New Nepalese Tingshas and Singing Bowls are Perfect Meditation Tools

A beautiful scene in Nepal

Whether used for meditation and relaxation or simply as elegant and ornate pieces of art, these unique Nepalese products are one-of-kind and are sure to bring beauty and harmony into any space. These elegant handicrafts have arrived just in time to be displayed in our booth at the NY NOW Gift Show: August 15-18, Booth 403.

As we eagerly await the New York NOW Gift Show, we, here at One World Projects, continue to take pride in collaborating directly with artisan groups and promoting their beautifully crafted, handmade and fair trade products.

Here’s a look at some of the new Nepalese products that we believe exemplify the creative capacity of the artisans we support and the kind-hearted compassion that our business is built on. Read on to learn about Gajur, the non-profit organization that we are working with to spread awareness of Nepalese culture and heritage.

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Singing bowl and Tingshas hanging on Buddha’s neck

Singing bowls are used throughout Asia, especially Nepal, China and Japan, for a variety of purposes including meditation, relaxation, stress reduction, holistic healing and music. According to Tibetan tradition, the existence of singing bowls dates back to the time when Siddhartha Buddha was alive (between the fourth and sixth centuries BCE.)

Although classified as a bell, singing bowls rest on the ground and produce sound through vibrations of the rim. This sound invokes a state of relaxation which naturally assists enter one into a state of deep concentration. Therefore, in many religious contexts, singing bowls signal when to begin and end meditation.

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Nepalese Tingshas

Similarly, tingshas are small cymbals that produce a long ringing, soothing noise and are used, along with singing bowls, in meditation, prayer and relaxation. Tingshas are most commonly associated with Tibetan Buddhism, yet are used throughout Asia.

Support the fair trade organization Gajur, our partner in Nepal. Established with the aim of promoting, preserving and extending the historical and traditional heritage of the Nepalese handicrafts throughout the world, it aspires to create a niche for Nepalese handmade products in global markets while preserving Nepal’s rich culture and craft techniques.

The group provides employment for more than 200 traditional artisan groups in different areas throughout Nepal and condemns any child labor. Gajur has implemented several programs that support its artisans and their families. For example, the company promotes gender equality by establishing women empowerment programs that help women come to the forefront of economic activity through production, collecting and marketing.

Join us at the NY NOW Gift Show to see these new and returning products in our Booth 403.

Help Out this Summer by Supporting Women in Southern India

This summer, One World Projects is in full swing supporting artisans from all around the world. By importing products handmade by local artisans, we are advocating fair wages, safe working conditions, education and many other rights that the artisans otherwise would not have access to. Since 2010, we have been working with a particular organization that aims to combat poverty in Southern India.

Almost one third of India’s population of more than 1.1 billion continues to live below the poverty line, and a large proportion of these people live in rural areas. A major cause of this poverty among both individuals and communities is lack of access to productive assets and financial resources. Luckily, a focus is being generated on micro-enterprise development, which could generate income and enable people in these rural areas to improve their living conditions.

3194-Speed-Trust-Chennai-India-Recycled-Plastic-Bags-Slum-Handmade-Fair-Trade-Ghandi-NagarBaladarshan, a network of South Indian social organizations involving disadvantaged women in crafts production, was founded by a group of social workers committed to improving conditions in these rural areas. As a certified fair trade member, it has an affirmative vision to improve the livelihood of isolated women and their children in Chennai slum areas. It hopes to make a difference by training particularly downtrodden women in handicrafts, supplying a steady and fair paid employment, building self-esteem among the producers, fighting child labor and ensuring education, and providing a safe environment in terms of housing, nutrition, and health.

SPEED Trust (Slum People Education & Economic Development) is a non-profit organization based in Chennai, India. The organization supports socio-economically deprived women from the urban slum areas of Chennai. SPEED Trust partnered with Baladarshan to form a fair trade network of organizations that supports various women craft producers, organizations and cooperatives working towards creating better livelihood opportunities, self-sustainability and a platform for their products.

12910-Masala-Incense-India-Speed-Trust-Fair-Trade-Handmade-One-World-Projects (1)These incense sticks are made by women living in slums outside of Chennai, India that are associated with SPEED Trust. Each incense stick is hand-rolled using only natural essential oils and, when lit, will add an exotic fragrance to your surroundings.

