Rainbow Turtle education officer, Philippa Jeffery, recently decorated our shop window to publicise the 1,000 scarves project that Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland (SOHTIS) is currently running. Many people have been trafficked into Scotland and they have often been overlooked and hidden in plain sight.
The project takes second hand scarves and converts them into weaving kits which can be purchased from SOHTIS. The kits have been taken to schools and community groups so that they can all get involved.
The weavings have been made by people of all ages. Everyone who has made a weaving fills out a little card with a little about themselves. The weavings will become part of bigger artworks that will be publicly displayed in the future in order to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Philippa linked the scarves project with the idea of an advent calendar for our Christmas window. She stitched pockets into her scarves and placed 25 different fair trade products, sold in the shop, into them. Her work was kindly featured in a recent article in the Paisley Daily Express.
There are close links between promoting fair trade and shining a light on human trafficking. By buying fair trade products we help farmers and producers in developing countries create stable communities. The fair trade premium can be spent by the community on health care, education and clean water supplies. People who live in these villages and communities are less likely to end up being trafficked.
If you would like to know more about the 1,000 scarves project, or the education work that Rainbow Turtle does, you can contact Philippa here. Scarves can be donated at Rainbow Turtle.
This years’ BLACK HISTORY MONTH is in full swing and I feel one cannot talk about fair trade, climate justice and social justice without talking about Africa and the people that call this beautiful continent home. Many events, both good and bad, shaped the way Africa is today and it is crucial to remember them and recognize their importance, for there is no future without the past. Today, however, I would like to reflect on how we see and how we talk about Africa.
For years, the African continent has been associated with poverty, corruption, political chaos, human rights abuse, various diseases and a lack of both development and ambition. While some of these things are undoubtedly present in parts of the continent, the challenge is to look beyond that, to look beyond media cliches and plain stereotypes, as shrouded behind all these is a beautiful, radiant, vibrant and diverse continent.
When I think of Africa I think about breath-taking scenery, diverse fauna and flora, delicious food and a wonderful variety of musical sounds. I think about all these but mostly, I think about the PEOPLE. It is disdainful to throw African people into one pot as this huge continent has more tribes, cultures, religious beliefs and languages than an average person can comprehend. From this diversity stems the true beauty of Africa. From Tunisia to South Africa, from Senegal to Somalia – Africa is a patchwork of cultures and traditions that are as radiant and thriving today as they were hundreds of years ago. So yes, Africa is a beautiful place that is alive thanks to the people that live there.
It is a popular belief that due to the fact that many African countries struggle with high levels of poverty, only pocket deep donations can overcome this problem. While, arguably, this approach might be relevant in some situations, for instance, environmental catastrophe or even armed conflict resolution, it is my opinion that Africa would indeed benefit from every one of us becoming a conscious citizen. We need to understand the effect our actions have on other people (however far they might be) and the planet. African people are no different to us in the meaning that they work hard to earn the living. The difference is in how that work is valued and treated. If we demand from our leaders to ensure honest, fair and decent pay for work to everyone on every step of the trade chain there will be no need for charity and aid money. To me, this is fundamental in understanding Africa and its people.
Perhaps this is quite obvious, but nonetheless, I would like you to think about those people. Think about people when you are shopping for this warm winter cardigan to prepare for long winter nights. Think about people when you are drinking that life-saving morning coffee to help you get through the day filled to the brim with things that just can not wait, kids that need your attention right now and the boss that wanted this paper on his desk yesterday. Think about people when you are making the comforting bowl of curry and rice for the dinner. Think about people when you are buying flowers for someone you care about. Think about people, as they make all these possible. Is this why they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect? No. They deserve to be treated as our equals because that is who they are. Being human is enough to deserve respect. Borders, different skin tones or a different way of saying ‘hello’ don’t change that. We need to treat people fairly because they are people.
So please, instead of thinking about poverty think about equality, instead of feeling pity think about fairness. Let’s stand up for human rights – this October and for as long as it’s needed.
