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Copyright As'art© 2007-2014

philosophy


Since 1991, we dedicate ourselves to the crafts industry of developing countries. We support the principles of sustainable development: environment preservation (minimal ecological impact), social equity (good working conditions, wages higher than local average), sustainable management (long-term partnerships, preservation of traditional know-how).


Environment preservation
We use materials with no or positive impacts on the environment: stone, gourd (Kenya), wood (deadwood exclusively for precious or semi-precious woods: Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa), fibres (Colombia), recycled materials (paper, plastic, metal, etc.: South Africa).
For the packaging we use recycled paper as well as cardboard boxes for all the imports and exports.
We do sea freight whenever possible.


Social equity
We make sure that the artisans have good working conditions and wages higher than the local average.
For instance, salaried Kenyan artisans who work 40 hours a week get a benefit scheme and an annual paid leave. Overtime is additionally paid 150%. An unskilled worker for example gets paid 42% more than the local minimum wage.
We develop partnerships with all kinds of structures: individual artisans, cooperatives, micro-companies, NGOs, rural development projects, income-generating projects, HIV/AIDS projects, etc.


Sustainable management
We develop long-term partnerships. We work for exanple with the same partners in Kenya since 1992.
We preserve and promote local know-how :
basketwork (South Africa, Colombia),
gourd carving (Kenya), probably the first domesticated plant in Africa and now endangered,
weaving (West Africa),
carving (stone, wood: Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa),
wood turning (Mozambique), etc.