Fair Trade and Environmental Policy

Making a Difference & Improving Lives

Tabaka GirlsOur aim is to buy high quality, ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products from disadvantaged producers from across the developing world in order to help people trade out of poverty.

We are a relatively small family run business that looks to work with individual artisans, co-operatives and small businesses across the developing world.  Tilnar Art, Besmo & Mo-Home is recognised by BAFTS, the British Association for Fair Trade Shops, as a fair trade importer.  

Buying Policy

DonavanTilnar Art predominantly buys from primary producers. We make advance payments for materials, to help our suppliers buy raw materials and this ensures that producers do not have to take on debts in order to complete our orders.  We try to order regularly from each producer to maintain continuity of demand and we pay for all orders once the goods are ready in their countries of origin.

Dying the productsWe either visit our suppliers personally or ensure that our agents in each country make regular inspections to check that Fair Trade standards are adhered to.  We also encourage our suppliers to join national and international Fair Trade bodies. In addition each supplier is asked to complete a comprehensive Fair Trade questionnaire.

All our suppliers ensure that their workers are paid a fair price per piece, and we strive to make sure that men and women are paid the same rate. We aim to ensure that no children under the age of 16 are involved in production of our products.  Many of our items, particularly from Zimbabwe and South Africa, are produced by home workers which provides useful additional income whilst allowing them to look after their homes and families.

Buying Policy In Zimbabwe

MariaTilnar Art aims to help provide stable employment and basic needs for many dependants in Zimbabwe during a time when unemployment and inflation are at unimaginable levels.  Our artists either work for themselves or work in co-operatives.  We ensure that we pay a fair price for all our products and our fair buying policy can be seen by the fact that our family run supplier has worked with the same artists for over 15 years. 

Raku ProductionTilnar Art does not support the regime of Robert Mugabe. To the contrary, the items are purchased direct from the artists, thereby supporting the indigenous tribes of Zimbabwe.  We can confirm that no money is paid to the Mugabe Government and the money goes to our family run supplier who pays the artists.  Indeed more often than not our supplier is advancing money to the artists to help them support their families before products are even made.  We believe that it is now more important than ever to support these artists during these very difficult times as the ability of these artists to support their families depends on our purchases.  We believe that we should not turn our back on individual artists due to the human rights abuses of a government as to do so condemns them to even greater hardship.

Environmental Policy

Tilnar Art seeks to minimise our impact on the environment.  All our items are handmade so no machinery or energy is used in the making of our products.  We do not air freight any of our products and transport all of our products by sea to reduce the carbon footprint of our products.

Sustainable Wooden Products

Working with woodWe try and ensure that all of our wood products are sourced from sustainable sources and from a non-rainforest region of the world. 

All of our wood products are primarily sourced from Jacaranda or Olive wood.  Olive wood has a very quick planting to maturity cycle and is grown and regularly replanted for its fruit. Jacaranda is a non-indigenous invasive species from South America that is considered a weed in Africa.  It is now illegal to plant Jacaranda trees in South Africa due to its invasive qualities and the damage it causes to other vegetation.

The MO-HOme Bamboo collection is very environmentally friendly as it is handmade from bamboo.  Bamboo is considered by many environmentalists to be the best source of wood for wooden products as it is the fastest growing woody plant on earth that has the quickest planting to maturity cycle.  It can also grow in very challenging environments where other plants cannot thrive.

Re-Used/Recycled Products

Artists under the shade

We source a large part of our range from recycled, natural or re-used materials to be as environmentally positive as possible. This can be seen in our ranges of  Meg Hawkins & Azeti Recycled Aluminium Collections, Recycled Metal Sculptures, Recycled Tin Animals and Recycled Bottle Top items. We also encourage suppliers to source raw materials locally, to use natural substances and to use recycled packaging wherever possible.

The exciting new development for Tilnar Art is the way the consumer is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their products.  It feels like the consumer is finally ‘catching up’ with Tilnar Art and we will really be promoting the environmental zero plastic qualities of our products.  In particular, our Recycled Aluminium Collections and our Soapstone Collections which have less than 1% environmental impact when compared to plastic or resin products.  We will be introducing new Soapstone Point of Sale and swing tags to promote this.  #ThinkNo2Plastic #ThinkHandmade #BuySoapstone

Re-Used Cardboard Boxes and Packaging Materials

As well as sourcing our products from sustainable, natural or recycled sources, we also try and reduce our carbon footprint by using recycled packaging materials as much as possible.  We operate a cardboard and packaging recycling programme where we re-use packaging and boxes from our local retailers.

We hope you enjoy the Tilnar Art collections.