What truth lies behind the gifts we’ll buy this Valentine’s Day? EVIE allows you to take a closer look.
Spurred on by the jarring discrepancy between how we demonstrate love with Valentine’s Day gifts and our awareness for how they are made, Love The Future will host of Chains of Love this Valentines Day.
In partnership with Fairtrade, Parques Virtuales and Arts Council England, we will be showcasing four films at @Bristol on Valentine's Day. Each film will look at the real story behind the flowers, jewelry, lingerie and chocolate we buy. With your help, we can turn this experience into a virtual exploration of the worlds our gifts come from, by funding the world’s first Ethical Virtual Interactive Experience (EVIE).
This project is part funded by Arts Council England.
We live in amazing times. At the push of a button, products can be delivered to your door from the other side of the world, at increasingly lower prices. Yet the complexity of the process from production to delivery goes almost unnoticed, and as consumers, we rarely take the time to ask how these items were made.
If we look for it, there is plenty of information about corporation practice and there are lots of opportunities to shop ethically. But many of us don’t. Price rather than planet conscious, we often turn a blind eye to what lies behind the advertising hype.
Chains of Love aims to revolutionise the way we show people about globalised trade, demonstrating how a little thought at point of purchase can make a huge difference to people thousands of miles away. This tech pilot will create an inspiring fair trade experience where users can engage in understanding the global supply chains that service our wants and needs.
EVIE will offer an exciting new way to engage with the people and environments behind the gifts we buy for our loved ones, taking an in depth look at the journey these items take and the impact they have on the world around us. It's virtual reality will connect users with the countries and people that the gifts we buy come from like never before.
We’ll be looking at four key gift areas that are typically purchased for Valentine’s Day – chocolate, lingerie, jewelry and flowers. Here’s some examples of the issues our films and EVIE will explore.
Fairtrade certified farms that produce flowers must ensure safety and working conditions for their employees, an important factor when workers are often vulnerable young women. Producers get a minimum price and a premium of 10% for every stem or bunch sold, allowing them to invest in healthcare, education and other social benefits. Fairtrade works with farmers in countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Ecuador.
Buying Fairtrade gold makes a real difference to the lives of miners, their families and communities. Jewelry with the Fairtrade Gold Stamp is extra special. Buying it means you know the small-scale and artisanal miners were paid a fair price, giving them financial security. They also receive an extra to invest in building the future of their families and their communities, through education, medical care or environmental projects.
Lingerie is a classic Valentine’s gift choice for a loved one to make them feel special. Buying items made with Fairtrade cotton ensures that the producers also feel the love, by helping to pay cotton farmers around the world. The price of cotton has slumped in the last 30 years even though the cost of producing it has risen. This means farmers in places like India, Kyrgyzstan and West Africa are struggling to survive. Buying products made from Fairtrade cotton ensures that the farmers receive a fair and stable price.
Life is tough for cocoa farmers. The price of cocoa beans has decreased dramatically in recent years despite high demand, and disease and age are damaging cocoa trees. Plus, few young people are becoming cocoa farmers because of the poor prospects. Fairtrade helps to make cocoa farming in places like Ivory Coast and Ghana more sustainable by guaranteeing minimum prices and providing a premium to invest in local communities, so farmers can provide a better future for themselves and their families.
We’re inviting you to show your love for producers all around the world this Valentine’s day.
Your donation will enable you to be one of the first people to experience EVIE, to become a business ambassador to help shape the project, or to partner with us as a business sponsor to help Fairtrade on the next step of its journey as the worlds most recognisable symbol for ethical and sustainable trade.