After volunteering in Nepal with the Peace Corps, Damian wanted to give back to the “wonderful people” he had met; he did this by bringing together this women’s artisan group to create beautiful handmade glass-bead and gold bracelets. They have been part of Nepali culture for centuries and are a symbol of marriage.
Aidai Chochunbaeva was raised in Kyrgyzstan by her grandmother, a skilled artisan and has been crafting nomadic traditional items since she was 7 years old. She formed a group of artisans and taught them to produce scarves and other accessories; priding herself in creating a better life for them.
ARZU, which means “hope” in Dari, is an innovative model of social entrepreneurship that helps Afghan women weavers and their families break the cycle of poverty by providing them steady income and access to education and healthcare. Women, earning fair labor wages, weave exquisite hand-knotted rugs at home and craft Peace Cord Bracelets.
The idea for BauXo was born when two women, Jeneen Gacek & Diana DeLuca, met Javanese designer Hariyono in Bali and fell in love with his work. BauXo uses sustainable and recycled materials, using a form of conservation called “pre-cycling”. Efforts contribute to the Indonesian community, providing work opportunities, fair wages and education.
Be Home developed a line of green, environmentally conscious products blending raw and organic materials with the talents of artisans from small communities and local villages in Southeast Asia. For these amazing artisans, their labor provides sustenance for their lives and families, giving them an opportunity to educate the next generation of artisans.
Ramona Benitez McClelland founded the social enterprise dedicated to promoting livelihood opportunities in poor communities in her native Philippines by creating unique, eco-friendly jewelry for the active woman. Working allows them to earn a sustainable livelihood working from home, so they can better care for their families.
The Blue Mango Trust was created as a sustainable business by and for marginalized women who are disabled, deserted, widowed or living with AIDS. Employees receive a monthly bonus of 25% of their total piece rates and a pension fund with a 12% match on contributions.
Netherland designer Bernadette van de Braak first visited Nepal in 2008. Her experience there inspired her to support the lives of craftspeople by bringing the production of her designs to their fair trade studios. Men meticulously handcraft Bernadette’s stunning jewelry designs, whereas the women handle making all of the cotton bags.
Crossroads works closely with our Artisan partners to design and produce their ever-evolving collections. Crossroads works with mostly woman owned groups of Artisans to create Handcrafted Accessories and Jewelry that is beautiful and affordable. Fair wages allow the Artisans to meet their needs and live and work near or in their homes.
Susan Givens, founder of Dabbawalla, found the need for small backpacks and lunch bags for her child, starting to sew some on her own. Friends liked them and she started production with a small sewing outfit in Taiwan, where they emphasize workers’ rights and conditions. Everyone is paid fair wages, receives health benefits and maternity leave.
Founded by two sisters: Nanu Khanna, who runs the studio facility in India working with the artisans, and Deepali Kalia who runs the design business in Portland, Oregon. The artisans are paid fairly and set their own prices for their work. They also sponsor the education for one-child per family and provide paid vacations, bonuses, and holiday gifts.
Designer Inca Soesanto started Fredd & Basha in 2008, inspired by his many years of travels as a designer and merchandiser. He works closely with artisans in creating an aesthetic that is a contrast of material, color and mood. The artisans who expertly craft Inca’s designs utilize age-old traditions, and reside in Thailand and India.
Made by small artisan groups in India, Gray Market textiles use only plant and animal based fibers, preserving ancient textile-making techniques to bring organic, handcrafted textiles to the market. By ensuring every artisan is paid with fair wages, Gray Market helps artisans achieve financial stability and access better healthcare and education for them and their families.
Good Paper is an organization helping women who have escaped sex trafficking in the Philippines and those orphaned in the Rwandan genocide create better futures for themselves and their families. With stable fair-trade wages, the artisans are able to pay rent, put food on the table, and educate their children. This economic autonomy allows them to work towards achieving their dreams. Good Paper provides more than just jobs, raising the standard of living for the card makers and their families.
Hae NOW, short for Humans, Animals and Environment...Now!, is a company that employs over 700 men and women in their mill in Kolkata, India. Believing that ethics and social responsibility shouldn’t be forsaken for profit, Hae Now strives to alleviate poverty through fair trade, generate employment, empower its employees, improve labor conditions, and support environmentally-friendly practices.
What began for Kathy as a six month excursion to Bali expanded into an eight year stay with two of her daughters. Former model & TV host, Kathy’s original jewelry designs are produced by a talented group of artisans, who receive high wages for their high quality work, live on site and have their meals provided. Kathy gives back to the island through a Balinese environmental organization called Winzu, to help keep Bali beautiful. Celebrity clients include Oprah, Katie Couric, and amongst others.
