world environment day 2018 Beat Plastic PollutionWorld Environment Day 5 June 2018 #BeatPlasticPollution
Say no to plastic, say yes to Fair Trade crafts of natural materials.

The theme of the World Environment Day 2018 is "Beat Plastic Pollution." The theme is a call for all of us to make changes in our daily lives to reduce plastic waste. The pollution caused by plastic waste causes major damage to wildlife, human health and the environment. Approximately 13 million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in our oceans. In the oceans, plastic waste threatens vulnerable marine wildlife and coral reefs. The plastic waste decomposes into micro-plastics and seeks into water supply - and thus into our bodies. What harm causes it? Scientists are still not sure, but plastic contains a number of chemicals, many of which are poisonous or disturb hormones. Plastic can also act as a magnet for other pollutants such as dioxins, metals and pesticides.
Plastics have many valuable uses - but too often (50%) it becomes single use items, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles etc single use items. Only used once and a short time – but remaining as a very long-lasting problem for animals, nature and coming generations. Source: UN World Environment Day

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE recommends: Say no to plastic, say yes to Fair Trade crafts of natural materials.
fairtrade shoppingkorg handmade of natural materialsA) Choose Fair Trade shopping basket handmade from natural materials instead of plastic bag when going shopping. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE offers a range of shopping baskets which all are handmade of natural materials.

fairtrade picnic basket to beat plastic pollutionB) Plan and pack your Fair Trade picnic basket instead of visiting fast food / take-away with its plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, etc single use items. You find example of picnic basket from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE here.

gardenhat and potager for plastic free and environmentaly friendly foodC) Garden Hat & Potager: The combination of flowers and vegetables will give you buzzing bees, birdsong + guaranteed climate friendly and plastic packaging free food. Fair Trade garden hats for sun protection - but also for environmental care, poverty reduction, gender equality. Don’t forget the head issues. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hats have style & Function – here you will find out more about the various models.

BeatPlasticpPollution with fairtrade gifts made of recycled plastic and metal wasteD) When it's time to buy gift for someone who already has "everything" (...) choose Fair Trade crafts made from collected, recycled plastic- or metal waste.
The problem with plastic waste, etc. environmentally hazardous waste will continue to be large. The problem of desperate poverty in parts of the world as well. Madagascar is one of the world's economically poorest countries. About 80% of its population lives in extreme poverty. At the same time, Madagascar has a unique flora and fauna; belongs to one of the world's "biodiversity hotspots". That this environment is protected from littering, any type of waste, is of immeasurable great value. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE craft range includes many different vehicle models skilfully handmade of collected metal- and plastic waste. Under the menu heading ”Bijoux” there are also beads handmade of collected plastic waste. Crafts that shows impressing creativity and practical environmental engagement. BeatPlasticPollution

formex 2018 exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE

Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10: 41 at Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 17-20 January 2018.
At La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE you find functional and timeless beautiful crafts with focus on ecology. During the spring fair, the Formex stand will be devoted to our large assortment of hats with matching bags and baskets.

sunhat chapeau soleil art nr 25181La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hats
Approx 30 different hat models will be shown in the Formex stand. All hats are genuine crafts made of the artisans local wild-grown natural fibres.
The great majority of hats are made of raffia palm leaves that has been hand-woven, knitted or crocheted. The sun-dried raffia palm leaves is an excellent material for making high quality hats; beautiful, comfortable to wear on the head, easy to bring along on the trip.
Sunhat La Maison Afrique FAIRTRADEIn addition to the hats of raffia, there are hats braided of natural green mountain grass and sedges.
In La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range there are hats for all occasions; the beach, the garden, the party etc. The range includes many really good sun hats; hats with wide brim that provide good sun protection to face as well as neck and shoulders.
Hats are available for both small (i.e. children sized hats 48-53) as well as large (i.e. adult size medium 57-58 and larger 59-60-61).
fairtrade farmer hatPhotos to the right and above give just a few examples from the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hat range.
All hats that can be ordered from stock in Sweden can be found on the website under menu item "Hats".

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE bags
axelvaska ekofashionApprox 25 different bag models (handbags, shoulder bags, shopping- and picnic baskets) will be shown in the Formex stand. The bags match the hats, as they are also genuine craftsmanship (hand-woven, woven, braided) of essentially the same natural fibres as the hats. What is different is that bags and baskets contain more of the sturdy, durable mountain grass and sedges. Most bags and baskets are made in two layers; an outer layer of hand-woven or crochet raffia palm leaf, an inner layer of plaited sedges. The inner layer of plaited sedges is what gives the bag fairtrade korg vaska sisalor basket shape and durability. In addition, some have an extra inner lining of hand-woven raffia or cotton fabrics.
Handles and shoulder straps are made of vegetable tanned leather, bamboo or raffia.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE bags are stylish, nice to carry.
The shopping baskets handmade of natural materials are the ultimate Sustainable alternatives to plastic bags.
fairtrade shoppingkorgPhotos to the right and above give just a few examples from the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE bag range.
All bag models that can be ordered from stock in Sweden can be found on the website under menu item "Bags".

