Thank you to everyone who came down to the screening of our film ‘Japan, One Year After 3.11’and the talk event held at our People Tree shop in Juyugaoka last night. We are so grateful for all your feedback.
Posts Tagged ‘people tree japan’
We have three stores in Tokyo and today I got to play at being shop keeper. I love being in the People Tree shops, meeting customers and seeing how they pick up and look at the products we make in villages around the world. I’m thinking – If only I could show you the place it was made, if only I could introduce you to the person who made it!
Everyone wears People Tree so well in Tokyo too. So I did some street photography of People Tree customers wearing Fair Trade fashion for our new book – and caught up with old friends ex-editor of Marie Claire – Ikoma Yoshiko, Activist and Founder of Ecokoro, Maekita and Rika Sueyoshi, TV reporter and People Tree’s new Ambassador and front person! So many university students studying Fair Trade, new economics and international affairs came to meet me too – I barely had time to eat my o bento (lunch box).
14th May 2011
600 people gathered for our Fair Trade, sustainable economics and low energy event in Tokyo. I arrived that morning, had a shower and then went straight to the event at Eco Plaza – this amazing wooden cube event space in the absolute centre of town run by social entrepreneur and ex-adman Ikeda san.
After the earthquake we decided to work with other Fair Trade organisations, farmers groups and activists in Japan to get the message out there about what a low carbon and sustainable society looks like.
Not surprisingly awareness level of a non-nuclear based economy and society have increased massively. Earlier this year 40% of the Japanese public said they would buy environmentally friendly products and products that make a positive social contribution, today that figure has risen to a stunning 70%. This could well be the point of a paradigm shift for Japan – later I did an interview with the Japan Economics daily newspaper ’Nihon Keizan Shinbun’ about just that. The silver lining of a dark cloud!
Mr Rajib Prasad Shaha, Chairman and Managing Director of Kumudini Welfare Trust of Bengal (BD) Limited, Bangladesh handed a donation of $500.00 to Safia Minney, Founder and CEO of Fair Trade Company Ltd (People Tree Japan), with the kind words, “We would like to help the people of Japan in any way we can with our prayers and with our great respect for a great friend to Bangladesh. We hope that their suffering will lighten as the weeks go by and we hope that they can rebuild their country and their great nation in the same way that they did after the Second World War. We have collected some money here from Kumudini Welfare Trust and we know that People Tree Japan is the best way for us to get the money to the hands of the people who need it most. Japan, you have been a great friend to Bangladesh and we only hope we can be some help to you in this difficult time as your friend!”
Very many thanks to all at Kumudini and to all those who have sent kind messages of support.
People Tree was founded 10 years ago in the UK on a new idea – that people and the planet would always be central to everything we do. People Tree has always believed and proved that fashion can be a tool for Change. Fashion through Fair Trade, can lift people out of poverty, give them a route to sustained employment, earn a living wage, develop their communities and invest in protecting their environment.
We were sitting in the showroom on ground level when the earthquake started, we ran to the middle of the road knowing that if the buildings came down we probably would get crushed, but Tokyo is a place of buildings and few open spaces…
The tarmac and buildings shook, and the telegraph poles flapped overhead. I was holding tightly to Masako, our Head of Design’s arm, shouting about whether our whole team were safer on the 3rd floor or in the road with us. (It was like in a movie, I was waiting to see the tarmac open in front of us).
The team were under their desks when we got up there. It went on and on, all afternoon, all evening, and the next day there were constant tremors.
We are the lucky ones. The people who run our Japan website are seriously affected. Two shops stocking People Tree have disappeared, over 6,539 people have perished and 10,354 are still missing. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, hungry and cold in shelters. Transport networks are in chaos.
Everyone is being so brave dealing with their own shock and grief, getting food where it is running out, and working around power cuts. We’re also dealing with news about nuclear accidents “don’t forget to buy a raincoat in case it rains radiation Safia!”
There is a 70% chance of more earthquakes in the next days, and despite all this, we’re all trying to plan so that People Tree can survive. The people of Japan are amazing!!
My back is as hard as a plank of wood due to stress. I hope you will want to help Japan in some way…thanks for all your messages of support too!
People are asking me is there any way to help other than donations? As People Tree UK and People Tree Japan are part of the same company, and Japan is in turmoil at the moment, it helps to buy from People Tree UK as that way we can help Japan in the difficult months ahead. You’ll also help the Fair Trade movement survive in Japan and help sustain orders to Fair Trade groups too!
You can support the British Red Cross (which we are doing through a 10% donation of People Tree UK sales) and our office is also supporting Second Harvest (2HJ) which is a food bank helping here in Japan. Link below:
2HJ distributes donated food, all of which is good for consumption, but would have been disposed of otherwise. The organisation is gearing up for emergency relieve right now to the direct victims of the earthquake and tsunami. However, their efforts are already looking further down the road, and they are committed to support victims also on the long run. For that they are as we speak building a network of distribution points across the affected area, which will not disappear once the earthquake is out of the news.