In our recent survey of sustainably designed Hannukah menorahs, we featured menorahs (and other light fixtures) made locally in Israel. Not all Jews have the luxury of being in an area where Judaica is locally designed and produced, though, and therefore purchase products that are imported. These products are not always created with the most environmental and socially ethical values in mind, however, and the Judaica market is often flooded with products made by exploited workers in third world countries. And so in addition to our sustainably designed Israeli Hannukah menorahs from last week, we now present a sustainable and fair trade upcycled bike chain menorah made in India and available to Jews worldwide.
Sold through various online shops, the bicycle chain menorah is made by artisans at Noah’s Ark International in Moradabad, India. Since metal costs have skyrocketed in recent years, Noah’s Ark trains craftspeople to upcycle instead and use alternative metals and materials (learn more about Noah’s Ark International in the video clip below).
As bicycles are still a primary form of transportation in India, bicycle chains are a readily available material. Their flexibility enables them to be used in multiple ways.
One of the online trade shops that sells the bicycle chain menorah is Fair Trade Judaica, a website launched in 2007 by Ilana Schatz and which both promotes fair trade products and provides assistance in designing new products.
Schatz considers the support of fair trade products to be a concept close to the message of Hannukah itself, and said that “if Hannukah is a story of liberation, then products made for a fair wage represent a different kind of liberation… When you buy a fair trade product, it can lift that family out of poverty.”
Read more about fair trade organizations in the Middle East:
Middle Eastern Grassrooters That Keep It Environmentally and Socially Responsible
SAHA’s Fairly Local Trade
Guy Lougashi Weaves Together Baskets and People with Recycled Paper
Image via: Fair Trade Judaica