For more information about La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10:41 at Formex 17-20 January 2018, visit the Stockholm International Fair website. Search Formex-exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE.
Formex opening hours 17-20 January 2018
Wednesday 9.30am-7pm
Thursday 09.30am-7pm
Friday 09.30am-6pm
Saturday 09.30am-5pm

The climatechange is unfairClimate change leads to natural disasters. - It is unfair that the poorest countries suffer the worst.
Madagascar is an example of an extremely poor country, which in 2017 suffered from two major natural disasters; drought and then cyclone with subsequent floods.

Worldbank Madagascar overview (13 October 2017): “Social context: While Madagascar has great potential, the country has lagged on several development indicators: almost 80% of the population lives on less than $1.90 per day, with one child in two under 5 years suffering from stunting, and Madagascar is the fifth largest country in the world with the highest number of unschooled children. Moreover, the rate of access to electricity is 13%, one of the lowest in the world. Madagascar is also one of the countries that are most exposed to extreme weather events and experiences, on average, three major natural disasters per year. In addition, repeated political crises, the last of which shook the country from 2009 to 2013, often threaten the development progress made.”
The country overview in its entirety can be found here.

During 2017, Madagascar has suffered from two major natural disasters: Drought and then the cyclone Enawo with subsequent floods. The latest (23 Nov 2017) World Bank report on Madagascar's economic situation has the title “Coping With Shocks: Madagacar’s Economic Update” Press release and the report in its entirety can be found here

See La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE webpage about Fair Trade crafts for Sustainable Development.

fairtradeforum2017 linkopingFair Trade forum 2017 Theme: Sustainable lifestyle

Fair Trade forum 2017 theme is ”Sustainable lifestyle”; textile and fashion, food, electronics. Linköping is the host for the 2017 edition of Fair Trade forum in Sweden. Opening ceremony the 5th of October 20.00 with a concert at Linköping forum theatre.
Fair Trade forum exhibition and market:
6 October 13.00 - 19.00
7 October 10.00 - 16.00
Place: Kårhuset Kollektivet, Ågatan 55 in central Linköping.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE participates as exhibitor.

Fair Trade forum program:
6 October kl 13.00 - 20.30
7 October kl 10.00 - 16.30
Fair Trade forum offers a great number of program items connected to the 2017 Fair Trade forum theme; Sustainable lifestyle”. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE participates with program item ”Sustainable fibres in Fair Trade handicrafts” 7th October 12.15 - 12.45.
Place: Kårhuset Kollektivet
More about Fair Trade forum 2017 in Linköping
Sustainable lifestyle for Sustainable Development – What can be more important?
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE at 2017 forum!

Formex exhibitor august 2017 La Maison Afrique FAIRTRADEThanks for visiting La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 23-26 August 2017.
Welcome back 17-20 January 2018!

la maison afrique fairtrade formex august 2017Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 23 -26 August 2017.
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10:41

In the stand you will find Fair Trade bags and hats handmade of natural fibres. More information in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE e-stand on Formex website.
At La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE you find blooming handcrafts made of beautiful natural fibres
- and of what would otherwise be environmentally damaging litter, e.g. metal cans, plastic, textile waste. You find flower decorated bark paper as greeting cards, vehicle models made of recycled metal cans and much more under the menu Gifts and Interior on the website. There will not be room for all this in the Formex-stand – but the products can be ordered on-line by registered customer companies.
With approx. 900 exhibitors, 23 000 visitors and 800 media representatives, Formex is the largest Nordic meeting place for design, crafts and interior. Besides the opportunity to do business, the fair gives visitors information about trends, inspiration and knowledge in the form of exhibitions and lectures. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has participated as an exhibitor twice yearly since 2006. 23-26 August 2017 will be the 23rd Formex fair for La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE.

made in africa for the future of africaMade in Africa makes the future for Africa

Africa is rich in raw materials - but when processing is not done in Africa, Africa does not get rich. Exports of raw materials make Africa loses value added chains, remaining dependent on imports of consumer goods and capital goods. In addition, Africa loses technological development and jobs for a population that, according to the UN, will double in the years 2017 to 2050.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE focuses on high value-added goods, does not deal with raw materials. In the colonial trade system, Africa was supplier of raw materials. We work for change.
Photo shows children's hat handcrafted of local, sun-dried natural white raffia palmleaves. Dyes used meet environmental and health requirements. One of the women who braided (Madame Clarisse Razanadrazery) is seen together with a little girl whose future the production contributes to. 
The United Nations forecast for population development is presented in the publication "World Population Prospects Key findings & advance tables 2017". The world's population is expected to increase from 7.55 billion in 2017 to 9.77 billion by 2050. Africa's population is expected to double from the current 1.26 billion to 2.53 trillion.
Africa's fast-growing population means that 450 million jobs need to be created over the next 20 years. Less than a quarter of these jobs, according to the report, Africa Competitiveness Report 2017, compiled by the African Development Bank (ADB), the World Economic Forum and the World Bank, will be created with current policies. For example, in the short-term development of value added chains for raw materials are necessary to achieve economic diversification, sector-specific reforms in labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, construction and micro-enterprises. In the long-term, stronger institutions for implementation and improved infrastructure are needed. The report was published 4 May 2017, can be downloaded in its entirety as a pdf file.

