Our Impact

Shopping for a Change (SFAC), in conjunction with our partnering artisan organizations,
helps create a sustainable income for the artisans (mostly women) employed through the
 50+ groups in the 30 countries
with whom we work.
Each year SFAC shares the net proceeds from our sales:
contributing half to fund Community Improvement Projects
in one of our artisan communities, with a focus on clean water, health care and education (as seen below);
and the other half to various U.S.-based nonprofit organizations chosen by our customers
during their checkout process.


Access to Education: High School Scholarships

During 2016 when you shop on our site, half of the net proceeds from your purchase will help fund a year of high school education for ten girls and orphans (maybe more, if you buy a lot :) ) in Swaziland for the 2017 school year. Globally, 170 million children do not attend school, the vast majority of whom are girls. In 2015, Swaziland’s government mandated free tuition for primary school, however, the country still lacks the proper funds to truly make standardized education a complete reality. Consequently, schools are overcrowded and many students are unable to attend secondary(high) school due to the added cost. For those who do make to high school, the average annual fee to attend equates to $283USD (4035 ZAR). While that may not seem like much by our standards, the average family in Swaziland supports 6-8 school-age dependents on an annual family income of only $276 USD (3960 ZAR). Many of these dependents are orphans—their parents taken prematurely from them by AIDS or other health related illnesses. Thank you for helping these students receive their high school education, unrestricted by the constraints of gender or circumstance, by going shopping on Shopping for a Change!

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 once again are capable of working to their fullest capacity, enabling them to provide necessary food, shelter and education for their children.

"Now after using the new eyeglasses I can make 45 hand forged rings per day, before I could only make 30, I am very happy because I can make more money."--Pak Suwirya                

Bangladeshi Preschool Project

Half of the net proceeds from our product sales during 2014 financed the opening of two new preschools in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This project was a collaborative effort between Shopping for a Change® and our partnering artisan organization, Pebble Child. Pebble employs over 6800 disadvantaged women, living in 65 rural places throughout Bangladesh. Beginning February 9, 2015, forty children, ages 3-6 whose mother’s handcraft Pebble’s adorable handknit toys and apparel, proudly began attending our two preschools in Sirajgonj and Mouliribazar, free of charge. Their preschool attendance enables them to enter primary school having already learned some of their studies, and provides them with an advantage. Their artisan mother's productivity levels increase significantly when the women feel secure about the well-being of their children, and they are more committed to investing their income for the higher education of their children. The education rate in the village also increases as women become empowered through better earnings.

Nutritional Empowerment in the Amazon

The Nutritional Empowerment Project was a collaborative effort between Shopping for a Change and the Faire Collection, formerly known as the Andean Collection. It was jointly funded with net proceeds from our 2013 sales, and an in-kind contribution by the Faire Collection. Our efforts were focused on supporting local Kichwa artisans in the Ecuadorian Amazon region in a sustainable farming project. The Kichwa's persistent issues with access to food and the effects of malnourishment were problems we were determined to help them solve. Details of the project are available as a downloadable pdf file. Click to Download

Tibane Water Project

During 2011, in a joint effort with Unicef, Water Gives Life, an Australian nonprofit organization, and Gone Rural boMake, the nonprofit arm of one of our artisan groups, we installed a complete water system that provides clean drinking water for a remote homestead in the mountains of Swaziland, Africa. Previously, their water came from rivers, looked more like mud, and carried infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and typhoid. This has been a life-changing event for the 400 plus community members who never before had clean water.
Gone Rural visits the site every 3-4 weeks, and an elder of the village has been trained and given authority over the operation of the system. The water system will always be subject to future weather conditions and land movement in coming decades; however given all things equal with no sudden changes the borehole and water should be in use for decades.

Oltumusoi Education Project

Net proceeds from our 2012 sales were donated to cover the costs of a local teacher's salary for a year at Oltumusoi Primary School in Kenya. Benefiting the children of Maasai artisans working with The Leakey Collection, our grant reduced the student-teacher ratio from 80:1 to 40:1 during the 2014 school year. Our sponsorship is managed by Trust for Rural African Development and Enterprise (TRADE), founded by Katy and Philip Leakey, of the famed Leakey family.