Blue Caravan

Monday, June 21, 2010

A new ethical shopping website has recently launched called Blue Caravan.

Bluecaravan is a venue for buyers and sellers of all things independently designed and ethically made.

It’s about lovely, interesting and edgy products - beautifully finished, made with heart, and bought directly from the designer/maker.

Recycled Poster Bowl (small) AU$22 made by Fair Trade artisans in Vietnam

Adapted from a traditional basket-coiling technique, this bowl is made using rejected posters and magazines from a printing company. Artisans form the paper into flat strips, dip them in a non-toxic glue mixture and hang them to dry. After this they re-wet the strips and coil them into a bowl form. The strips are held together with the glue, forming a sturdy bowl. Each bowl is completely unique, depending on the materials available.

Baby Granny Smith Shoes AU$34 3-6 months

These little cuties are made from Kunin eco-fi felt, a high quality fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic bottles. Soft soled.

Read Recycled Fashion's first e-interview with Blue Caravan's Byron-Bay based founder Jen Djula:

Q: What is your website all about?

A: Bluecaravan is an online [ethical] Design Market. We support independent designers, artists and artisans, we love sweat-free and fairtrade certification - and we love the world of handmade!

Q: Where does the name Blue Caravan come from?

A: Caravan' is inspired by imagery of the Old Silk Road. A caravan of merchants traveling along the ancient trade route laden with their treasures. It takes the whole concept of 'direct trade' back to basics. 'Blue' is the colour of inspiration...

Q: What inspired you to start your website?

A: I think it's one of the greatest mysteries that we have been able to collectively block out the reality of what happens in sweat-shops across the world. Of course anyone who gives it a moments thought does care where their products come from - but sweat-shop and child labour has slowly crept up on us, to the point that it's barely questioned or opposed en masse. I want to make a contribution to the wider creation of an alternative ethical choice. I am fascinated by the greater workings of the world, and am interested in how design informs the way we live.

Q:What are the favourite product sold on your site?

A: love them all!

Q:What do you see as the future of Blue Caravan?

A:Bluecaravan is growing quickly, which of course is most exciting! The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I hope for Bluecaravan to become a reference point for good ethical design. There are in fact many thousands of ethical designers out there, and by bringing them together I hope to inspire interesting people to choose an alternative way to shop.

V Neck T Shirt A$80 100 % certified organic cotton

Blue Caravan lists products in Australian Dollars, but international shipping is available. For more beautiful ethical handmade and upcycled goodies, check out Blue Caravan's website right now!

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