In order to understand Africa today it is important to know its history. The documentary " How the Europeans Divided Africa " ​​by the well-known expert in Africa's history, Basil Davidson, tells us how the European colonial powers divided Africa and then exploited through a trade pattern where Africa was a raw material supplier.

In summary: Buy products MANUFACTURED in Africa for future in Africa.

When will Europe start amortizing the colonial debt? Interest rates?

World Environment Day 5 June
A day it suits extra well with genuine Fair Trade crafts of natural materials and recycled materials.
world environment day 5 june 2017

To the left: Photo from a location on Madagascar's east coast which has an (extra) large and unique biodiversity. The hat is made in this location, handcrafted of sun dried raffia palm leaves and recycled cassette tape. Material that are ecological from two aspects; The sun-dried palm leaves are included in the natural, wild-growing flora. The harvesting of the palm leaves makes the palms to continue sprout new. Cassette tapes are local waste for which recycling plants are missing.
To the right: Basket handcrafted of sun dried mountain grass and raffia palm leaves. The grass is wild growing around the village where the craftswomen live. Handle of vegetable tanned leather. Lining and pull-string close of unbleached cotton fabrics. Perfect for a little picnic.

Anything else to add? Yes. The place where the hat is made often suffers severe cyclones. The cyclone Enawo in March 2017 was an example of this. It made landfall here reaching peak intensity: 62 m / s (230km / h). The cyclone left many homeless.
The women who make the hats are environmental heroes in a world with a very unfair climate change (!)
Many more hats, bags, gifts and interior items all being genuine Fair Trade crafts of natural or recycled materials are to be found at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website.
Dear Consumer, support the artisans in Madagascar by buying their goods in the shops and church communities that make up La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE resellers. Do you work with retail? Welcome to register your company in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE customer register so that you will be able to order products online.
Fair Trade - MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain
8 March International Womens Day
March 8 - International Women's Day

The world is not equal.
Gender equality is a major global justice issue.
Being a Fair Trade organization, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE takes clear position in words and actions to give more power and opportunities to women.
About 75% of the artisans who manufacture the goods in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are women. Those who are responsible for producer group; responsible for receiving loans and deliver the goods, are women or woman together with a man. The only exception is a hat studio where all the four active are men. The overall coordination in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE is carried out by women.
Disbursements of loans provide concrete economic power and opportunities for women.
At the same time a great responsibility.
The women have been found to be very creditworthy; La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has, after over 20 years of business, no losses from artisans who have received loans but not delivered. Considering the conditions that often prevail on Madagascar (infrastructure that is lacking, frequent cyclones) this is impressive.
Another, more important reason to give financial responsibility and authority to women is that they invest in the future. Experience in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE shows that the income from the craft often is used for the children's university education, improvement of family housing, etc welfare.
With their earnings, the female artisans give social welfare to their family and community - something that is extremely poor, politically unstable country state often is unable to do.

color of the year 2017 greeneryColor of the Year 2017: Greenery

“Greenery symbolize the reconnection with nature, one another and a larger purpose” With these words concludes the Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute why greenery was selected the colour of the year 2017.
Greenery is a fresh yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors. Greenery is nature’s neutral – it is a color for every day and everywhere.

According to Forbes the choice of greenery as the color of the year 2017 also shows environmental engagement has moved from being none-controversial or revolutionary to be a crescendo. The environmental engagement is expressed in the trend for vegetarian food, environmentally conscious fashion etc consumption.

environmental care at la maison afrique fairtrade
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE is delighted to see more and more embrace the green trend. More about environment - passion in practice at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE

Environmental engagement is always an engagement for greater justice.

La Maison Afrique Fairtrade exhibitor at Formex 2017 thanks for visitingThanks all who visited La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm International fairs 18-21 January 2017. The visitors make the trade fair valuable for the artisans on Madagascar – and make participation a pleasure.
Pleased to meet You. Thanks!

formex spring trade fair 2017 la maison afrique fairtradeFormex Stockholm International fairs 18-21 January 2017
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10:41.
Spring starts here. Welcome!

At the spring-fair, the stand will be devoted to our large assortment of hats with matching bags and baskets. All genuine craftsmanship using natural, ecological fibres. Functional and beautiful, in addition Fair Trade. On Formex website, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE e-stand shows some of the products together with material and artisan. There is also a link to map showing where the stand is located in the hall. Don’t miss the opportunity to see newly designed and newly arrived Fair Trade bags and hats.

Newly arrived 2017 in La Maison Afrique Fairtrade range

Newly arrived in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range.
New models of hats and hand bags handmade of natural fibres, flower decorated greeting cards of bark paper, miniature model vehicles of recycled cans - all made by the use of interest free loans the artisans received from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE. Environmentally friendly, genuine craftsmanship that has taken a lot of time. The container arrived to Swedish port in December 2016. See the newly arrived goods at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE website under the menu item Fair Trade wholesale. The fine handicrafts will also be shown in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 18 to 21 January 2017.

