The photo collage describes (from left to right) environmental care in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE.
Materials: The products in La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range are all made from local, renewable natural materials or recycling of waste. Natural materials consist mainly of palm leaves, grass, sedges, sisal. The materials are wild growing without any application of pesticides or irrigation. They are materials that are traditionally used in handicraft. Sustainable usage gives the wild growing a place in Madagascar's economic development.
Recycling of trash: The material in metal craft consists of cans for which a recycling systems are lacking in Madagascar. The craftsmanship contributes to alleviate a presently increasing environmental problems. The same applies to the plastic waste which is the material in the production of beads.
Manufacturing: A genuine, small-scale and environmentally friendly crafting. The process from the harvesting of natural materials or collection of waste materials to the finished product is highly manual. Palm leaves are harvested by regular pruning of palm trees, grass and reeds cut by hand etc. The natural fibres are prepared with hand-driven processes and sun-dried.
Most of the natural fibres are used undyed. In case of dying, only dyes that are guaranteed not to contain azo-substances or heavy metals are used.
Bags are sewn together by material consisting of hand-woven or plaited natural fibres. Some of the bags have handles of leather. The leather is vegetable tanned, free from chrom.
Hats are braided or crocheted of natural fibres or sewn of hand-woven raffiapalmleaves - which is an excellent material for the manufacture of quality hats. The craftsmen are skilled and careful in the use of the material. Environmental impact in terms of energy consumption and waste is minimal.
The metal waste for making model vehicles are cut and shaped by means of hand tools. Considering the health and safety of the artisan, cans that have contained toxic substances are not used as material.
Culture and nature conservation ministries in Madagascar check and approve the goods before export. All products are certified by the Ministère de l’Artisanat et des Metiers as « Produits Artisanaux fait main », i.e. handmade craft products.
100% of the goods is shipped by sea from Madagascar to Sweden. A minimum of packaging material (recycled cardboard boxes and bags) are used. In Sweden: The products are packed in cartons. No plastic, only paper, is used as packing material. The boxes are delivered to shops by truck.
Handmade products – arts and crafts as well as handicrafts – are products with an identity. These are unique products that often have a long life with the consumer. Crafts are also created by people and can therefore be changed (eg repaired) by people.
Finally: As the absolute majority of goods in the La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE range entirely consists of natural fibers and are completely biodegradable, at the end they can return to the natural cycle.
Bottom line: Madagascar has a unique flora and fauna, is one of the world's "biodiversity hotspots".
That this environment is protected from pollution and littering is of immeasurable great value.