12860-Pink-Lined-Recycled-Plastic-Tote-Bag-India-Speedtrust-Fair-Trade

This extra large lined pink tote promotes the importance of reusing and recycling. These totes are handmade by blind and handicapped female. These recycled plastic totes are made by first melting bits of used plastic items, such as plastic bottles, and drying them in the sun. They are then turned into plastic strands that are dyed. The women of the SPEED Trust cooperative tightly hand weave the strands into these colorful and fun, yet very practical bags. This multi-functional bag is ideal for carrying craft projects, picnic supplies, clothes for your overnight trips or items that are used on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to these modern handicrafts, there are many traditional handicrafts that are still being produced today. For example, Indian artisans have been producing lacquered wooden products for local markets and aristocracies for many centuries. These beautiful handicrafts are still being handmade in India using the same traditional process. With the support of local designers and organizations, this skill has been adopted to today’s market in order to create functional products such as these unique barrettes.

12978-Wooden-Hair-Pins-India-Speed-Trust-Fair-Trade-Handmade-OneWorldProjects (1)Accessorize any outfit with these attractive wooden hair pins. Painted in colors ranging from green, yellow, red and black, these hair accessories are sure to draw attention to any hairstyle. The barrettes, consisting of a pin that passes through a ring, are extremely durable securely and keep any type of hair in place.

Check out more items from SPEED Trust and Baladarshan on our website: oneworldprojects.net 

Thank you for your continual support of fair and compassionate trade!

Your Pets Can Shop Fair Trade, Too.

imagesThis Holidays season, when you shop for your friends and family, don’t forget your furry family members. Your pets can also shop for Fair Trade products, which help give back to the environment and support communities around the world in being self-sustainable. One World Projects has a wonderful variety of products from Guatemala for dogs and cats. Each item is unique and handmade. The bright colors of the leashes and pet accessories are inspired by Mayan textiles. These products are made by a cooperative called UPAVIM, which consists of women who live in marginalized communities on the outskirts of Guatemala City. For more information and history of UPAVIM, see here.5801-Cotton-Dog-Collars-Guatemala-Upavim-Fair-Trade

If you are looking for a gift for your canine that combines functionality and makes a statement, our Dog Collars are sure to do the trick. Hand-woven with multicolored yarns, they are sure to make your furry companion stand out.  Each collar is available in blue, green, red and rainbow colors with paw prints and is adjustable. The light fabric will make the collar almost unnoticeable for your dog, and its sturdy nature ensures it lasts you for a while.

9813-Cotton-Dog-Leashes-Guatemala-Upavim-Fair-TradeThis Dog Leash will make your dog stand out at the dog park. Take your pet for a walk with a Mayan twist on one of our multicolored cotton leashes. Hand-woven on traditional back-strap looms, these unique Guatemalan leashes are sturdy and stylish. The back-straploom is very basic, comprising two sticks or bars between which the warps are stretched. One bar is attached to a fixed object, such as a tree, and the other to the weaver usually by means of a strap around their back. The leash and the collar are a great match and perfect for a wonderful Christmas gift set for your dog.

Available in an array of bright fun colors, these matching dog leashes and collars are perfect for walks, training sessions, or road trips. The sturdy metal lock provides strong and secure attachment. Comfortable and convenient, this will make a great holiday gift. Give back while shopping for you fury friends!5848-Cotton-Dog-Bandana-Guatemala-Upavim-Fair-Trade

These adorable Dog Bandanas will be perfect for your canine to dress up in for that family Christmas photo shoot! Your pet will enjoy these comfortable fashionable bandanas, and so will you. Available in a multitude of colors and topped with traditional Guatemalan patterns, this  pet accessory makes a perfect Christmas present. Sturdy and stylish, this bandana is great for on the go, or staying in. Every item is a doggie fashion statement and is available in different sizes and good for the smallest fury friend to the biggest cuddle buddy.

5628-Catnip-Mice-Mouse-Guatemala-Upavim-Fair-TradeIf you are shopping for your fury feline, try these Catnip Mice. Let your cat have fun playing with these mice toys filled with organic catnip. It is a delicate flowering plant, called catnip because of the effect it has on cats. Catnip stimulates cats’ receptors and is also known to be used in certain herbal medicines for its mild sedative effect on humans. These come in a variety of vivid colors and are also  hand made in Guatemala using Mayan textiles. Each package comes with a set of two mice. Your cat will love these Holiday goodies!

