Mereville Trust is a Fair-Trade Organization, located in the heart of India. This means that they use honest labour principles and treat all of their employees with dignity and respect. Here, at Natures-Artifacts, we believe that is very important and are very proud to be the sole distributors of Mereville Trust products. They employ mostly women in order to increase their standard of living, and that of their children, and they provide health benefits along with a standardized minimum wage.
Mereville Trust was set up in February 1994 with the aim to contribute in its humble way to realize the ideal of Auroville.
The project came into being, and developed with the collaboration of Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Pondicherry and Auroville, the international city of the future, envisioned by the Mother. It represents a communion of the spirit, manifesting in the material things. Together we seek perfection through work. This is our sincere aspiration and offering as a fundamental part of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’s yoga.
Keeping in tune with an atmosphere of new global awareness, Auroville wants to be an ecologically advanced township. Auroville has gained national and international acclaim for its wasteland reclamation and re-forestation program resulting in more than 2500 acres of near desert and visibly dying land being transformed into a lush green area. Increasing attention has been given to the environmental impacts of human activity and Sustainable Development which improve the quality of life. Here, everyone is given the opportunity of doing ‘happy work’; work that is productive, regenerative, creative, meaningful, holistic and in intrinsic harmony with nature.
The first project undertaken, 'Mereville Natural Incense', was in answer to the need of a good quality product, easily identifiable by its natural and delicate fragrance.
The distinguishing factor is that a major part of our series is made of wholly natural powders and pure essential oil blends, while in a few commercial series we have maintained the level at 85% natural, with 15% of non-toxic synthetic blends. Through our renewing R&D efforts, the percentage is slated to be reduced to a negligible 5% in the near future. The aim is to be wholly natural for all of the products. Our main thrust, as a microcosmic part of the unique and organic experiment that is Auroville, will always be to evolve the Natural prospective, paving the way for Quality over Quantity.
Beauty in Eco-Friendliness:
Particular care is taken towards the aesthetic presentation and expression of beauty in every aspect. The paper used for packaging as well as our display boxes, comes from a handmade process of recycled cotton fibre, as well as other natural fibres, such as rice, sugarcane, banana leaves, linen, silk, etc.. Each of these sheets of paper is unique in its appearance and reflects the simple beauty of Nature renewing itself constantly.
The Mereville products are being increasingly appreciated for their delicate and natural flavour and new projects are being developed as we evolve.
Auroville’s life is inextricably intertwined with the surrounding villages. Their well-being is a part of our own. In today’s Auroville, interchange with villagers is spread out among environmentalists, employers, educationists, health care providers, development workers and concerned individuals.
Keeping in tune with the developmental work in the nearby villages undertaken in Auroville as part of its intrinsic growth, Mereville Trust is willing to take up, as part of its Aid Project, various development programs for the nearby villages..
As part of our HRD policy, Mereville Trust employs mainly women as an aid to empower them and improve their life conditions as well as that of their children. Presently, Mereville Trust is providing the workers with a free transport service to and from work. In June 2004, Mereville has been voluntarily registered under the Factory Act which guarantees the workers a minimum salary, allowances, provident funds, health care and other benefits, as per Government rules applicable to medium and large scale industries.
The construction of a new unit has been started and will be completed by June 2005. A space for re-creative activities will be allotted to the workers, which includes a dining room, meeting hall, first aid room, toilets and showers.
In May 2004 Mereville has become a member of IFAT – Fair Trade International Association
Mereville would like to create a network of small, handicraft units in the surrounding villages, in order to develop their own potentialities. This will aid in connecting them to the market, and at the same time, radiate the concept and principles of Fair Trade.
They would also like to set up a second unit for processing organic and bio-dynamic products like black, green, herbal, and decaffeinated tea, along with coffee and spices. This new project will contribute to creating employment opportunities, and it will consolidate relationships with farmers that already have turned into bio-agriculture, which will encourage other to follow in the same direction.
Mereville Trust has plans to build up a lab for research and experiments that will be surrounded by a botanical garden, for the organic cultivation of aromatic herbs, medicinal plants and rare trees. The lab should be equipped with sophisticated machines for lab testing, herbal components extraction and herbal preparation. Ideally, they will apply for a cosmetic license in order to manufacture eco-friendly products i.e. soap, liquid soap and shampoo.
“When you buy from Natures Artifacts, you are helping individuals from underprivileged communities to gain a dignified social standing.”