Our Fair Trade suppliers
Paper High is very happy to be working with skilled and talented artisans in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal to create beautiful Fair Trade products. We know all our producers well and always look forward to visiting them and their families.
All our beautiful sari and leather stationery has been handmade by the same family business in India since Paper High started in 2001. Over the years we have formed a very special friendship and are proud of how much we have been able to achieve together. We design all the products together and value their expertise. All the products are made by hand by skilled artisans, using a mixture of traditional and contemporary techniques. When we first started out the business employed 3 artisans to make our products. The demand for these lovely products has grown so much that they now employ over 35 artisans producing beautiful products exclusively for Paper High, with home workers in local villages too. All the products are made with khadda paper, an acid-free, tree friendly paper made from recycled cotton left over from the massive garment industry. The paper is handmade using traditional methods by a local charity that supports women's education and social development in rural villages in Rajastan.
Our rugs and bell totas are handmade in partnership with a fantastic organization in Rajastan called the Barefoot College. These are our newest producers and we are truly inspired by the work that they do. The Barefoot College was established in 1972 to help rural communities to become self-sufficient and sustainable by working with solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, communication, women's empowerment and wasteland development. We’re not the only ones inspired by their work – the Dalai Lama recently visited the enterprise too!
A lot of our homeware products are made by TARA Projects (Trade Alternative Reform Action). They are WFTO members and a Fair Trade Forum India founder member. We are really pleased that we are now working with such dedicated people. TARA Projects began in the early 1970's with the object of creating opportunities and support for economically disadvantaged, home based artisans and crafts people of Delhi and its surrounding areas. Over the years the project has extended its work into the adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. TARA Project's provides services to enable the production and marketing of handicrafts following Fair Trade principles, alongside providing education and support to empower grass roots crafts people. All the heart of TARA Projects work is dedicated to eradicating poverty by fighting against exploitation and illiteracy of the producers and its working communities.
Noah's Ark are a fantastic Fair Trade organisation and work with some very talented producer groups. Their products are incredibly well made and the founder, Samuel, is an inspirational man. Noah's Ark's mission is to commit themselves and the producer groups they work with to Fair Trade principles with the goal of changing the lives of grass root artisans. Their focus on education and capacity building enables the people they support to become more aware of fair working conditions and the environment in order to prove the value, cultural heritage and beauty of their hand made products. The longer term effect is that they are working collectively towards poverty eradication. Noah's Ark are members of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) and Fair Trade Forum India. They work with around 49 different artisan groups, involving approximately 500 artisans.
All our colourful giftwrap is handmade by Get Paper Industries (GPI), an incredible, socially aware cooperative in Nepal. They have won many awards for the charity work they do in the local area, which includes supporting people affected by HIV and Aids and establishing schools to support the education of underprivileged children. We met Milan, one of the founders, during our last visit and found him to be a man with an amazing passion for life and a true inspiration. His energy and positivity is shared with everyone at the cooperative so we can see how they have been able to achieve so much. We are in awe of what GPI is achieving and as our own small contribution to their work Paper High is sponsoring two girls to attend one of their schools.
All our beautiful and colourful felt products are handmade by a Fair Trade producer which provides training and work for women within some of the poorest communities in Nepal - to date the company has empowered more than 100 women. It is committed to being as “green” as possible through its choice of raw materials and dyes and, for example, by using solar energy to help run its operations.
All the products are handmade from merino wool using only natural colours and dyes and created using traditional methods. Instead of weaving the wool, felt is created by applying heat, moisture and pressure to the wool to entangle the fibres and create a beautiful end result.
Maximus produces all our elephant dung paper products - the ultimate in recycling! That's right, all their paper starts off as elephant dung. The dung is collected and boiled to sterilise it and then it is ready for the paper-making process. Each piece of paper is different depending on the diet of the elephant so your paper is as unique as the animal who helped produce it. Once the paper has been made it is used by Maximus’ skilled artisans, craftspeople and artists to create a beautiful, unique range of products. Our Eco Maximus range in particular is full of colour and individuality, and all take inspiration from the beautiful animals that have helped produce it! Maximus has its workshop in the grounds of the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF), a small charity that cares for sick, old and disabled elephants. They are also working hard to resolve the conflict between elephants and local communities, a critical concern as the elephants' natural habitat decreases and they turn to eating farmers' crops. Working with initiatives like Maximus, they are able to show the positive relationship local economies can have with these amazing animals.