These Cat Collars combine both functionality and eco-chic. They are very sturdy and light, even your cat will appreciate this comfortable accessory. Hand-woven with bright shades of yarn, this unique collars catscat collar is sure to attract attention to your furry companion, while providing functionality with long lasting material. So go ahead and dress up your little friend! Our earth tone and rainbow colored collars are adjustable in size and can fit most cats. Made by our artisan partners while keeping in mind fair wage and fair prices, even this small purchase can make a change for the better.

Don’t forget your animal companions this Holiday season, when you shop for their gifts! The Fair Trade purchases made for your pets can make a difference, as the proceeds help economic and social empowerment of the Guatemalan female artisans and their children, providing them with a better life.

Ethical Shopping for Human Rights Day

3862-Turkmen-Womens-Association-Afghanistan-Jewelry-Felt-Carpet-Fair-TradeThis month we celebrate Human Rights Day. Human Rights Day was created to bring attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It celebrates the fundamental proposition that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.

It is especially important to keep in mind the importance of humane working conditions, long-term artisan relationships, and community empowerment, which are all the very important aspects of compassionate 2809-Turkmens-Womens-Association-Afghanistan-Jewelry-Felt-Fair-Tradetrade.  One World Projects strives to protect these universal values and fair working practices, because ethical businesses build a prosperous and happy world.

One of our artisan partners is an organization called the Turkmen Women’s Active Rights Association (TWARA), located in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Their mission is to empower women in order to create opportunity where it is needed.  TWARA started work with the backward and marginalized Turkmen tribes of northern Afghanistan. TWARA works towards providing these communities with a strong economic and social structure. The organization has helped in establishing schools and health centers in the region. The members of TWARA also provide women with information about women rights and legal awareness.2816-Turkmens-Womens-Association-Afghanistan-Jewelry-Felt-Fair-Trade

The region is known to be rich in traditional handcraft practices, from fine embroidery to felt carpet weaving; TWARA has been able to help the women artisans in the communities to create marketable handmade products. The organization provides the artisans with regular trainings and skill development programs to enhance their skill and market understanding. TWARA promotes these products made by the Turkmen artisans through various international fairs and trade shows, which have helped the artisans, gain visibility in the international markets.2633-Felt-Wool-Carpet-Rug-Cristina-Flowers-Turkmens-Women-Association-Afghanistan

One of the many beautiful items produced by TWARA is this Cristina White Felt Rug with Flowers.  Handmade with 100% felt, its bright colors and al-natural materials are sure to bring the unique exotic atmosphere of Afghan decor.  Oriental rugs, world renowned for their high-quality weave and intricate detail, evoke a powerful image of Afghanistan’s rich history. A tradition dating back thousands of years, the complicated and time consuming process of rug making requires 100% silk and many artisans to complete.

Like all the rugs from TWARA, this Felt Rug with Flower Design is made with sheep’s wool purchased at the local market in Kabul. These rugs 2663-Felt-Wool-Carpet-Rectangle-Rug-Flower-Design-Turkmens-Women-Association-Afghanistanare animal friendly and are created by entire families. Typically, men complete the more labor intensive part of the process, rolling and pressing the rugs in reed mats to ensure their tight weave while women wash, sort and tint the wool, and then sew the edges around the final piece. TWARA employs ten families that work together to weave contemporary decor inspired by ancient history.

The roll is rolled back and forth between two people for several hours, causing it to tighten even further. Finally, when the rug has been rolled as tightly as possible, its unrolled and laid out in the sun to dry. After the rug has dried, the women trim and stitch and sew the edges of the final piece. TWARA employs ten families that work together to weave contemporary decor inspired by ancient history.2564-Felt-Wool-Doormat-Carpet-Rug-Clover-Welcome-Turkmens-Women-Association-Afghanistan

This Embroidered Felt Doormat with Clovers will be a fun welcome touch to your home décor. The wool it is made out of is stain-resistant and non-absorbent by nature, which makes cleaning easy. Just shake, sweep or vacuum your rug free of dirt. If your rug requires a deeper cleaning, dampen the affected area with water and then spot clean using mild non-bleach soap. Rinse the area thoroughly and remove excess water, and then lay the rug flat to dry.

Rug-weaving is a complicated and time-consuming process that often takes many artisans to complete. Typically, men do the most labor intensive part of the rolling the rugs, while women wash, sort, tint and begin to design a wool outline on a reed mat. Once the outline is completely laid out, the outline is 2788-Turkmens-Womens-Association-Afghanistan-Jewelry-Felt-Fair-Tradefilled in with wool, sprayed with hot water and rolled up inside the natural mat as tightly as possible and tied with a rope.

