The sentimental John Lewis advert may have provoked a few trembling lips but now the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, Traidcraft is creating its own Christmas video tearjerker to help people consider buying fair trade during the festive season and beyond.
The video features uplifting footage of some of the families that Traidcraft works with from around the world to help build sustainable livelihoods and end poverty. In particular the video follows the story of Crochet Bunny. From its initial creation on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where it is lovingly handcrafted by disadvantaged women, to its final home being adored and cherished by British children, the video highlights Crochet Bunny’s journey and the impact and importance of buying a Traidcraft product.
The video premiered on YouTube at the weekend and it is hoped it will inspire people to buy fair trade this Christmas, as well as showcasing some of Traidcraft’s work.
Traidcraft aims to encourage and support producers and artisans in some of the world’s poorest regions to use their skills to make and sell products – from food to craft items and clothing – to give their families a better future. Last year alone, Traidcraft’s work benefited at least 600,000 people across the developing world.
The Crochet Bunny in the video is made by Mai Handicrafts, which was started by two social workers who were concerned about improving the lives of street children and single mothers in Ho Chi Minh City and ethnic minorities in mountain villages in Vietnam. The 300 artisans (80% are women) associated with Mai Handicrafts are earning between US$50 and $70 a month in a country where the average monthly income is US$20-30. Many are able to work from their homes or in small workshops instead of seeking work in Vietnam’s factory industries and the wide range of products they create are sold all over the world.
Larry Bush, Traidcraft’s director of marketing, said: “The John Lewis advert cost £7m – ours cost £700 but is every bit as powerful on an emotional level. Much like the story in the John Lewis ad, Traidcraft’s work is all about connecting people – we help connect consumers in the UK with people in the developing world, like the Mai Handicraft team. Buying a fair trade gift for your friends and loved ones means the care and thought put into purchasing your gift goes even further, helps to lift families out of poverty and gives them a better vision for the future. Hopefully when people are buying their festive treats this Christmas, they will think about our film and decide to buy fair trade.”