New models of bags and hats handmade of natural fibres.
axelvaska horisont o hantverkare hantaBag Horizon has outside of hand-woven raffia palm leaves, shoulder strap of braided sisal. Stability and durability of the inside layer of plaited reeds. Lined with natural white cotton fabric. Inside pocket. The bag closes with a zipper on the top, has a large zipper pocket on the front. Horizon shoulder bag comes in two sizes: Art Nr 24101 and Art Nr 24102. Both are available in four different colour options: Light grey + nature white, pastel blue + nature white, pink + nature white, olive green + nature white.
Bag model Horizon is the result of the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE cooperation with artisan and designer Madame Hanta. Work on the development of the model began in the autumn 2015, the production has taken place in 2016. The results are now in stock at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE in Sweden. The photo shows the bag Horizon and Madame Hanta home-studio where she and four other manufactures. The studio is located on the Malagasy countryside. They moved from the capital a year ago - and I think they got a much better environment for working and living on the countryside.

axelvaska hatt o hantverkare riversideShoulder bag Riverside is braided of natural green sedges, the shoulder strap of stylish round braided nature white raffia. Closes with large, round carved wooden button at the front of the bag. Size and design that makes the bag ideal for documents in A4 format. Approximate dimensions: H = 32cm Width = 22cm Depth = 6cm
Men’s hat Chapeau Homme Riverside is matching shoulder bag Riverside in shape, colour and materials. The hat is made in large sizes. Like the bag, the colour is natural green. Together they are – naturally stylish.
The shoulder bag model Riverside is the result of the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE cooperation with artisans and designers on Madagascar's east coast. The material grows very commonly in the region and the crafting provide significant income to women. Madagascar's east coast is often hit by cyclones. Infrastructure (roads, water, electricity) are very poorly developed. Cash revenue to supplement subsistence agriculture is important. Work on the shoulder bag model Riverside began in the autumn of 2015, the manufacture of the bag (and hat) has continued in 2016. Both the bag and hat are now in stock at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE in Sweden. The photo shows bag and hat Riverside and the designer and artisan Madame Tilda. It may be interesting to note that the plant is common in several countries in and around the Indian Ocean from Madagascar as far away as Australia and Fiji. On Madagascar it is much appreciated as a material of good quality for making crafts; strong, flexible, easy to work with. (There are recent example of that the plant's value as material for handicrafts has led to restoration of its habitats after being destructed during mining projects. The plant habitat is important to preserve given that it also is a good environment for e.g. amphibians.) More about the plant, its propagation and usability on the website PlantUse.
Hat and hatmaker artisan Madame MarietteThe hat model Chapeau Mariette Ruban is made of sundried raffia palm leaves braided into band and sewn together. The hat is nature white with band around the hat crown, rosette and brim edge in three colour options: Pink, Sea Blue, Olive Green. Beautiful summer hat! La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE cooperates with designer and artisan Madame Mariette since 2007. Several hat models have been created over the years, of which Mariette Chapeau Ruban is the latest. Photo shows how Mme Mariette step-by-step makes the hat. More of Madame Mariette’s popular hat models are available under the menu item Hats.