This labor-intensive process is the result of the hard work of the Afghan women from TWARA, which could not have been possible without the help from the organization. This just shows how vocational training, education, and humane working conditions empower the underprovided communities all over the world. So, commemorate Human Rights Day today by supporting fair trade and support a cause that gives an opportunity for a better life!   

Give To Get a Little More This Holiday Season

2826-Balashram-Children-Hand-in-Hand-India-Orissa-Hariharananda-Prajnana-MissionThe Holiday season is here, which means it’s the time for family dinners, decorating, and gift giving. We love this time of year, because it lets us be with our loved ones, rekindle, and reconnect. And what is more important, than seeing the happiness in the eyes of someone you love, and most importantly, in the eyes of our children? They are the future that we need to protect. While some of us may be fortunate in having immediate access to the basic necessities of life, millions of children around the world are suffering from lack of access to food, shelter, and education.

In many places, children are used as laborers, immersed in armed conflict, living on the streets, or suffering by differences be it religion, minority issues, or disabilities.  Currently there are about 153 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 who are forced into child labor.2827-Balashram-Children-Hand-in-Hand-India-Orissa-Hariharananda-Prajnana-Mission

One World Projects is working with many artisan partners who help underprivileged children by giving them opportunity and a hope for a better future. One of these partners is Hand in Hand, an international non-profit that is helping to rebuild Hariharananda Balashram, a school for disadvantaged children in Orissa, India. It was opened in 2004 with the aim of helping poor children to get a home, a comprehensive education and a vocational training, which otherwise would be reserved only for those children coming from richer backgrounds. Here education is the key to combating poverty and recovering after a tsunami that caused famine, droughts, as well as floods in the region.

2847-Holiday-Gift-Cards-Hand-in-Hand-New-Year-Balashram-Children-Fair-Trade-India-Hariharananda-SchoolThe school works to provide physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development for up to 480 poor and underprivileged children, irrespective of cast, religion, or gender. Each year, forty children, of kindergarten level are enrolled for twelve years of education.

Approximately 50% of the children are orphans, and the others are from the poorest families in the least developed districts of rural Orissa. Were it not for Balashram many of these children would be living in the streets, deprived of primary education, health-care, and the opportunity of productive and bright futures.

With the help of Hand in Hand, the students make these unique and colorful Holiday cards, which are then fair trade imported. 100% of the proceeds from the 2838-Holiday-Gift-Cards-Hand-in-Hand-New-Year-Balashram-Children-Fair-Trade-India-Hariharananda-Schoolsales of these cards are returned to provide support for a brighter future for these children. Each package comes with six handmade cards. The message inside card reads: “Wishing you peace, joy and love this holiday season and throughout the New Year.”

This season, share a little more when you mail a card to you loved one. Bring the Christmas spirit and the holiday cheer to every home with these heartwarming and creative cards from India. Give the gift of a bright future to the children in Hariharananda Balashram by supporting their 2843-Holiday-Gift-Cards-Hand-in-Hand-New-Year-Balashram-Children-Fair-Trade-India-Hariharananda-Schooleducation and providing them with tools to thrive. Choose from our wonderful Holiday collection: these cards are perfect for Christmas, New Year, or any other occasion that is sure to spread the joy. Your family and friends will love the one-of-a-kind colorful design, and you will love the cause.

This Christmas, give a little more: spread the Holiday cheer with family and friends while contributing to the well-being of children who really need your support. Your care and compassion will empower their “today” for a prosperous and happy “tomorrow”!

Spice Up Your Holidays

Red-River-Two-Women-in-a-boIn the Red River Valley of Vietnam, a Vietnamese engineer turned artisan has been running a small artisan workshop called Seven Seas. Working with recycled and sustainably harvested materials, the Seven Seas workshop produces a wonderful variety of Christmas ornaments and boxes made of cinnamon wood. Seven Seas knows it’s better to reuse rather than recycle and makes every effort to reduce its environmental impact.

Seven Seas is a home-based workshop in the town of Tra Bong located in the Quang Ngai province of central Vietnam. Quang Ngai is the shared homeland cohabited by the Kinh people and three other fraternal ethnic groups: Hore, Kor, 4438-Cinnamon-Bark-Ornaments-Tree-Christmas-Seven-Seas-Vietnam-Fair-Tradeand Kadong, who always stand side by side for the sake of mutual interest and progress. Quang Ngai is south of the DMZ and also was the scene of heavy combat during the Vietnam War. The fair wages the artisans receive allow them to feed and educate their children, and improve their living conditions; all of which contribute to their hope for lasting peace.

