With five outlets in Dubai, THE One furniture store has established itself as a reputable retailer for homewares, and today each store has a section where hand-made products are sold. Over the years, THE One has been involved with many community and charity events and has just launched new projects under its Onederworld banner. Buying products such as cushion covers and bracelets, all painstakingly embroidered by hand, will support Palestinian women from the Kalandia refugee camp. Each cushion cover takes two months to embroider, while each wrist wrap takes about one-and-a-half days to complete. Clare Abad, a manager at THE One, explains more.
How do you source the products and ensure the funding reaches the craftswoman? We buy the products from the Kalandia Camp Women’s Handicraft Cooperative, then ship them to our stores across the Middle East. All the profits then go back to the Co-op, a non-profit organisation that aims to raise the educational, social, cultural, health and economic standards of women and children in Palestine.
What has the response been like from the public? It’s been great. People love these beautiful handmade products that support a good cause. That’s why we’ve continued to sell them and even expanded the range.
What other projects does THE One have in the pipeline? We recently kicked off two new Onederworld projects in Rajasthan, India, where water projects and the construction of a new classroom is already well under way. THE One, various locations across Dubai including next to Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 345 6687). For more information on The Onderworld, see www.theonederworld.com.
As well as a focus on sustainable, environmentally-friendly products including homewares, garden, stationery, gadgets, office, pets and gifts, this organisation sells items from suppliers such as fair-trade initiative Rising Tide, which employs artisans at a fair rate, and uses recycled saris to create new handbags. Find them at Ripe’s Saturday market in The Courtyard, Al Quoz, or shop online through The Green Ecostore, Eko’s partner. Eko Tribe itself also offers services that go beyond retail, including carbon consulting for companies, carbon audits and emission reduction strategies, as well as carbon offsetting. www.ekotribe.com, www.thegreenecostore.com
The Little Fair Trade Shop
This online store sells everything from bobble bags to nickel tea-light holders in the shape of Indian elephants, with painstaking efforts made to ensure that all products are sourced from suppliers who transfer the right amount of profit to the craftsperson. Artisans behind the shop’s impressively broad collection of products include the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Palestine, Swajan in Bangladesh, Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project in Jordan and Friends Handicraft, which works with rescued trafficked girls in Nepal. The owners also host stalls at some of the city’s markets, including Ripe’s. www.thelittlefairtradeshop.com.
Whether your own kids need new threads or you’re looking to pick up a gift for someone else, this online store based in Dubai sells high-end cotton baby clothes made by women who are assisted by an NGO in Pakistan and an NGO in Zanzibar. Items from the former have an ‘oriental’ feel, according to the store’s founders, while products from the latter feature more striking patterns and bright colours. The funds raised go towards providing literacy education, healthcare and much more for the women in each location. And if the child you’re buying clothes for is something of a jet-setter, or lives too far for you to present the gift in person, you’ll be pleased to hear the company ships worldwide. www.babouka.com.