- Selene Cole and partner Alex Cole build a yurt.
Let me try a magic trick. Think of a Nova Scotia-based fair trade company.
Is it Just Us? As much as I’d like to admit to having psychic powers, it was more of a lucky guess than anything else, seeing as it’s the largest fair trade business in the province.
The Fair Trade Bazaar on May 12 and 13 (10am-6pm), though, is striving to highlight Nova Scotia’s lesser-known fair trade start-ups.
“The need for the bazaar stems from a collective need to have more opportunities to showcase fairly traded goods,” says organizer Selene Cole. The bazaar will be hard to miss: just look for the yurt in Victoria Park (South Park Street and Spring Garden Road). Cole’s Little Foot Yurt company makes, sells, rents and workshops these nomadic homes.
Like the other participating businesses, Cole imports her textiles from women’s co-operatives around the world. “It’s critically important to empower women economically, because they feed their family, they support their communities and they look after their health,” says Valerie Hearder, owner of African Threads, whose big sells are embroideries and beadwork.
The bazaar falls on Mother’s Day weekend and World Fair Trade Day. Tammachat Natural Textiles co-owner and bazaar organizer Ellen Agger says: “it’s a great time to buy a Mother’s Day gift and to be able to learn something about the women who made it.” She likes to highlight the stories of the Thai and Lao women who fashion the accessories, home décor and clothing she sells.
“I know there’s such a focus right now on buying local,” says Cole, “but I think it’s also important to value what Nova Scotians are bringing culturally into the province and to support that.”
The bazaar will also feature Fibre Fixation and, yes, Just Us! will have a booth.