Cinnamon has long been an important resource for these communities. It’s high -oil content and powerful flavor make Vietnamese cinnamon arguably some of the finest cinnamon in the world and an important export commodity. Unique to Vietnam, is the traditional craft of using the bark of cinnamon trees to create beautiful and aromatic gifts.

This Holiday season, decorate your tree with this unique ornament made of cinnamon bark. Shaped like a Christmas tree, it will fill your home with the warm scent of cinnamon and bring holiday cheer. The cinnamon trees that are used to produce these ornaments are a renewable resource and are sustainably harvested.

4434-Cinnamon-Bark-Ornaments-Love-Birds-Doves-Seven-Seas-Vietnam-Fair-TradeThis Cinnamon Bark Lovebird ornament will bring the Christmas spirit and a sense of love and peace to any room. The one-of-a-kind design is combined with a wonderful aroma of real cinnamon, which is sure to be the talk of the party. Add a little compassion to your holidays, when you shop for Christmas decorations this year.

This Cinnamon Bark Shaker will bring the sweet smell of cinnamon and will take you back in time, back to the time of the spice trades with their mystical routes mapped all the way to Vietnam. This shaker could be an excellent tabletop accessory, spice storage container as well as a natural room freshener.4405-Cinnamon-Bark-Shaker-Seven-Seas-Vietnam-Fair-Trade

The fragrant cinnamon bark toothpick holders will be a great addition to your kitchen while being functional and stylish. Handmade from sustainably-harvested natural materials, this is a perfect example of eco-chic home décor.

The artisans from Seven Seas get the cinnamon from the dried inner bark of an evergreen tree which belongs to the Cinnamomum genus. During ancient times, 5950-Cinnamon-Box-Toothpick-Holder-Seven-Seas-Vietnam-Fair-Tradecinnamon was considered a precious possession, and was often given as a gift to kings or gods. Historical evidence claims that cinnamon was presented at the temples of the Greek Roman gods Apollo and Miletus. In modern times, cinnamon is used as a very important spice in various cuisines across the world.

Cinnamon is yielded by growing the tree for a span of 2-3 years and then coppicing it. Coppicing, a traditional method of woodland management, is the process of cutting the tree to the ground level and allowing it to grow again. The trees naturally reshoot from 4885-Cinnamon-Bark-Seven-Seas-Fair-Trade-Vietnam-Harvesting-Processtheir stumps or roots, thus the tree is unharmed and regains its matured size. Cinnamon trees can yield productive barks for about 45 years, after which they are required to be replaced with a new seedling. Coppicing becomes an environmentally-sustainable way to harvest cinnamon bark again-and-again from the same tree.

The bark is immediately processed after harvesting, while it is still wet. The outer hard cover is scraped out and beaten evenly to loosen out the inner bark – the real cspice. Once peeled, the bark is placed in extended layers and then rolled to form quills. They are further sun-dried; the dried barks curl up and are cut into smaller sticks, ready to be sold.

There are many health benefits to eating and smelling cinnamon. Cinnamon is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron and calcium. It is a natural food preservative, when added to food; it helps to inhibit bacterial growth and food spoilage. Cinnamon has been studied for helping arthritis, anti-clotting effect, antioxidant effect, and blood sugar balancing. Smelling cinnamon has also been shown to boost cognitive function and memory.

Spice up your Holiday season this year with our eco-friendly fragrant cinnamon ornaments and kitchen accessories!

Billboards: A Second Life

Secours populaire français Speed TrustWhether you’re looking for the perfect gift for your teen or want to treat yourself to exclusive recycled bags and wallets that make a statement, our collection of billboard accessories is just for you.

Billboards are widely used as part of any urban landscape. Serving as an essential advertising tool for everything from cosmetics to cinema, apart from advertising, they make for a very useful housing material for slum dwellers in India.  They are used to cover the slum roofs, especially during the monsoons. These impermeable sheets help protect from harsh weather conditions.