Hat with large bow The hat Chapeau Bow is made of handwoven raffia. It is an elegant woman's hat with big bow on a 9cm wide brim. The extensive work done on the material, that is, the hand-woven raffia palm leaves, gives the hat a high quality. The hat is available in three colour options: Nature white, black and various shades of grey. Photo shows the hat model and designer and artisan Madame Vololona at the sewing machine.
Examples of newly received bags and hats that are favourites
A number of much demanded bag- and hat models have arrived and are now again in stock at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE in Sweden.
Fairtrade baskets woven raffia, leather handles, inside pocket with zipExamples include baskets with outside of handwoven raffia, leather handles, inside pocket with zipper. The baskets are now newly arrived in three sizes: Art nr 211, Art nr 212, Art nr 213. They are now also available in more (6) colour options: Nature white, Pastel Green, Olive green, Mauve, Jeans blue, Multicolour. Photo shows Art Nr 211 Basket Woven raffia, leather handles GM in the two new colour options nature white and pastel green.
fairtrade basket with lining and pull-string closeAnother example is Art Nr 2114021 Basket Rariboka PM. The basket is braided by a combination of mountain grass and sun dried raffia palmleaves. Crafting technic "rariboka" gives a very beautiful structure. The basket has both lining and pull string closing of cotton fabric. The basket is newly arrived in two colour options; patterned with orange or patterned with olive green. The latter colour option is new. The cotton fabric lining and pull-string close is nature white. See the new colour option and cotton textile lining/close on the photo.
Examples of popular hat models that are now back in stock are the durable crocheted sisal hat (art nr 256) and the crocheted raffia hat art nr 2581 Chapeau Eliane.
Men's hat homme le grand la maison afrique fairtradeThe popular men's hat art nr 25235 Chapeau Homme Le Grand is back - and now available in more colour options; natural white, dark brown, black. Photo shows the men’s hat in nature white and black as well as the craftsman Monsieur Norbert (with his hat press, which is operated by hand and heated with charcoal.)
sunhat soleil and artisanThe beautiful sun hat art nr 25181 Chapeau Soleil is also back - and also in more colour options; nature white, bright red and jeans blue. Photo shows the new colour options, red and blue as well as artisan Madame Odette.
sport bike model recycling and fairtrade Newly arrived model vehicle handcrafted of recycled metal
The classic car models; Citroën 2CV, van 3CV Citroën, Citroën DS, Peugeot 404, VW beetle made in miniature (L = 7-9cm) are now back in stock in Sweden at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE. The newly arrived vehicle model also includes the sport cycle model , miniature motorcycle and helicopter. See them all under the menu item Metal recycling: Model Vehicles.
Handmade fairtrade flower decorated greeting card with envelopeNewly arrived flower decorated greeting cards handmade of bark paper
The popular double flower cards with envelopes are now back in square format: art no 1115 15x15cm and art no 1116 10x10cm. See them and others under the menu item Anteimoro paper: Greeting cards etc.
Orderliness-tool Triple basket for the wallOrderliness
The steady demand orderliness-tool art no 282 Triple Basket for the wall has arrived in three colour options: Anise Green, Cerise and Multicolour. It is one of the best sellers for more than ten years. The triple basket is smart in many ways: Can easily be hung up wherever orderliness is needed; hall, office, closet, camper, cabin on boat etc etc. The triple basket can easily be packed together to make a small compact package, making it easy to pack and store. Natural materials and craftsmanship method is climate friendly, i.e. globally smart.
Time for Sustainable Development
Environmentally responsible, genuinely fair trade crafts take a lot of time.
Maritime transport is also slowly - but that’s all right because it is environmentally best transport option: Sea freight container generates only 12.1 CO2 emissions per tonne-km vs. airfreight: 552-950 CO2 emissions per tonne-km. Comparison shows that the sea freight is charging only 1-2% of what the same quantity of goods would as airfreight *).

Fair Trade crafts is a good tool for sustainable development.
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE booth B10: 41 at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 18 to 21 January 2017.
*) Ref Kommerskollegiums report ”Handel, transporter och konsumtion”.

no to plastic bags yes to fairtrade shopping basketsSay no to plastic bags, say yes to Fair Trade shopping baskets handmade of natural materials.

Choose Fairtrade shopping baskets handmade of natural materials - they are excellent good use products that replace environmentally harmful plastic bags. Plastic bags have already been banned in several countries of the world *). There are many good environmental reasons for banning plastic bags: They are most often used only once - but as litter in nature or sea - the plastic bags take 100-500 years to degrade. During the degradation time they make a chemical load (leakage of toxins) into the environment. Animals suffer – and dies – directly due to that they e.g. swallow plastic; seabirds feed on pieces of plastic, cows swallow thin plastic bags while grazing.
8-20 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans every year. Ca 15% lands on beaches, 15% floats on the surface, 70% sinks to the bottom of the seas. The global production of plastic has doubled during the last 15 years. The production 2013; 299 million tons was 4% higher than the year before. An average person living in Western Europe or North America consumes 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging. In Europe, 26% was recycled, in USA 9%.
Plastic bags are substantially (92% EU 2010) made of a finite resource; crude oil.**)

Citing Magnus Breitholtz , Professor of Ecotoxicology Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM ), Stockholm University in Swedish Society for Nature Conservation Report : Everything you ( do not ) want to know about plastic : " Even without the dangerous chemicals, plastic usage result in climate - and littering problems. Minimization of the total output of plastic and to reduce use are important steps in the right direction. " ***)

Considering animals, humans and environment today - and tomorrow - say no to plastic bags, say yes to Fair Trade shopping baskets handmade natural materials. Shopping baskets (etc bags) in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment are all handmade of renewable natural fibres; reed, grass, sisal, raffiapalmleaves. These materials are wild growing without any application of pesticides or artificial irrigation. It is material that has a tradition in the crafts and which sustainable use gives wild growing a place in Madagascar's economic development. The manufacturing is a genuine, small-scale and environmentally friendly crafting. The process from the harvesting of natural fibres to the finished product is highly manual: Palm leaf are harvested by cutting, grass by hand, reeds by cutting etc. The natural fibers are prepared with hand-driven processes and sun-dried. Most of the natural fibres are used undyed. In case dying, dyes that meet requirements for environmental and health (Oeko-Tex 100 standard) are used. Most baskets and bags are sewn together with hand-woven material (outside), plaited reeds (inside). This makes them durable, yet flexible and comfortable in daily use: It is easy to pack goods in the shopping baskets, comfortable to carry, easy to place in e.g. boot or seat. Some have handles made of leather. The leather is vegetable tanned, free from chrome. The leather handles are double stitched and have a braid of sisal inside, which further strengthens the handle and makes it comfortable to hold. There are also shopping baskets with handles made of bamboo and there are several different models of baskets and bags that have shoulder straps of braided sisal or raffia palm leaves.
All the products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range are shipped by sea from Madagascar to Sweden. A minimum of packaging material (recycled cardboard boxes and sacks) are used. In Sweden, the goods are packed in cartons for deliveries to shops; Shops that make a very important work when they make the products available to consumers. Find your nearest under heading “Retailers
View the range of La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE shopping baskets and bags.

