May 13, 2016

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Our fair trade gifts and ideas selection are among the best for all occasions, or just shopping. All our items are selected by curation, with our returning customers assistance—so we know what is well liked. Ours are the highest quality online collections of handmade, eco friendly fair trade gift or for-me items. Our fair trade jewelry and accessories are of the finest quality in design and crafting. We have products for women, men, family and rooms. And we are very proud to be nonprofit—which is a major difference between us and other stores. This means we give back in more abundance and ways (compared to for-profit stores) to the artisans who work with us. As well, we abundantly support artisans' community projects.

Incredibly appropriate gifts for her or him, or your family. For where you live or your work place. And we have a great, full range of fair trade gift items from Africa and India. 

Of course, we are also eco friendly and green. Our eco friendly gifts are selected by Stacey Horowitz (SFAC founder) following these criteria: aesthetics, originality, fashion sense, and very good longevity. Each item is crafted by artisans (mainly women) who live in developing economy countries. 

And don't forget handmade products, an important distinction. Our items are all hand crafted by our artisans in small cottage industry work places that themselves meet all the highest standards of fair worker pay, conditions and environmentally friendly work spaces. 

We travel with you to 50 artisan groups living in 29 countries spanning 3 continents. With our partnering craft organizations we take part in educating artisans on how to participate in the global marketplace, help preserve cultural traditions, and teach new skills both for business and life. Be sure to like us on Facebook and book mark us to return for future shopping. 

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT PROJECT

The Future Looks Bright Project
Half of the net proceeds from our 2015 product sales were used to purchase and donate eyewear for 2500 artisans across three (3) continents, who need glasses for their detailed work. Between the ages of 30-55 yrs. old, people typically begin to lose their ability to clearly see up close, which can be truly devastating for an artisan. Not only does their production begin to dwindle when they cannot see well, but they risk losing their ability to work entirely. By providing this eyewear they will once again be capable of working to their fullest capacity, enabling them to provide necessary food, shelter and education for their children.
The Future Looks Bright
The following post was originally featured as a blog post on the site of our online retail partner, Escama
The Future Looks Bright

Last month Escama Studio's online retail partner, Shopping for a Change, made a generous donation of reading glasses to our artisan partners in Brazil. Executive Director, Stacey Horowitz met with us today to explain more about the eyeglass donation program called 'The Future Looks Bright Project'

Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image

 Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image

Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image

The artisans wearing their glasses from the Future Looks Bright Project. 

Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image

 Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image

Future Looks Bright Project: Artisan Image

Stacey: I was so excited to have Escama as part of our most recent community improvement project—The Future Looks Bright Project, which was funded in January 2016 from our 2015 product sales. We were able to provide 2500 pairs of eyeglasses to artisans on 3 continents around the world. People typically begin to lose their ability to see clearly up close between the ages of 30-55. This can be truly devastating for an artisan. Not only does their production begin to dwindle when they cannot see well, but they risk losing their ability to work completely. By providing this eye wear they are once again be capable of working to their fullest capacity, enabling them to provide necessary food, shelter and education for their children.

Escama: Your website, Shopping For A Change funds community improvement projects every year from the profits raised from the previous year's sales. How did you come up with this year's idea of free eye wear?

Stacey: It came about as a result of a conversation with one of our artisan groups. We were trying to come up with a health-oriented project, and the artisans themselves said that what they needed most were eyeglasses. I began to think that this was probably a common need among all of the groups with whom we work, so I asked everyone to share what their artisans’ eye needs were. I began researching eye wear providers and discovered VisionSpring, a NY-based nonprofit whose focus is on eye care in developing countries and teaching local communities how to do eye exams and sell glasses. We purchased 2500 pairs of magnification style eyeglasses, and with the information gathered from our artisan groups we were able to know which strengths, quantities & styles to send to each. We've started to get comments from artisans around the world about what a life changer it is for them to be able to see clearly again. 

Escama: Yeah, the glasses are great! (I admit that I stole a pair myself and I can actually see clearly now). And from Brazil here are some of the things that we've heard back from the artisans: 

Sabina, (the seamstress) exclaimed: "Oh, how wonderful! Now I won't have problems with the lining. I am seeing everything!"
The future looks bright
Adriana dos Reis says: "I'm only going to work with these glasses now."
The Future Looks Bright
From the group: we'd like to send a thank you to Stacey for giving us this opportunity to enjoy the benefits of these glasses. Many women had this need but we never knew that we should buy them. We thank you on behalf of all of us.

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