Because fair trade attempts to accomplish more than a simple exchange of money for goods, it is ideal if the producers are formed into groups that promote safety, health, sustainable production practices, skill acquisition, social benefits and community development. Also, producer groups are best suited to establish and implement fair pricing and quality standards. Most importantly, producer groups help to reduce the vulnerabilities that result from the economic, geographic and social differences between producers and buyers.
No. TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles is a social enterprise that works using fair trade principles. Fair trade does not mean charity, not-for-profit or volunteer. Fair trade is a way of doing business that respects all partners, promotes sustainable practices for the environment and people involved, and provides a liveable wage for all partners.
To start, prices vary with the quality and complexity of dyeing and weaving, as well as the quality and quantity of fibres required. TAMMACHAT is committed to supporting the continuation of the artistry that earned Southeast Asian weavers their well-deserved reputation.
Whenever possible, we buy textiles made from heritage varieties of village-raised, hand-reeled, organic silk and handspun organic cottons. Yarns are hand-dyed in small batches with organic materials that are locally raised or sustainably gathered. Each textile we select displays fibre qualities, dyeing techniques, weaving expertise and careful finishing seldom seen in markets or street stalls.
TAMMACHAT has the additional expense of exporting these products to the other side of the world and selling them in Canada: i.e., transportation, communications, customs duties, taxes, registration fees, rent, supplies, utilities, promotion, etc. The price one might pay in a Thai marketplace does not include any of those costs.
Last but not least, there are additional costs because TAMMACHAT operates according to fair trade principles. We do not buy from middlemen in markets who may be part of a system that exploits the weaver's economic insecurity and/or a buyer's lack of knowledge.
By travelling to villages where the weaving is produced, we can see for ourselves the working conditions and production methods. Also, many of our purchases are from groups that are accredited by the World Fair Trade Organization, or are members of a larger organization that is a WFTO member.
The World Fair Trade Organization is a global network of Fair Trade Organizations that extends the fair trade model beyond the commodities certified by Transfair and the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO). Its mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade.
This is always tricky, because every computer is set up to render colours a little differently. We calibrate our computer monitor so we can create images that are as close as possible to the actual colours of the weavings.
To see a larger view, drag your mouse pointer over a product image; this will help you get a sense of the colours. If anything, they appear more muted on your screen than they actually are. We think you'll be thrilled with the rich or subtle colours of any piece you order.