*) European Parliament passed a law on 28 of April 2015 which aims to halve the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags in the Union before the end of 2019; maximum 90st plastic bags per person per year. Then further halving by 2025; maximum of 40 plastic bags per person per year. Note that the law applies to lightweight plastic carrier bags (<50 micron). Nothing prevents, however, that countries adopt stricter ban.
Outside the EU, Morocco is one of the countries which have introduced a total ban on plastic bags. The introduction came into force on 1 July 2016. Rwanda introduced the ban on plastic bags back in 2008. A number of countries have introduced a ban on lightweight plastic bags (<50 microns), for example, Madagascar October 2015.

**) Each year July 3 is celebrated International Plastic Bag Free Day. The global campaign organized by Zero Waste Europe and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). The campaign website provides information on plastic bags and the argument for reducing the consumption of plastic bags.
Worldwatch Institute: Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags.
Plastic Oceans Foundation
European Commission Science for Environment Policy IN-DEPTH REPORT: Plastic Waste Ecological and Human Health impacts.
***)Swedish Society for Nature Conservation Report : Everything you ( do not ) want to know about plastic/Naturskyddsföreningens rapport: Allt du (inte) ville veta om plast
Fairtrade crafts handbags and hats at Formex exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE 2016Thanks for visiting La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex Stockholm international fairs 24-27 August 2016. Welcome back 18-21 January 2017.

formex exhibitor La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stockholm aug 2016

Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B10 :41 at Formex, Stockholm International Fairs 24-27 August 2016

At La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE you find functional and timeless beautiful crafts with focus on ecology. During the trade fair in August, the stand will mainly be devoted to our large assortment of bags handmade of natural fibres: Shopping-and picnic baskets, handbags and shoulder bags, envelope bags. In addition, matching hat assortment.
You will – as always –find the stand in the hall area CRAFT. A map showing the location of the stand is available from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE e-stand on Formex website.

Formex trend theme is “Nordic me”:
The meaning of Nordic me is described as, citing: “It’s time to get personal and return to who we are. To take care of ourselves and the world around us. To seek, feel and express ourselves. We do this because we feel good doing it, but also because our choices stand tall when shown to others. We find well-being in our own origin and in nature. This is where we find the purity and durability that challenge our feeling of a troubled world. We interact in the real world - not only on social media - and act carefully with our choices. We consume consciously. Today, we design our own world and our own well-being.”

Choices that take care of the world around us. Conscious choices that stand tall when shown to others. Products made of beautiful and pure natural materials, from Sustainable production. – Welcome to choose La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE assortment!

Formex opening hours:
Wednesday 24 August 09.30-19.00
Thursday 25 August 09.30-19.00
Friday 26 August 09.30-18.00
Saturday 27 August 09.30-17.00

sunhat sun protection with elegance Sun protection.
There are approx. 600 different sun protection creams. Which should the consumer choose and how should it be used (?) … that is a whole science accordingly to skin doctor at Sahlgrenska academy, interviewed in the Swedish radio program “Plånboken”.

We recommend: Wide brimmed Fair Trade sunhat. That is problem solution with elegance.

See La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE hat assortment on the webb. Try and buy hat at La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE retailers – you find them all-over lovely summer Sweden.

Fair Trade sun hat for sun protection – but also for fighting poverty, environmental care, gender equity. Head issues not to be forgotten.

world fair trade day2016 fairtrade for sustainable development

World Fair Trade Day 2016 – Be an Agent for Change
Fair Trade is a good tool for Sustainable development.
Fair Trade is above all …action.

The World Fair Trade Day takes place on the second Saturday of May of each year.
World Fair Trade Day celebrates Fair Trade for its tangible contribution to poverty reduction, gender equity and environmental care. The poorest countries are the ones that have contributed the least to the ongoing climate change, but they are the worst hit by its consequences.
Trade must benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods, above all by creating opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers.

Millions of good Agents for Change; producers, traders etc businesses, policy-makers, supporting organizations, volunteers and consumers have together made Fair Trade grow globally with impressing strength. That is worth celebrating!

World Fair Trade Day is an event initiated by World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and its members.

formex formland 2016 la maison afrique fairtradeTHANKS! To all who visited La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE
stand B09:41 section craft at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 20-23 January 2016
stand E4030 hall BLOOM at Formland, Messe Center Herning 4-7 February 2016.

Looking forward to see you again at Formex 24 – 27 August 2016.

formex formland la maison afrique fairtrade hats bags

Meet spring in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B09:41 at Formex, Stockholm International fairs 20-23 January 2016 and stand E4030 at Formland, Messe Center Herning Denmark 4-7 February 2016.

