Bike Chain Range – People Behind the Products
Kamrul proudly stands in front of the latrine that the fair payment he receives from selling upcycled Bike Chain products has enabled him to have built. Having access to safe sanitation is a basic human right. 1 in 5 people do not have access to safe sanitation. That's why fair2all gives 10% of its takings to WATSAN (a water and sanitation charity) for 2 weeks in November.
How many people can be transported on a bicycle at once? Answer; as many as need to – husband, wife and kids! In India the bicycle is still a primary mode of transport, so I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I say the quirky fair trade products made of upcycled bicycle chain, that fair2all sells come from India.
Kamrul used to make grills and doors for houses. As that barely earnt him a living he started making crafts over 20 years ago. The items he makes in his workshop are made from upcycled bicycle parts - chains, chain rings and other bits and pieces - much of it discarded from the many bicycle repair shops. Kamrul and his team, skilfully convert these materials into the ever growing range of both useful and decorative items.
In 2008 I had the privilege of visiting some of the fair trade producer groups that I buy from in India. When we were in Moradabad the exporter - Noah’s Ark - took us to the workshop of Kamrul in the village of Bhoor where they were making the Bicycle Chain Picture Frame.
To the alarm of some of us visitors he proudly stood in front of his new latrine for our photos. I include this photo in the Chain Picture Frame as a reminder to me of the positive difference fair trade makes to the producers.
But let’s give Kamrul the last word; ‘If I didn’t have this work, my life would not be the same. I’ve been working with Noah’s Ark for the past 15 years. It’s a well-known truth that we get good prices for our work and this has helped me to build my workshop and house. 15 years ago, I was working in the same area but my income was very much hand-to-mouth and our living conditions were very primitive. Now I think I am middle class and this progress is due to hard work and partners like Noah’s Ark’.
Mandy McIntosh – September 2022 – fair2all, 17 Bath Street, Ashby