As part of the fair trade principles Fair Anita abides by, we strive to cultivate environmental stewardship being as environmentally-conscious as possible. This is an ever-evolving process, but one of the ways we make sustainable fashion is by using recycled materials whenever possible. Bonus, these materials are always local to our artisan partners, which supports their local economies and minimizes emissions spent through transport.
Curious how each of our artisan partners makes use of recycled materials to create sustainable fashion? Read on!
Our Cambodian partners are leaders when it comes to sustainable materials. All their products are either made from organic silk, organic cotton (grown directly outside their workshop and woven in-house!), or from deadstock fabrics. Deadstock "waste" fabric is leftover from production at traditional garment factories (like H&M) and would otherwise be thrown away. As an alternative, our partners purchase the leftover fabric, silk-print new designs, and give it a second life, and turn it into best-selling bags and jewelry rolls!
In Chile, all the metals artisans use in their pieces are completely recycled! Scraps of pure brass and copper are collected, melted down, and expertly molded and hammered into beautiful jewelry. Combining handcrafted metals with local aqua chalcedony and lapis semi-precious stones resulted in some of all-time best sellers, like the Adela Dangle Earrings and the Lucia Lapis Ring. These artisans have incredible talent and have established themselves in this male-dominated field. We are so glad y'all appreciate their work!
Perhaps one of our best-known uses of recycled materials comes from our artisan partners in Ethiopia. The Ethiopia/Eritrea war two decades ago left behind a surplus of bullet casings. Artisans in Ethiopia completely change the narrative of the surplus and turn them from bullets to beautiful. Women in these cooperatives gather bullet casings, melt them down, and craft the metal into beautiful beads. The bullet casings are made from copper and brass, making them super durable pieces that are nickel-free! As an added bonus, every bead is individually handmade and unique!