Billboards are one of the most produced industrial wastes with the shortest span of use. Billboards are very harmful for the environment, especially when disposed into landfills, where they take several years to decompose while releasing toxic waste that mixes with the soil and ground water.9800-Recycled-Billboard-Tablet-Shoulder-Bags-Ipad-Case-India-Fair-Trade-Speed-Trust

Our artisan partners in India realized another innovative way to reuse these large vinyl sheets. They started making them into utility products such as bags, totes, wallets and backpacks. Used or rejected billboard sheets are taken from several salvage or scrap shops in the city, where they have been sold by either rag-pickers or companies who do not need them anymore.

9804-Recycled-Billboard-Tablet-Shoulder-Bags-Ipad-Case-India-Fair-Trade-Speed-TrustA great example of products that were given “a second life” are these Billboard Tablet Carriers from India. They are perfect for the office, home, or when you’re on the go. They come in a variety of vivid colors and prints and are sure to stand out. Made with discarded or rejected billboards and are lined with 100% cotton fabrics. Each perfectly fits an iPad with an outer case; this allows you to throw your tablet computer over your shoulder with an added layer of padding and water resistance. Opens with one Velcro flap and has a shoulder strap for convenience. Choosing a present for your teen is a hard task, but we just made it easier. 8838-Recycled-Billboard-Backpack-Speed-Trust-India-Fair-Trade

This Recycled Billboard Backpack combines functionality with fun vivid designs.  Each includes one outer zipper pocket and adjustable strings at the back.  Perfect for a picnic, day trip or just a routine day at school, your kids are sure to love them and so would you.

These Coin Purses are also made from recycled billboards, and are a great way to support the environment. Discarded and rejected billboards are collected from scrap shops around the city and converted into these innovative, utility products by female artisans from in India. Each includes one stuff pocket and one zipper pocket and comes in a set of 5 coin purses. Your teens will love the bright colors; you will love the durability and the eco-friendly component. Like all of our items, these billboard items are fair trade imported and support educational programs and vocational training to build communities and give opportunity to those in need.

8880-Recycled-Billboard-Coin-Pouch-Wallet-Speed-Trust-India-Fair-TradeThe artisans that use this “green” technology come from an organization called SPEED Trust (Slum People Education & Economic Development), is a non-profit based in Chennai, India. The organization supports, socio-economically deprived women from the urban slum areas of Chennai. SPEED Trust partnered with Baladarshan, a fair trade network of organizations which supports various women craft producers, organizations and cooperatives working towards creating better livelihood opportunities, self-sustainability and a platform for their products.

SPEED Trust was started in 1999 at Gandhi Nagar Sathyayani Muthu Nagar, one of the largest slum areas in Chennai. The project began with a tailoring training to teenage girls from the slum 9049-Speed-Trust-Billboard-Textile-Artisancommunity, who after a period of one year, were provided with a sewing machine by the trust. Simultaneously, SPEED Trust also set up educational programs which have helped women and girls to choose different occupations and livelihood options.

Today SPEED Trust has been able to expand its reach, not only in the domestic, but also the in the international market. Apart from providing vocational and educational training to women and girls from the slum community, SPEED trust also gives micro-credit loans to these artisans. The loan facility helps in making them independent and their businesses self-sustainable.

These unique billboard accessories are durable, eco-friendly, and creative: everything you need for a perfect present that will last. Kids and teens will appreciate the design, you will appreciate the cause!

Unique Recycled Accessories For the Man in Your Life

153Whether it’s a way to give thanks to our Veterans, or a unique present for the Holidays, One World Projects has you covered when it comes to gifts for men in your life. We know how hard it is to find the perfect present for your father brother, or significant other, so we made it easy for you. We combined durability, sustainability, and male-chic, to provide you with one-of-a- kind collection of accessories made from repurposed tires. Our wallets, toiletry bags, and waist packs are not only high in quality, but are also environmentally friendly due to their recycled nature.

Discarded truck and car tires litter the road, ravines, and rivers, causing harm to the environment. The craftsmen who use this innovative technique give a second life to something so mundane. They come from an artisan group called Uca Ruffatti located in Santa Ana, El Salvador.148

This artisan group helps to clean up the mess, while turning waste into beautiful and functional works of art. Uca Ruffatti collects the inner tubes from the discarded tires and uses them to create accessories in a variety of sizes and designs. The long-lasting toughness of the material contributes to the products’ extensive life and durability. The artisans at Uca Ruffatti have repurposed tires and car upholstery to create unique and environmentally friendly accessories for the past 20 years. Artisans are free to employ their creative vision when producing the bags, so each item is unique and meticulously crafted, and of course, pleasing to look at and, most importantly, functional in form.