Swedish born, California raised, designer Lena Bernard has been working with the same group of artisans since she moved to Bali over 10 years ago. Lena provides them extensive training on style & techniques seen throughout her Collections. The impact of supplementing stay at home mom’s income has been life changing for them.
The Akha are an indigenous hill tribe who live in South-East Asia, throughout the mountainous regions of Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and Eastern China. The Marquet artisan collective, who make our bracelets, employs over one hundred crafts people and offers both full-time and part-time opportunities, as well as the opportunity to work from home.
Manish Gupta decided to return to India after finding that many people were living on under $1 a day. He founded Matr Boomie to help develop and support artisan groups in India when he heard that people in the community were being mistreated by their employers. He supports the community through jewelry making efforts.
Michelle Baldwin and Michelle Taylor-Spearman of TDM Design drew inspiration for their socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable line of scarves and shawls, from the skilled craftsmanship of weavers in Nepal. The organization creates opportunities for over 125 Nepalese women to generate consistent income and provides education funding and healthcare support.
PACT is a fair trade clothing business manufacturing socks, apparel and packaging in Turkey. Their cotton is sourced from a single organic cotton cooperative comprised of over 10,000 farmers who are shareholders, and practice non-GMO organic farming across 3 states of India. There is equal pay for men and women, healthcare and education support for families.
Patagonia, a founding member of the Fair Labor Association, are highly transparent in all they do. They engage in fair labor practices, safe working conditions & environmental responsibility in the finished-goods factories that make their products.
In 2004 Samantha Morshed founded Hathay Bunano to help bring sustainable and flexible employment to rural and disadvantaged women of Bangladesh. The organization teaches knitting and crochet skills, which are then put to use creating Pebbles toys. The 6800 + women who craft Pebble products are able to work flexible hours and closer to their rural homes.
Kate Collins, designer of Plume Collection, works with artisan women in multiple countries, combining traditional craft skills with modern design, and providing economic independence, empowerment and equality to women globally through the fair trade principles they follow.
Senhoa’s mission is to provide vulnerable women & survivors of sex trafficking in Cambodia, with safe & secure employment, fair wages & access to a global market. Senhoa aids in transforming artisans and their communities by alleviating poverty, protecting & empowering women, & promoting peace.
This holistic social enterprise has at its core, the belief that access to dignified and safe employment is one of the most powerful armors for protecting women from exploitation.
Sidr Craft is led by Abdullah and Abduljabbar Khatri who employ approximately 200 craftswomen from 8 villages in India. The women are able to work making handcrafted scarves from the comforts of home. The income is extremely valuable to their families, and for some, is their sole means of support.
SLOWCOLOR is a social enterprise founded by Sanjay Rajan, in 2011. Working with handloom artisan weavers in Hyderabad, India, Slowcolor supports their ancient traditions, keeping a culture alive. Paying their artisans more than 4 times the average salary, affords weavers the ability to support their families.
Elise Lion and Jennifer Morelatto formed Smateria which has grown into a self-financed social enterprise. All artisans are contracted, in accordance with International Labour Law, with paid 1 month vacation, family leave and healthcare insurance. Smateria outsources part of their work to family members by offering no interest loans on sewing machines. Smateria runs 5 shops in Cambodia.
Sudarshan works in partnership with master craftsmen to create traditionally-made contemporary textiles and accessories employing sustainable techniques such as natural dyeing, hand weaving, and block printing to create unique, hand-crafted products. Sudarshan directs part of their profits towards funding craft schools in India to educate women in local craft industries.
Scott Leeder founded Tompkins Point Apparel to help improve lives for farmers in Hyderabad, India. He developed a business model for a clothing brand that would improve farmers’ lives by taking a creative approach to producing the products we consume regularly. Tompkins Point donates 25% of their profits to the communities that make their clothing.
Hand-assembled in a small facility in Thailand, Vance Kitira’s bags provide creative work for around 20 Thai citizens. A Thai native, Vance has been providing work for small suppliers in towns and villages of Thailand for over 20 years, helping to perpetuate the techniques and practices handed down through generations.
WorldFinds mission is to create positive change, build hope, and design beautiful, sustainable products for a better world. By using fashion and design to combat poverty, Worldfinds works with artisans in India, Indonesia, and Nepal, hiring women artisans, improving educational programs, expanding healthcare initiatives, and sending the artisans’ daughters to school.
Throughout her international travels, Colleen Schmidt has forged alliances with creative communities around the world. She continues to design various products and has them crafted through her artisan contacts all while following fair trade principles, empowering underserved craftspeople in Africa and Asia. Colleen directs a portion of the proceeds from her product sales back to the cottage industries responsible for making them.
Würkin Stiffs produces their fine men's leather products in a small family owned factory in Thailand. Employing both men and women, their pay is equal and dependent upon performance and degree of skill. The entire production is run by a woman who has been working for the company for over 25yrs.