Offering Opportunies

Craft Resource Center follows Fair Trade principles

Craft Resource Center has a specific mission: to encourage artisans to develop their talent and connect them to the Fair Trade market and improve their quality of life.

The Calcutta-based company first opened its doors 25 years ago. Founder and current Director Irani Sen and the late Manoranjan Walia’s vision was to follow the first principle of Fair Trade to create opportunities for small or other marginalized groups.

Today the organization works with 36 artisan groups and almost 5,000 artisans based in rural and semi-urban settings all over India. Eight of these groups are 100 percent, women-employed groups. The remainder are mixed groups. On an average, 40 percent of the total numbers of artisans are women.

The artisans work in groups where profit is shared horizontally amongst all members of the group. Training in leadership taught by the group leader. CRC works only with artisans who adhere to the principles of Fair Trade in their work and daily life.

Conscious of the environment and toxic working conditions at leather tanneries, CRC’s Green A’ Fair, partnered with the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) to develop eco-leather.

Market trends from abroad inspire many of the artisan’s designs. “Our designs try to create as many utility items as possible. Ideas received from Fair Trade buyers complimented by our ideas, and experiences, go about in making products. CRC follows market trends retaining traditional Indian art forms at the same time. Our products are handmade with the minimal intervention of machine. We make products where more than one artisan group contributes to making the product. This is done to generate work for more than one artisan group simultaneously with different kind of skills and techniques,” explained Dolan Chatterjee, Development Officer at CRC.

The organization has two brands under its umbrella: Fair & Square and Green A’ Fair.  Both brands feature a wide variety of textile and leather goods. Fair & Square celebrates formerly forgotten traditional techniques that have been revived by CRC artisans. Items range from fashion accessories and jewelry to home decor.

Conscious of the environment and toxic working conditions at leather tanneries, CRC’s Green A’ Fair, partnered with the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) to develop eco-leather.

Although CRC has attended numerous international trade fairs elsewhere, this is their first time to exhibit @NY NOW’s Artisan Resource from August 16-19 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. The organization will be highlighting a wide range of environment-friendly eco-leather goods and textile products in addition to an assortment of handcrafted items.

Craft Resource Center products ar available at Fair Trade organizations in the U.S. and Canada and many countries in Europe, as well as Australia, The organization sells their products through World Shops. In the USA and Canada, consumers can find  CRC products at Ten Thousand Village shops.

 

For more information, please visit www.craftresourcecenter.com.

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