200In March 2009, One World Projects was recognized by the Fair Trade Federation on behalf of our collaboration with Uca Ruffatti. The “Excellence in Product Design” award was given in recognition of Uca Ruffatti’s outstanding work in the field of design, innovation, contemporary style, tastefulness and responsible use of materials in accordance with FTF’s principles and values.

A great example of functionality and sustainability is the Recycled Tire Tube Waist Pack.  It’s just the right size for passports, cell phones and other travel documents. This is a perfect present for that avid adventurer or a person “on the go”. A cotton lining is added with an exterior zippered pocket for organization. It is water resistant and has an adjustable waist strap: perfect to take on a hike or a boat trip.196-Recycled-Tire-Cosmetic-Bag-Fair-Trade-El-Salvador

This Recycled Tire Toiletry Bag from El Salvador is an irreplaceable necessity for travelers. Equipped with waterproof lining and zipper closure, it is sure to be a long-lasting accessory. Due to its recycled nature, no two bags are exactly alike. While designs and measurements are consistent, patterns on rubber will vary. Handcrafted and fair trade imported, this toiletry bag is a present nobody would want to return.

76If you’re having difficulties choosing a gift, pickone that will sure to come in handy, like this Recycled Tire Wallet. It’s a rough time for the economy, and only a wallet handmade from recycled car and truck tires is tough enough to take it. By making use of the discarded tires that litter El Salvador’s roads and ravines, this item helps keep our planet clean, bringing eco-positive change into the world. It includes 6 pockets for credit cards, 2 for photos, and one large billfold. This is one of our most popular items and is the perfect gift that combines functionality and promotes compassionate trade.

The Holiday season is not only the time of giving, but a great reason to also give back. It is our mission to create strong and fair relationships based on trust and mutual respect, just like the ones we have with our artisans. We know that the best presents are the ones that give back by supporting communities and building sustainability. So this season, show the men in your life the appreciation they need by giving them gifts that are fairly and compassionately traded and filled with heart!

Bring Soothing Melodies and the Rich Heritage of Peru Into Your Home

PeruThe music of Peru can be described as the very heartbeat of the country. For Peruvians, music is not just an act or a spectacle: it is life. The art of making musical instruments conveys the rich and ancient heritage that shows much of the national spirit. One World Projects hopes that you too share this spirit with your loved ones during the holiday season by purchasing one of our unique gourd instruments.

Peruvian artisans have practiced the art of gourd-carving for more than 4,500 years, transforming a simple squash into intricately designed bowls, boxes, and musical instruments. Over the centuries, artisans have found unique ways to craft gourd decor, including scratching, fine-line hatching, pyro engraving and carving. 3532-Gourd-Maracas-Shekere-Seed-Artesanias-Rojas-Peru-Fair-TradeThe details and designs have changed, but contemporary artisans remain inspired by Peru’s rich traditions.

A great example of the unique gourd technique is an instrument called Shekere, which is originally a West African maraca. Made out of a gourd with a net of seeds, it produces a variety of sounds when shaken. Using gourds for art forms is a traditional craft of the high Andean Mountains of Peru. Each gourd is skinned, cleaned, and sun-dried before artisans adorn their surfaces with etched and carved images. This Shekere is made from a specific gourd called the calabash or bottle gourd known for its long and slim shape.  This piece is sure to bring authentic sound and creativity to any party.

3518-Gourd-Maracas-Color-Hand-Painted-Artesanias-Rojas-Peru-Fair-TradeOur hand-painted maracas made from gourds are a great gift for music lovers. The maraca, also known as shac-shacs in Trinidad and rumba shakers in some parts of Latin America, is a traditional percussion instrument throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. The gourds used are natural and uniquely shaped vegetables, similar to a pumpkin or a squash. When played, the musicians strike maracas against their hand or leg to get a distinctive sound.

This instrument, known as the Guiro is a percussion instrument. It is a gourd with carved grooves on one side to play music and a beautiful landscape with a musician in nature carved on the other. Various sounds can be produced by scratching the grooves or hitting it with a striker. This handmade Peruvian piece will sure to be a memorable gift under your Christmas tree.3597-Gourd-Instrument-Wiro-Artesanias-Rojas-Peru-Fair-Trade

Cochas Chico and Coches Grande are twin farming villages nestled in the Andean mountains of Huancayo, Peru, home to a rich tradition of gourd carving. The artisans that make these unique gourd instruments are Esperanza Palomino and Raquel Sabastian Rojas .These two women have established small fair-trade businesses to help create new jobs for the artisans in their village. Besides creating new jobs for artisans aged ten to sixty, both women manage work distribution from the main office to give priority to the families with the greatest need.

