we find there.
Home is a place where we work and we play. So we’re introducing a laundry basket that will have you looking forward to folding and a muddler and reamer that prove it really is more fun to be your own bartender.
Home is a space where we seek sanctuary for ourselves and offer hospitality to others.
So we’re presenting the soft light of a silk paper mood lamp and blissful sea salt body scrub, alongside hand-loomed table linens and a cheese and butter board that simply begs for company to come over.
This collection is quite literally about home: from white ceramic house boxes (that you never knew you needed until now) and house-shaped bottle toppers (can you say housewarming gift?) to fully functional dwellings (for our feathered friends).
But here’s a behind-the-scenes secret: While these gifts represent a wide variety of functions and perhaps an even wider variety of recipients, the cohesive look of the collection — clean and simple lines, the comforting contrast of smooth and rustic textures, the calm, neutral color palette — is no accident. Though the products in this group come from 14 different countries, they were developed in concert.
One of the principles of our ethical business model is design collaboration. We share trend details with makers and collaborate to create designs that preserve traditional skills of craftsmanship. The products you see today are the result of months of communication between buyers and designers here and our partners around the world. The relationships we have built with artisan groups create this opportunity for long-term cooperation. Over time we gain a deep understanding of the strengths and challenges of different workshops and how they might be able to execute a new idea with their existing skills.
Our product development process is a delicate balance of tradition and trend. We strive to infuse new while respecting old, in order to give products the best chance for success. As a nonprofit, fair trade retailer, we fulfill our mission and our artisan partners succeed when their products sell. While makers have already been paid in full for product by the time it reaches our shelves, sales mean new orders, new investments and sustainable income.
But long before a designer puts pen to paper for sketching, or an artisan sharpens a chisel for carving, we start with inspiration: colors, textures, shapes and finishes. Themes are based on lifestyle, fashion and decor trends in the North American market. Themes must also feel true to who we are, at heart — a fair trade business, with a mission and vision that one day all artisans in developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and live a life of quality.
This collection about the comfort of home and the importance of keeping life in balance started with a question: Why? Why fair trade? Why buy these products here and not somewhere else? Why does it matter? What is in the balance?
Here’s what we believe; here’s the declaration of style and substance behind all the baskets, boxes, pictures, planters, textiles and treasures.
What is in the balance?
Creative traditions. Natural beauty. Human dignity.
We have a responsibility to protect these treasures in how we choose to live and in what we choose to live with.
In the balance is a respect for the resources of the Earth and for all of its people.
It is simple and elemental and peaceful.
It is warm and inviting in its sincerity.
It is harmony achieved by mixing materials, contrasting textures and making new with old.
It is honesty borne out by neutral tones, clean lines and raw, unfinished surfaces.
It is the space between delicate and strong. It is white like winter – and the precious silence of freshly fallen snow. It is green with hope and promise. It is a space of listening, of mindfulness, of authenticity.
And it is the place to make a fresh start.
They say your story begins at home. Fill your home with fair trade and make your story one of dignity, respect, and kindness. When you create balance in your home and in your heart, the world will feel it, because peace starts within and ripples out.