Thursday 8 December 2016

Buy ethical Traidcraft presents for your children this Christmas

Wembley Matters does not carry advertising but I have made an exception in this case. You can make a difference to the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet by making ethical consumer choices.

Show You Care - Nepal: The Stonebreakers (Subtitled) from Traidcraft on Vimeo.

Toy adverts are dominating TV screens and parents are crumbling to the pressure of pester power, but most children are bored with their Christmas presents by the end of the festive season, according to a new study. A national survey by Traidcraft, the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, found that 67% of parents expect their children to tire of their new toys by the end of the holiday season, while almost 3 in 10 parents expect their children to be bored with their gifts on the big day itself.

This lack of interest comes despite the majority of parents surveyed (60%) estimating they spend more than £100 per child on Christmas presents. The survey also found that around nine in 10 people receive at least one unwanted Christmas gift every year. The survey was commissioned by Traidcraft in support of its Show You Care campaign, which calls on UK consumers to shop with thought and buy meaningful fair trade gifts in the run up to the Christmas period. The survey results, which shed light on the nation’s Christmas gift giving, come as a stark contrast with the lives of some of the children and families that the organisation works with in developing countries overseas.

 In Kenya, where Traidcraft works with farmers struggling with the effects of climate change, children surveyed by Traidcraft were excited by the prospect of receiving fizzy drinks for Christmas, while in Nepal Traidcraft’s partner organisation Get Paper Industry provides education for children of desperately poor rural families. Nepal’s ‘Stonebreakers’ are some of the poorest people in the world, whole families including the children make their living collecting, breaking down by hand and selling stones from the riverbed. The average income for Stonebreakers is just 75 rupees, or 50p per day, which must support an entire family.

Stonebreaker Suvash Parijar, who is father to five year old Sudip, is forced to beg and borrow to keep his children clothed and fed. Suvash said: “As I have a family I have responsibilities. I have to make sure they are looked after and have enough to eat. There is no other way to look after my children unless I work. It is all my responsibility. “Sometimes there is no money at all, so if my children demand something that I cannot provide I have to find a way of explaining to them. But we usually beg and borrow to get them what they need. It is very difficult.”

Buying from Traidcraft helps our partners such as Get Paper Industry transform lives, allowing them to run life changing products around the world.

 Roderick Stuart, Traidcraft’s Head of Communications, said:
Of course we want families to enjoy a fantastic Christmas and receive the gifts they want and will enjoy, but we’ve all probably experienced a time when we feel under stress or pressure to buy Christmas gifts that are maybe beyond our means and it feels like we’re in danger of forgetting the true meaning of Christmas.

Meanwhile there are whole families in developing countries living on the equivalent of just 50p a day. Many people think that fair trade simply equates to a fair wage and while ensuring a fair wage for producers is a hugely important part of what we do, the benefits of buying fair trade reach so much further.

In the case of the Stonebreakers in Nepal, our work with fair trade producers means that the children of these desperately poor families have access to a free education, which can eventually help lift the whole family of poverty changing lives for the better forever.

Fair trade Christmas gifts really are a win-win way of spreading festive cheer and that’s why we’re calling on the people of the UK to ‘Show You Care’, buying ethical gifts with thought and love in the run up to Christmas.
 Traidcraft’s fair trade Christmas range is available to purchase at

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