Better World Arts has been operating for over two decades. Our role models were Oxfam, Fred Hollows (the Fred Hollows Foundation) and Anita Roddick (The Body Shop).
Initially, we worked with traditional handicrafts. In 1996 we invited Aboriginal artists to join our projects and soon after we decided to focus on the Aboriginal art side of the projects and left the normal handicrafts to others like Oxfam.
We work with traditional artisans from remote regions in Kashmir, Peru, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal (Tibetan refugees). More recently we have started working with China, making bone china and silk ties.
We work with Australian Aboriginal artists from remote communities across Australia, from Arnhem Land to Central and the Western Desert regions, from rural locations and from cities.
We are members of The Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand and we are endorsed by Fair Traders of Australia. So, what is the difference?
To become a member of The Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand you simply pay a membership fee. In order to receive an endorsement as a Fair Trader of Australia, the business operations and practises are assessed and audited against the 10 principles of Fair Trade.
The 10 internationally recognised standards of Fair Trade are:
Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
Greater transparency and accountability
Fairer trading practices
Fairer prices for producers
No child exploitation or forced labour
Non-discrimination, gender equity and freedom of association
Better working conditions
Promotion of Fair Trade
In our most recent audit, we were assessed on our relationships with Aboriginal artists and other Aboriginal suppliers. All of our overseas suppliers are either certified as fair traders in their own right, have SEDEX certification or have passed a private audit. As well as external certifications many of the workers involved in our manufacture are unionised and use their unions effectively to leverage their rights and conditions as workers.
Valuing partnerships and ethical trading is at the heart of Better World Arts Cross-Cultural Projects. Fair Trade is about constructive economic empowerment, equal relationships and justice, not charity dependence. Sustainable trade delivers reliable livelihoods to all participants. We create opportunities and give indigenous artists and artisans access to international markets and the mainstream economy, directly contributing to community empowerment and the preservation of culture.