For an introduction to this list, see the international handicrafts introduction in News and Announcements. The following businesses and organizations promote fair trade.
FAIR TRADE WINDS
Fair Trade Winds is a family-run business committed to helping alleviate global poverty and increase social responsibility through fair trade. The store seeks to empower consumers to become an integral part of a cooperative effort that benefits farmers, artisans, and the environment. Fair Trade Winds is currently located in Bar Harbor, ME, Stony Brook, NY, Fairfax, VA and Seattle, WA. Each store carries a variety of unique, handmade fair trade products including food items, household goods and decor, jewelry, bags/purses, children’s toys, musical instruments, stationary and new items arrive all the time!
Global Girlfriend was created by Stacey Edgar in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing you unique products and a simple way to help women in need. Our fair-trade boutique offers a line of trend-setting, women-made, fair-trade products including stylish apparel, accessories and gifts with one purpose — helping women in need help themselves. We believe passionately that economic opportunity for women holds the promise for real change in the world; because when women have an income, they reinvest in themselves and in their children’s health, education and nutrition, building stronger families and communities over time. Many women try desperately to make a living selling their artisan-quality goods but find that they have little access to market opportunities. Through fair-trade practices, Global Girlfriend brings the work of these disadvantaged groups directly to you. Global Girlfriend believes in forming long-term partnerships that provide women a fair living wage with equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance and development strategies to foster prosperity and reduce poverty.
MayaWorks is a nonprofit social venture that creates a market for the handicrafts of Guatemalan women artisans. MayaWorks has been working with approximately 125 Maya artisans in the central highlands of Guatemala for the past 15 years. As a fair trade organization we pay our artisan partners a fair wage for their work and additionally support them through skills and literacy trainings, scholarships to send their daughters to school and microcredit loans to start their own small businesses. Our artisan partner’s handicrafts including jewelry, bags, accessories, home goods, Judaica, clerical, baby and kids items and much more are available for sale on our website. MayaWorks has a network of passionate volunteers who hold consignment sales of our products across the US. This allows the volunteer to create work for Maya artisans and also introduce fair trade within their community. Individuals interested in learning more about MayaWorks can join us on our 10 day Journey to Guatemala, a tour which explores fair trade and Mayan culture. Participants experience the beauty of Guatemala while traveling the country and interacting with MayaWorks artisan communities.
The Maya Traditions Foundation (known locally as
Fundación Tradiciones Mayas) was born in 1998, as a personal initiative of social worker and weaver Jane Mintz, to provide much needed assistance to the Maya people in the region surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala during the civil war. Initially, support was provided though the setting up of fair trade retail and wholesale markets, however, Jane´s support has vastly expanded over time to include education, community health and artistry development programs and in 2008, Maya Traditions became a Foundation and legal Guatemalan non-profit. Today the Foundation works with six community weaving groups, has provided more than 2,200 scholarships, holds regular artisan workshops and is involved in community health projects that preserve and integrate traditional Maya medicines and spirituality with modern medicine. We continue to advocate for the women in Fair Trade markets in order to help them increase income and preserve back strap weaving as a traditional art form. You can help support us by buying our Fair Trade Products, making donations or by volunteering you time with us. Please see the Maya Traditions site for more information.
COLORES DEL PUEBLO
Colores del Pueblo….. we work directly with artisan cooperatives in Guatemala to bring the finest of textiles and handicrafts to the consumer. Through fair trade practices, we hope to inspire positive change in the world and to give the talented artisans an incentive to continue cultural craft traditions like weaving, basketry and woodworking. The purpose of cooperatives is to band artisans together to set prices in order to begin to compensate those who bring the product to market with a reasonable wage. As you can see from the breakdown on our website, the wages are still modest but they can provide the basic necessities that mean the difference between a malnourished, chronically ill family and a healthy family.
TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES
Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.
Founded in 1946, the company has grown from the trunk of founder Edna Ruth Byler’s car to a network of more than 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products. The company encourages artisan partners to use environmentally friendly processes, sustainable natural resources and recycled materials to ensure each product offered has been crafted responsibly. Ten Thousand Villages is a partner of Mennonite Central Committee.Volunteer page: http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/about-volunteers/
NORTHWEST TRIBAL ART
Northwest Tribal Art (Northwest American Native Arts) is one of the leading gallery showcasing museum-quality Northwest American Native and Inuit artwork for collectors since 1981. For decades, Northwest Tribal Art has earned a reputation for bringing fine native artworks from emerging and renowned artists who bring the cultures and legends to life.
Highlights include artwork from nations of Makah, Haida, Salish, Tlingit, Kwakwaka’wakw, and Nuu-chah-nulth’s fine carved Argillite pole, bentwood boxes, bowls, drums, fossilized Ivory, masks, soapstones, panels, paddles, plaque, rattles, and totem pole along with book, clothing, jewelry, prints and original paintings by renowned artists.
Located in historic Pike Market Place in Seattle, Northwest Tribal Art is surrounded by Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Original Starbuck Coffee, Four Seasons, A Five Stars hotel and many attractions within minutes walking distance.
MILAGROS MEXICAN FOLK ART GALLERY
Milagros Mexican Folk Art Gallery has been located, since 1991, in the historic Pike Place Market, in Downtown Seattle. Our love for folk art is drawn to the uninhibited use of color, creativity and sense of humor unique to Mexico’s artisans. We travel to Mexico, driving by truck, village to village, in search of new interesting pieces. Milagros Mexican Folk Art offers an extensive selection of whimsical and collectible works of art by several of Mexico’s most renowned artisans.
ARGHAND, the only all-natural, sustainable skincare line from Afghanistan, was founded by Sarah Chayes, a former correspondent for National Public Radio who covered the fall of the Taliban, then stayed behind to help rebuild the war-torn country. Chayes and a group of Afghan friends got a great idea: Why not transform the exquisite produce, long the fame of the region, into high quality bath and body products, thus adding value while stabilizing the products for export? Arghand features a line of richly emollient, luxurious natural soaps and moisturizers. Each product showcases a unique blend of oils that have been cold-pressed or steam-distilled from whole, hand-harvested plants.