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Dsenyo Blog

  • The Solidarity Economy
  • Marissa Saints

The Solidarity Economy

Can fair trade be translated?  When our partner in Brazil mentioned A Economia Solidária (The Solidarity Economy), I knew we were speaking the same language...

I was in Brazil last month as many of you know.  In conversation with Vivi our partner who runs the show over there, we started talking about all of the buzz terms and jargon in our field...fair trade, social enterprise, benefit corporations, etc.  I was trying to translate them into Portuguese but they just weren't quite right.  For example, comércio justo is the direct translation of fair trade.  The Brazilian government has a fair trade program (Sistema Nacional de Comércio Justo e Solidário) but it's primarily focused on agricultural products and doesn't address issues facing artisans...the challenges that many members of the Fair Trade Federation, like Dsenyo, are trying to tackle.  Regardless of the minor language barrier, Vivi, the artisans and I speak the same language when it comes to creating greater social justice in our world.  We are absolutely on the same page in terms of our commitment to fair trade principles and responsible business.  She explained it nicely in a recent email which I have permission to share with you!

Viviane Nascimento...

"[Here's] what I mentioned about solidarity economy. We usually try do/practice this and [communicate it] to our costumers: 

We buy products from small and independent [artisans], the friend who has a shop in the neighborhood , the confectioner making homemade cakes, the guy who has a stall in the market .... the artisans who make beautiful pieces ...

Let the money [be given] to the [makers]. Thus, more people will have a better income.

We need to [build unity] and [put our] individualism aside, act and think more about the collective. Together we are [stronger] and can [achieve] more! Let us unite to spread love and do everything [that] it takes, including produce, consume and distribute income, the struggle for a more equal world!

Solidarity Economy is [a] different way to produce, sell , buy and exchange what is enough to live. Without exploiting others , without wanting to take advantage without destroying the environment. Cooperating, strengthening the group, each thinking of the good of all and [his/her] own wellbeing.

The solidarity economy is appearing in recent years as an innovative alternative source of employment and income and a response in favor of social inclusion. Comprising a variety of [social and economic sectors in the form of] cooperatives, associations , [trade organizations] , self-managed enterprises , collaborative networks, among others, that [produce] goods , [offer] services , solidarity finance, trade , fair trade practices and social economic activities and [conscious consumption].

(Photo below: Viviane with Adriane and Lusio directors of the artisan workshop)

...

Sempre que possível, participamos de movimentos e feiras de artesanato sustentável. Buscamos conceitos e melhores formas de incentivar aos nossos clientes e amigos a prática de um comércio justo e solidário. Seguem alguns textos que mais simplificam o conceito e nos ajudam à divulgar a economia solidária:

"Vamos comprar produtos de pequenas e autônomas empresas, da amiga que tem uma loja no bairro, do pasteleiro que faz os bolos caseiros, do rapaz que tem uma banca no mercado.... dos artesãos que fazem coisas lindas...

Façamos o dinheiro chegar às pessoas que produzem. Assim, haverá mais gente que terá uma melhor renda.

Precisamos nos fortalecer e deixar o individualismo de lado, agir e pensar mais no coletivo. Juntos somos mais e podemos mais! Vamos nos unir para espalhar amor e fazer tudo mais o que for preciso, inclusive produzir, consumir e distribuir renda, na luta por um mundo de mais igualdade!" --Casa Cultural Anitcha

(Photo below: Vivi, Dsenyo's Brazil partner and Renata Lara(founder, Casa Cultural Anitcha)

"Economia Solidária é um jeito diferente de produzir, vender, comprar e trocar o que é preciso para viver. Sem explorar os outros, sem querer levar vantagem, sem destruir o ambiente. Cooperando, fortalecendo o grupo, cada um pensando no bem de todos e no próprio bem.

A economia solidária vem se apresentando, nos últimos anos, como inovadora alternativa de geração de trabalho e renda e uma resposta a favor da inclusão social. Compreende uma diversidade de práticas econômicas e sociais organizadas sob a forma de cooperativas, associações, clubes de troca, empresas autogestionárias, redes de cooperação, entre outras, que realizam atividades de produção de bens, prestação de serviços, finanças solidárias, trocas, comércio justo e consumo solidário." --MTE

(photo below: Crocheting flowers from natural buriti palm fiber)

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  • Marissa Saints