Esperanza carves her gourds wearing the colorful and traditional Huanca skirts, and it’s quite common to find her carving surrounded by her husband, sons, brothers, nephews and brothers-in-law. Her biggest dream is for all families to have work and a better future.

3832-Artisan-Peru-Artesanias-Antu-Gourds-Cochas-Chico-HuancayoRaquel’s workshop creates work for about fifteen families and manages orders from the main office. Like Esperanza’s workshop, Raquel’s artisans share the work so that parents, children and grandparents collaborate together on large orders. She inherited the craft from her grandparents and parents, all the way to the present.  Each generation improves the art and, it continues to grow with future generations.

If you are looking for memorable and one-of-a-kind gifts for your family and friends this holiday season, these Gourd Musical Instruments from Peru are perfect for you! They will bring a warm heartfelt atmosphere of Peruvian culture to your living room.

November: Child Safety Protection Month

images  This month is Child Safety Protection Month. The goal of Child Safety Protection Month is to create awareness about the potential dangers children face in everyday situations and to use this new knowledge to prevent any risks.

International Child Protection Month honors the importance of each adult taking action as a protector of children through awareness, advocacy, and intervention on behalf of all young people of all abilities; empowerment of young pe3137-Noahs-Ark-Artisan-Jewelry-Boxes-Bowls-Lanterns-Fair-Trade-Indiaople to take charge of their own lives as they learn, play, and grow; listening to and learning from young people and encouraging adult leadership in keeping kids safe. This month, it’s especially important decide to put safety ahead of discomfort for young people, yourself, and your loved ones!

Through fair and compassionate trade, OWP transforms communities and provides support for children and their families in places where it is needed. One of our artisan partners i1838-Noahs-Ark-Artisan-Jewelry-Boxes-Bowls-Lanterns-Fair-Trade-Indias a non-governmental organization called Noah’s Ark. Like the biblical story of Noah’s Ark that symbolizes the concept of saving mankind, they strive to save the art of making handicrafts and invest in the future generation.

Noah’s Ark is based in Moradabad, India. They work with over 100 artisan groups across India by offering funding for raw materials, for machines, for repairs to workshops and by helping to provide their artisans with access to clean drinking water. Noah’a Ark has also formed a partner non-profit organization that helps build schools and provide educational opportunities for the children of their artisans and other youngsters in the neediest parts of Moradabad. Noah’s artisans produce a multitude of metal crafts, carved wood, textiles, notebooks and more. 5270-Recycled-Metal-Set-of-3-Angels-India-Noahs-Arc-Fair-Trade

Noah’s Ark provides a great variety of recycled products: everything from jewelry, to home décor, to holiday accessories. This holiday season decorate your tree, hearth, or window with this fun set of three recycled angels. Crafted from metal cans, these unique handmade figurines show you care about the environment while adding a festive touch to your home.

9008-Angel-Bell-Candle-Heart-Star-Tree-Wire-Ornaments-Recycled-Noahs-Ark-India-Fair-TradeThis beautiful silver wire ornament set will bring about an eco-positive spirit this holiday. The set includes 6 unique designs that are made from recycled materials. What better way to promote the safety and health of children than by purchasing Christmas decorations that are traded with compassion? Give a little more this holiday season: support education and create opportunity for children in Moradabad, India.

5527-Recycled-Metal-Bicycle-Chain-Tea-Light-Holder-India-Noahs-Arc-Fair-Trade

Noah’s Ark has a great selection of products made from bicycle chains.  This innovative recycling technique is used to craft this unique tea light holder. It makes a perfect Christmas gift for the bike enthusiast, environmental activist, or the person who loves unique decor.

1380-Recycled-Metal-Frame-Mirror-Link-Chain-India-Fair-Trade-Noahs-ArkThis free-standing photo frame is handcrafted from repurposed link chains by the artisans at Kamrool Hasan’s workshop, one of many fair trade workshops sponsored by Noah’s Ark. With the purchase of this original frame you support the mission of our partners, which is to empower low income artisans to break the cycle of poverty and to preserve the cultural traditions of their crafts through commitment to Fair Trade. Celebrate Child Safety Protection Month by making a gift that supports children and saves lives!

While preparing for the Holidays, remember to also create a Child Safe Month!