At the spring-fair, the stand will be devoted to our large assortment of hats with matching bags and baskets. All genuine craftsmanship using natural, ecological fibres: sisal, palm leaves, reeds, mountain grass. Functional and beautiful, in addition Fair Trade

Trend 2016? It has to be Sustainability – there is no planet B.
If we not only gaze forward, but like the chameleon, also keep an eye directed back, we see:
A) September 2015 world leaders take decision on 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals for 2030
B) December 2015 the first global climate agreement finalizing COP21 in Paris
C) December 2015 research made by Svensk Handel shows that 7 out of 10 Swedish consumers want to buy from companies that actively work with sustainability.

Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex and Formland!

kameleont seende


sustainable fashion 2016Ship in harbour! The 30th of December the container arrived. It was in May, with use of loans from La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE, the artisans started manufacturing. In October we loaded the container on Madagascar. See the newly arrived bags and hats on the website or in stand at Formex 20-23 of January, Formland 4-7 of February 2016.
Genuine, ecological handicrafts take time – but the result is Sustainable.

fairtrade handbags and hats 2016Among the newly arrived products, the hat that is a favourite for many: Art nr 2515 Chapeau raffia à la campagne. Photo above shows the hat, two of the artisans; Madame Clarisse och Mme Ariette on their way home to the village with material and a close-up on the plaiting of the hat.
Also shown on the photo is the bag Uni Rabane-Leather, which was new in the assortment spring 2015 and soon become very much requested. The spirited, spring green colour is now back again. (On the photo the medium sized is shown, Art nr 24103. The bag is available in three sizes.)

October - November was also the period for the yearly (since 1995) meetings on Madagascar. Meetings with the artisans about the materials, the manufacturing, the deliveries to the locality where goods are stocked before packing, the loans they get, the time plan etc. Meetings at the artisans where they manufacture as well as the locality to which they deliver. Work on new product models - products that can be part of the assortment during coming years.
Fair Trade means a daily work following the 10 principles –which make Fair Trade a good tool for Sustainable Development.

crafting of a hat la maison afrique fairtrade

Series of photos of Madame Mariette the 17th of October when plaiting a new hat of sundried palm leaves.

Photo at the top shows one of her since many years much appreciated models; Art nr 2541 Chapeau Mariette Courbé, now again in stock.

Genuine, small scale and ecological handicraft.
Sustainable Fashion – not Fast Fashion.

fairtrade crafts for sustainable developmentFair Trade crafts for Sustainable Development

Fair Trade is a good tool for Sustainable Development. The 10 principles for Fair Trade reflects the ecological-social-economic aspects of Sustainable Development.
Crafts can meet high ecological criteria e.g. materials and production, high social standards e.g. gender equality, high economic standards e.g. value added.
Madagascar has one of the world’s highest percentage of extreme poverty (more than 80%). At the same time, it has a rich and unique flora and fauna to preserve. Madagascar is one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots”. In this context, Fair Trade crafts stands out as an exceptionally good choice.

SDG2015 2030Global Sustainable Development Goals for 2030
At a UN summit 25-27 September 2015, world leaders decided on 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. (Image to the left)
These goals replace the 8 Millennium Development Goals decided for the period 2000-2015.

Fair Trade is a good tool for sustainable development. For example, Fair Trade principle number 1 is “Creating opportunities for economically marginalized producers”. It is perfectly in line with SDG number 1 No poverty. Fair Trade principle number 10”Respect for the environment” reflects SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production as well as 13 Climate action and 15 Life on land. Another example is Fair Trade principle number 6, which is reflected by SDG 5 Gender equality. Finally, Fair Trade practice in its daily work and at grass root level SDG 17: Partnership for the goals.


extreme poverty in africa worldbank map 2015Sustainable Development Goal number 1: No poverty
According to the World Bank, it is likely that the percentage of the world population living in extreme poverty will fall to below 10% by the end of 2015. (The World Bank uses an updated international extreme poverty line ref PPP2011, below 1.90 USD/day).
However, there is a concentration of global poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Bank map (to the left) shows percentage population living in extreme poverty. The darker the colour, the larger the percentage: white 0-20%, yellow 20-40%, orange 40-60%, red 60-80% and dark red 80-100% of population in extreme poverty. (Grey when no data available.)

Madagascar is a worst case with 81,8% of the population living in extreme poverty (below 1,9 USD/day).


madagascar extreme poverty millions percentage 1998 2010Moreover, the millions of people living in extreme poverty has been increasing 1993-2010. This is shown by the bar graph (to the left), the red dots represent percentage. See the World Bank poverty data website for more information.

It should be noted that no data is given for the years after 2010. Madagascar has been in a severe political-economic crisis starting 2009 and has been hit by several severe cyclones during the last years. The combination has had large impact on the economy as a whole and maybe for the already poorest and most marginalized in the society. The infrastructure, e.g. roads and electricity supply, has deteriorated quite dramatically. The percentage of communes in the country being accessible the year around by road decreased to 40% by the end of 2014. In the World Bank report “Doing Business”, Madagascar ranks 188 (of 188 counted countries) regarding electricity supply 2015.

sifaka biodiversity hotspot madagascarAt the same time, Madagascar has one of the richest and most unique flora and fauna in the world to preserve. Madagascar is, together with the smaller surrounding islands, one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots”. Here below some figures to describe an ..immeasurable value.

