We are familiar with the Swan label, the flower, and the organic label. We have now turned our attention to products for the home that are labelled Max Havelaar and Fair Trade. Consumers are increasingly moving from facts to feelings when they take products from shop shelves. More than ever, we shop with our hearts and never before has the interest in ecology, ethical commerce, and Fair Trade been greater. This can be experienced at Scandinavia’s biggest fair for home accessories, gifts, and design, Formland Spring 2008, from 1-4 February at MCH Messecenter Herning.
“Fair Trade and ecology have been hot internationally and among the famous for some time. We can now see that Danish consumer interest in these areas has risen quite considerably. Several of our exhibitors have begun to think in terms of Fair Trade in their shops and in their businesses. We have therefore directed focus towards organic products and Fair Trade as rapidly growing areas at the trend zone HOThouse,” relates Project Manager Lars Jespersen, MCH Messecenter Herning Kongrescenter.
Towels with social responsibility
Many of Formland’s exhibitors will recognise the picture. Textile company MOW Living is in the process of obtaining Fair Trade accreditation and expects to receive the Max Havelaar stamp of approval during the next six months.
“We are seeing tremendous interest in ecology and Fair Trade. This is gigantic in London and in Denmark we have found that consumers are looking for products that signal social responsibility. So it is excellent that the Formland Fair is now sharpening the focus on the subject and helping shops and buyers to pay more attention to Fair Trade,” says Kristian Jakobsen, owner of MOW Living.
In brief, Fair Trade involves fair prices, human rights, environment-friendly and sustainable production, in addition to improved conditions for farmers and producers in the world’s poorest countries.
Unique Japanese design at Formland
Japan’s answer to Dane Arne Jacobsen is Sori Yanagi. He is 92 and famous for mastering designs for bridge constructions, cars, motorways, and kitchen utensils. He has received the honour of designing the Olympic torch twice, has worked with Charles Eames, and is the man behind the Butterfly chair, which is accounted a masterpiece. In spite of his advanced age, he is still in full swing and his designs are on permanent display throughout the world, including at MoMa in New York and Tokyo as well as the Louvre in Paris. His products are now being exhibited at a fair in Scandinavia for the first time.
“We are exhibiting nine of his product collections at Formland. Visitors will be able to see porcelain, cutlery, and a series of cast-iron products by the Japanese master. We have just launched his products in Denmark and there is unusually widespread interest in them,” relates Director Thomas Baldur-Felskov, Gateway Japan ApS, which sells the Japanese products in Scandinavia.
Formland facts: Formland Spring 2008 takes places at MCH Messecenter Herning from 1-4 February. Formland is Scandinavia’s biggest trade fair for home accessories, gifts, and design with more than 600 exhibitors. This is where 20,000 people from the industry and professional buyers from 40 countries meet to do business and find inspiration.