Ganesha is an alternative trading outfit that markets the traditional industries of India, working directly with the producers. Not only is it ethical but it also concerns itself with environmental issues, particularly:
• The environmental and social costs in the production of cotton.
• The dangers of dyes to producers and consumers and their disposal.
• The sustainable use of wood.
• The use of post-consumer and industrial waste.
The shop is full of surprises and delights and they sent Life Goggles a Paisley Park Jute Shopper to review. Yes it is essentially just a bag. But it’s a nice one.
The bright colours on the off-white jute make it stand out and the size (37 x 36 x 14cm) means you can fit a lot of shopping in it. The handles are sturdy and the whole bag is quite firm so there’s not problem carrying heavy items. It’s only £9.99 too so compared to other bags it seems a bargain as it’ll last for ages. With it being sturdy it doesn’t fold up easily so it’s not the sort of bag you can keep in your pocket for when you go shopping. There aren’t any fastenings or way of closing it but holding the handles brings the top together so things won’t really fall out.
The bag is actually imported from India, made by Freeset, Kolkata – a cooperative which sets women free from the sex industry. There’s a little story that comes with the bag saying how the lady who made it used to be one of the 6,000 prostitutes in North Calcutta but now instead of selling her body she sells these bags and is learning to read and write. By buying the bag you are helping her, and others like her, gain freedom.
Which makes the bag that bit more special I think. It’s a great buy at £9.99 (or £6.99 if it’s on special) from Ganesha. If you’re outside the UK you can go to www.freesetbags.com and find out more. And if you wondered what Jute is, a comment from Terry on another post helped me out, it’s “one of the strongest of all natural fibres available today; it also has some heat and fire resistance. It is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into strong threads, the threads are then turned into material (jute fabrics are also called hessian cloth).”