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Fair Trade etc.

An important part of our motivation for our family business is to aid in the development of economic alternatives, cultural exchange and education about our world. Fair trade helps more than aid. We purchase as much as possible from small producers and ethical traders that share our ideals. Purchasing handmade products helps ensure that traditional arts and crafts have a future and that they contribute to a families income and therefore improve peoples lives. In addition to selling handmade products we support various non profit, fair trade, local artisan and development groups that we recommend. Some of the groups and  products are listed below, we also work with many other projects.

Seva Canada Society  Sevas mission is the elimination of preventable blindness. Currently they work in India, Tibet, Nepal and Tanzania. We sell Seva calendars and photo cards.

Calgary Dollars is a grassroots currency system that brings together local talents and resources to strengthen our local economy and build community. We accept Calgary Dollars.

Village Artisan works developing new innovative designs, raising the standard of quality, linking  local artisans with the global marketplace, and advocating  for sustainable development. We carry their hand made books, cards and other products. They use recycled cotton  from  textile industry waste benefitting the environment. New products include hand made soaps and Mango wood boxes. They are a Fair Trade Federation member.

Casa Relief  works in Nicaragua with talented, but underpaid, artists providing a market for their unique and exquisite artifacts. They pay artists a fair price and up to 50% in advance so they can buy materials and live while they work. A percentage of net profit is returned to the country through a registered Canadian charity called ASSIST. current projects involve building homes. We carry beautiful ceramic vases, wine coolers and hand carved wooden folkart from them in our store.

Cocoa Camino  La Siembra Co-op is a leading North American fair trade organization  offering consumers high-quality, certified fair trade organic products  that improve the livelihoods of family farmers and the well being of communities  at home and abroad. We sell Camino chocolate products in our store. New flavours and packages have just arrived.

CJSW Radio Community and campus radio alternatives to commercial radio  “music that challenges, entertains and doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator.” We are a member of the CJSW Friends Program.

Putumayo World Music www.  Putumayo presents a wide variety of music from around the world. “Putumayo endeavors to raise awareness and support for organizations that help improve the quality of life in regions where the music comes from. With that in mind, we tie in financial and other support to specific albums and organizations that relate to those albums.” We carry Putumayo CD’s in our shop and online for Canadian customers.

Snow Leopard Trust The Snow Leopard Trust and its local partner organizations provide herders living in remote parts of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, and Pakistan with training and equipment to produce handicrafts from the wool of their sheep and camels. As part of this program, participating communities agree not to kill snow leopards or their prey species, and to follow sustainable herding practices. We soon will carry a wide range of the Trust products.

Denzel’s Gourmet Foods   Our philosophies are simple. First, we use the finest quality ingredients I can find. We are so fortunate to be situated in the agriculturally diverse Okanagan. I have been able to form relationships with the people that grow our produce. It's easy to make the best when you start with the best. Our philosophy of quality continues by always making small batches. Each batch is hand crafted, and I work meticulously to make sure that the flavour and quality are consistent and up to par. And finally, I insist on freshness. I don't keep much more product on hand than required. This way everybody gets as fresh a product as possible. Our favorite is  our house label Mañana Lava  a Habanero hot sauce made with Basil and Roasted Garlic. New mini bottles for sampling and gifts.

Paper Garden Makes a garden from handmade paper made from recycled fibers in the East Kootenays of BC.  We carry their gift singles, great for letters and cards- plant a paper and you get a selection of Canadian wildflowers.

Rock.Stuff “rhythms of nature captured in stone” Designed and crafted in Calgary by a Calgary Dollars member, these unique stoneware products are made of a variety of beautiful stones textures and colours. Products include Trivets, Bowls, Coasters Soap dishes and tea light holders.

Irene Klar We carry cushion covers and notebooks (and soon other products) from Irene Klar an Alberta artist   “People, their textiles, pattern decoration and colours serve as inspiration for Irene Klar. Her interest in universal design elements has taken her on far reaching travels around the world from Alaska to Australia, from Guatemala and Peru to Morocco. These themes are incorporated into her paintings and prints, which are full of the intense colours of the marketplaces.  Irene Klar was commissioned to do the paintings for the Amnesty International Canada 1993 calendar and six for the 1994 Amnesty USA pocket calendar. In 1998, Irene Klar created an image for a poster in support of the Trans-Canada Trail. USC has commissioned a serigraph for women's projects in Africa and Asia.”

Numi Teas  are fairly traded, certified organic products.  “Grateful to the Earth's gifts and with a commitment to sustainability, we use biodegradable and recyclable materials for our packaging.  We believe in acting responsibly and compassionately in our community and are conscientious of those - from farmer to packer - who participate in and contribute to our journey”. In addition to this core philosophy 16 of the teas are now Fair Trade Certified.

Little Works is a small business operating under fair trade principles in urban Capetown, South Africa.  It has a design philosophy of creating original, high quality, hand crafted cards that are “little works of art.” See our Little Works page for more info.

Tara Cafe Project promotes the cultural continuity of Tibetan music. Live performances, recordings, and film documentation involving Tibetan artists, both inside Tibet and in exile, are supported. We carry their CDs in our shop.

Our family supports Plan Canada (formerly Foster Parent Plan) and we have a child we assist in Guatemala through this program. We recommend this program as a way to effectively help children, their families and their communities.

Our website is Green (Carbon Neutral). We are Hosted by Dreamhost which is certified as being  carbon neutral by completely offsetting energy use. “ Putting a price on carbon output is just one way to help make the world a better place. It's a first step towards true energy sustainability. Organizations large and small are constantly working on reducing their environmental emissions. When they do so a neutral third party then steps in to verify the reduction and issues what are known as "Renewable Energy Credits".

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