This week is Traidcraft Week – a celebration of everything Fair Trade – here with a competition to win a £50 Traidcraft voucher or a Traidcraft hamper. The theme: AL FRESCO
All you have to do is submit photographs of your favourite outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches, canals, forests or even your own back gardens, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date is 27 June 2021 – so HURRY!
Why hurry? – because you want to win that Fair Trade hamper. The food is fabulous and fair. Or you may win £50 to spend in Traidcraft. How lucky is that? Their products are wonderful and by shopping there you are also helping developing countries.
Traidcraft has been on the go for over 40 years, pioneering fair trade.
The organisation was founded in 1979 by radical, church-based individuals importing goods directly from artisans and growers and distributing them directly to shoppers in the UK, cutting out the middlemen. The team collaborated with the growers and artisans throughout the process: they were all partners – working together to show trade could be different, and could be fair. They still do – only on a bigger scale. In 1992, Traidcraft co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation, and helped establish the standards that underpin today’s well-recognised Fairtrade Mark.
Gifts galore…! Go on and spoil DAD the Fair Trade way!SUNDAY 20 JUNE 2021
Here at Rainbow Turtle we have many, many gift ideas for the lovely Fathers out there you wish to celebrate – with more gifts en route in time for this happy weekend.
What is the Dad in your life like? We can help you to celebrate that individual in your life, with our stock of brilliant gifts.
We have clever puzzles, boomerangs & frisbees, unique wine holders, recycled glasses and glasses holders, chocolate & foods galore… computer notebooks and pen holders to add that certain something to a desk… wallets, keyrings, cool calendars AND MORE…
What if the Dad that needs celebrating is a pet? Look no further – we have pet bowls and collars that would brighten up any pet Dad’s day and days to come.
Short of a card? We’ve got you covered!
Does he just want to fall in a heap and sleep – we even have a hammock!
Pop along to Rainbow Turtle, 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP
As a ‘thank you’ to the community for your support this past year
RAINBOW TURTLE is part of the stupendous £5 offers around Paisley
Hundreds of High streets across the UK, and thousands of independent businesses, are putting on special £5 deals over 2 weeks, starting tomorrow: 12 June, as part of Totally Locally FiverFest fortnight!
Spending just £5 every week locally makes a BIG difference to local business and helps to keep town centres alive – we’re making it fun!
There is a range of £5 offers across town – at RAINBOW TURTLE:
£5 – 6 Pocket Money Toys / Pot of Gold Lucky Dip – 1 adult + 1 child
Around 65p from every £1 spent locally, stays local – shopping locally is you doing your bit to support the local community and its businesses.
FiverFest runs from Saturday 12 – Saturday 26 June 2021.
You can pick up a FiverFest leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks in the Paisley Centre and Piazza Shopping Centre.
Welcome to the 2nd part of the Liz Cotton interview. Liz talks about her decision to move on from Rainbow Turtle, what she did after she left the organisation and what she is doing now in the furthest north of Scotland.
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Welcome to our very first interview in our new podcast series, Rainbow Turtle Rebooted. To mark the beginning of Fair Trade Fortnight 2021 we’re bringing you the first part of a two part interview with founder and former director, Liz Cotton.
Liz has had an interesting and successful life which culminated for us in the creation of Rainbow Turtle, the fair trade shop and charity in Paisley, Scotland. Sit back and enjoy the first half of her interview with Colum Scriven where she talks about her early influences and what led her to open our fair trade shop in Gauze Street…
If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please subscribe to it with your favourite podcast provider and then rate us with five stars! (If you can’t find this episode with your provider, please be patient. The day we went live with this episode our podcast host suffered a hack attack!)
Are you worried about how to show your love with a Fair Trade Valentine’s card while Rainbow Turtle, and lots of other ethical shops, are still closed? Especially with the big day approaching quickly? Well, the Fairtrade Foundation have stepped up with a fun series of eCards that you can download here. Whether your partner is nuts for Fair Trade or just as sweet as sugar, you’ll find the romantic card for you!