When walking through the shop, you might hear us mention the term "fair trade" when talking about our products, particularly in our home section. While everything in our shop has a mission behind it, there is particular meaning and impact around fair trade goods.
But what does it mean exactly?
According to our partners in the space, fair trade is "a form of ethical, environmentally conscious, and sustainable production that focuses on creating economic opportunities for disadvantaged producers. It promotes inclusive practices, safe working conditions, fair pay, and the preservation of traditional techniques."
In our home section in particular, all of our products are either vintage or fair trade and the stories behind these artisan-made products are ones we are especially proud of.
October happens to be Fair Trade Month, which aims to raise awareness about fair trade organizations and the impact they have around the world. Working with these organizations has allowed us the opportunity to curate a collection beautiful, handmade pieces from over 15 countries and counting.
Sourcing these products has been such a joy, so it is hard for us to choose only a few. But we walked through the shop and selected a few of our favorite fair trade products in honor of Fair Trade Month.
These glasses are perfect to celebrate any occasion, but their mission makes celebrating even better. These glasses are made out of locally-sourced recycled glass, and are hand-blown in an artisan-owned cooperative located in the small village of Cantel, Guatemala. This organization has revitalized their community by giving employees access to fair, living wages, health insurance, and training and educational opportunities, and personal development programs. The group is dedicated to providing sustainable income opportunities for artisans in vulnerable communities and a safe work environment free from exploitation.
Ten Thousand Villages is a pioneer of fair trade and they foster long-term partnerships with women and marginalized communities in developing countries to bring their artisan-made goods to the global market. All of their products are ethically made and help break the cycle of poverty. These bookends were crafted in India by artisans who specialize in metal craftsmanship, and like all Ten Thousand Villages partners, the artisans had access to safe working conditions, fair, living wages, and honor centuries' old traditions.
Not only are these runners beautiful and durable, but they are also made sustainably. Each runner is made on traditional handlooms with cotton and banana plant fiber, carefully designed in India. These products showcase traditional techniques for the modern home and the artisans who create them include women, people living with disabilities, and underserved communities.
These acacia wood bowls are hand-carved by artisans in the Philippines. These bowls are created using only certified sustainable wood with the intent for each bowl to get a lifetime of use. These artisans and carvers have preserved these wood carving techniques across generations.
Social enterprise SAFFY, the Social Action for Filipino Youth, works with artisans in rural communities of the Philippines and provides safe employment opportunities. Ranging in age from 18 to 60, many of the artisans work together in a communal shop, but many who live in more remote regions also have the option to work from home to take care of their families. SAFFY works with more than 600 artisans, the majority of whom are women. The group offers essential services including skill development, product development insights, and financial management training.
Each bottle is handcrafted by artisans in the Cap Bon peninsula in Tunisia. The area is steeped in the deeply ancient tradition of pottery, and expert craftsmen have passed down the practices for generations. They are carved from mineral-rich clay from the azure depths of the Mediterranean Sea. These bottles are versatile and can be used for olive oil, vinegar, or maple syrup.
The artisans are guaranteed a fair and living wage, workers benefits, safe working conditions, and fair working hours through Gharyan.
Each frame is handcrafted by artisans in New Delhi using ethically-sourced bone from northern India. Matr Boomie partners with grassroots-level NGOs and artisan cooperatives who use responsible and sustainable practices. These artisans have access to a fair and living wage, safe working conditions, and they preserve the longstanding artisan heritages found in their communities.
Verve Culture is a multigenerational women-owned business. They work with skilled artisans to create hand-blown glasses, pitchers, and more. These pieces are all made out of recycled beer and wine bottles and are a second act for glass that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The artisans behind this glassware have access to a fair and living wage and safe working conditions.
This brand helps bridge the gap between artisans and customers. These bags are made ethically by women artisans in Marrakech, where they have established their own workshops to improve the living and working conditions for local artisans. Each of these baskets are handwoven in Morocco and are perfect as a shopper bag, beach bag, or for storage.
These baskets come in a multitude of styles and are made out of sustainably sourced local materials. The organization, Mayan Hands, partners with women weavers across different communities in the western highlands of Guatemala. The organization is dedicated to creating economic and educational opportunities for Mayan women and girls, many of whom previously had limited access to educational opportunities, so they are able to build sustainable futures and as they continue to preserve their cultural traditions.
Through these dignified income-generating opportunities, women can provide for their families, send their children to school, and invest in their local communities. They participate in capacity building programs that include technical skill training, product design, leadership development, and workshops addressing gender role awareness and health and well-being. Mayan Hands invests in the next generation by offering scholarships and support to indigenous girls.