Kendra and Johnathan Shaw
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The phrase "a trade for a trade" has always had a special meaning to Kendra's family. As the oldest of 5 kids, she witnessed many unfair swaps as everyone grew up. "A trade for a trade" came to mean any deal that was fair to people on both sides of the table. For us, it means paying artisans a fair wage, then turning around and offering a fair deal to our customers.
We've been seeing recycled saris everywhere lately — at High Point, Asha Imports, and most recently at online retailer A Trade for a Trade. Founded by husband and wife team Kendra Langford Shaw and Johnathan Shaw, the shop sources "ethical, socially responsible, and fairtrade goods from around the world."
In addition to recycled sari blankets, they sell Japanese paper art and porcelain, block print fabrics from India, and handwoven blankets from Nepal.
The products they sell must fit into one or more of five overlapping categories: 1) non-exploitative (sourced directly from producers or from companies that pay fair wages and provide non-exploitative working conditions), 2) handmade, 3) recycled, 4) fair trade (certified by an outside organization such as the Fair Trade Federation), and/or 5) eco-friendly (made from renewable, organic, reclaimed, repurposed or vintage materials).
• Flora & Fauna Kantha Handstitched Recycled Sari Bed Cover, $140
• Handmade Japanese Washi Art - Water Motif, $86
• Hand Woven Block Print Cotton Bedspread, $70
• Blue Jaipur Small Bowl, $12
• Stained Glass Kantha Handstitched Recycled Sari Bed Cover, $140
• Lilac Linen and Wool Throw, $67
• Blue Tulip Block Print Fabric, $15/yard
• Floral Seventies Kantha Handstitched Recycled Sari Baby Blanket, $35
• White Porcelain Tea Cups, $7
• Hand-Woven Black and Cream Wool Throw Blanket, $81