#6ItemsChallenge || Week 3

This week I want to zone in on one item in my scarf collection that I know is fairtrade. My kikoi comes from Coral Quay in Bath but was originally from Kenya. Traditionally worn by men, they are a long, wide length of brightly patterned cloth that is worn wrapped around the waist and legs. Thanks to companies like Coral Quay, they are slowly infiltrating the economically-wealthier Global North, though often not used traditionally. Both myself and my mum own one each and we can recommend them as both incredibly warm scarfs or wraps, for those times when a jacket doesn’t quite cut it. Along with acting as a wrap/sarong, they can also be used as a table cloth, beach towel, baby sling or blanket and even a wall hanging.

From my 2013 Christmas post, when I was given my kikoi and earrings.

So why am I highlighting kikois? Aside from the fact that they make a great, if oversized, alternative to a hooded jacket (here), the ones from Coral Quay are all fairly traded. This is because Coral Quay is dedicated to the concept of fairtrade, aiming to support disadvantaged producers in the Global South building up sustainable relationships in the North.

Coral Quay views fairtrade as a trading relationship, based around dialogue, transparency and respect within international trade. They are also keen to raise equity within international trade, improving the respect and relationship between the producer and the consumer.You can read more about their specific aims here.

So how does this relate to my #6ItemsChallenge? Before I did this challenge, I wouldn’t have thought twice about where my scarf came from. I didn’t even know it was called a kikoi; just that it came from an African country. As I have become more aware of fast fashion, culminating in joining this challenge, I have wanted to know more about where my clothes come from. Companies like Coral Quay make that so much easier. As such I want to support the businesses that are changing the way we shop, whether that’s by telling you all about them or by choosing to shop there.

xxx

The post #6ItemsChallenge || Week 3 first appeared on CounterCultural.CounterCouture.

P.S. I’m still looking for sponsorship for my #6ItemsChallenge. If you would like to give a tenner towards the work of Labour Behind The Label, you can sponsor me via everydayhero.

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