07 Jun Direct Trade benefits
At the Origins Galeria, we have adopted the direct trade model which is chiefly utilised by coffee manufactures as an alternative to fair trade or the traditional supply chain. The core of the of direct trade system is building sustainable, long term relationships with a view to not only develop a higher quality product with a higher saleable value to both the producers and the importers but also to directly or indirectly improve the working practices and communities of the producers.
The result for us is phenomenal, we work with four producers in Java and Bali, Indonesia. Our founder and lead designer Andrew, makes the 70 hour trip from Colombia each year and has developed strong bonds with each. We work closely with them, adopting individual pricing agreements to ensure fair prices are paid per product, paying close attention to the level of skill demonstrated in creating the pieces.
Our design process is truly collaborative which leads to the increasing individuality of our exotic, hand made products. This is our key to adding value to both the cost price charged by the highly skilled workers we partner with in Asia and the price we charge here in our gallery in Medellin.
That is not to say that our items are expensive. Due to our ethos of only using sustainable and recycled materials, our timeless pieces cost less than mass-produced equivalents and our customers receive pieces of original furniture and decor for their homes which display incredible craftsmanship.
Check out our post about the benefits of sustainable furniture design here.
A perfect example of the benefit of direct trade can be found in Jepara, Indonesia, at our partner Fernando’s new workshop. On his most recent visit to Jepara, Andrew assisted with the financing and building of the new premises to enable Fernando, an independent woodworker, to not only meet demand but to improve and refine his range of products. This venture has since benefited both parties significantly.
Our intimate involvement and enthusiasm for each project creates buy-in from our partners where production quality is concerned. Unlike typical supply chains where it is all about the bottom line and only doing enough to satisfy the next link in the chain, our direct trade relationships lead to more joined up processes where improving quality is paramount to all concerned. This benefits not only us and our partners but also our customers as the end product is ultimately more carefully produced and in turn both more desirable and more durable.
Written By Adam Reeve