Plants: Vascular plants total at least 13,000 species (possibly as many as 16,000), of which about 90 percent are found nowhere else in the world. 8 of at least 160 plant families found here are endemic, a level unmatched by any other hotspot.
Mammals: About 90 percent of the more than 150 mammal species that live on Madagascar (and the surrounding Indian Ocean islands) are endemic. In addition, new species are being discovered at a rapid rate (22 new mammal species and subspecies on Madagascar the last 15 years).
The most well-known mammals of Madagascar are the lemurs, represented by five families unique to this island. 72 species and subspecies of lemurs makes Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands a Hotspot world leader in primate endemism.
Birds: More than 300 bird species are regularly found in the hotspot, nearly 60 percent of which are found nowhere else on the planet.
Reptiles: 96 percent of nearly 400 reptile species are found nowhere else on earth.
Amphibians: Two endemic families of amphibians: the Sooglossidae, found in the Seychelles and the Mantellidae, found on Madagascar and Mayotte. 229 of the 230 present spices are endemic.
More about Biodiversity Hotspots on CEPF website.


Madagascar needs Sustainable Development where ecology makes the broad bottom base on which the social and economic is build.
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE remains committed with passion since 1995.
Grateful to You who contribute. Fair Trade – Greater Gift!

fair trade forum in Sweden 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Fair Trade forum 2015 Uppsala, Sweden 2-3 October

Fair Trade forum is the Swedish major event for ethical and Fair Trade. This year's Fair Trade forum gathers some 30 exhibitors and has a program offering more than 50 speeches, panel debates, workshops. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has been participating in Fair Trade forum every year since its start – and in arranging the prototype preceding it.

Fair Trade forum has taken place in different Swedish cities, a new location every year. The photos above are from the four last: Fair Trade forum in Karlstad 2011, Fair Trade Forum in Borås 2012, Fair Trade Forum in Eskilstuna 2013, Fair Trade forum in Jönköping 2014. However, this year Fair Trade forum returns to Uppsala where it was held also 2006. Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE exhibition stand and program*) in a new-old location!

*) Lecture Saturday 14.00 Fair Trade crafts for Sustainable Development

Fair Trade forum 2015 Location: Missionskyrkan, S:t Olofsgatan 40 Uppsala Opening hours: Friday 2 Oct 09.00-17.00 Saturday 3 Oct 09.30-16.00

Program (in Swedish) Fair Trade forum 2015 pdf-file

fairtrade-formex-2015THANKS to all who contributed to four fine Formex-days 19-22 August 2015.

Welcome back to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 20 - 23 January 2016!




 fairtrade-bag-always-readyAlways ready

Fair Trade bag with large pocket for e.g. mobile. The pocket closes with Velcro (the button of polished coconut shell is there for aesthetic reason). Cotton textile with drawstring to close the bag. Double sewn leather handles with extra length to carry on the shoulder. Genuine handicraft of locally sourced environmentally friendly materials.

The bag has inside of plaited reeds. The material gives shape and elastic, flexible firmness, good durability. The bag has outside of sundried, handwoven raffia palm leaves. Before weaving, the palmleaves are split lengthwise and tied together. The weaving gives important economic income to women in isolated rural areas. The dyes used complies with environmental and health demands. The leather for handles and trimmings has been tanned with mimosa and is free from chrome. The button of polished coconut shell – is a little bit of waste that in the hands of a skilled artisan has become beautiful.
Remains to add yet a practical detail of the bag: A sturdy inside pocket fixed at the inner topline on the bag, protected under the cotton textile drawstring close.
The bag is available in three sizes: Art nr 241010: Height=33cm, Art nr 241011: H=29cm, Art nr 241012: H=24cm Colours: Olive green, jeans blue Click here to find these and other bags in the assortment.

1995-2015: La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE celebrates 20 years of: Arts & Crafts from Madagascar with respect for environment, people and traditions. FAIR TRADE - by presenting extra many new bags and hats in the assortment.
See bags and hats in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B09:41 at Formex, Stockholm international fairs 19-22 August 2015
or on the website, there also craft methods, artisans and materials are presented.


Formex, Stockholm international fairs 19-22 August 2015
Welcome to La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE stand B09:41

1995-2015: La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE celebrates 20 years of Art & Crafts from Madagascar with respect for environment, people and traditions FAIR TRADE - by presenting extra many new models of bags and hats.

Fair Trade bags: Bags that are nice to carry. Quality crafts of natural fibres and vegetable tanned leather. Sizes and functions for autumn's many activities – order for immediate delivery to your shop.

Fair Trade hats: Hats with style and function. See the many new hat models plaited, crochet or woven of raffia palmleaves, sisal, various reeds or grass – and plan for a new sunny spring.

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