Mariposas San Miguel
A social enterprise, Mariposas San Miguel was founded in 2009 by Lena Bartula. The products are lovingly handcrafted by women from San Antonio de la Joya and Cruz del Palmar, villages between San Miguel de Allende and the city of Guanajuato, mostly single mothers. Their work at Mariposas San Miguel provides them with better living conditions, education and support for themselves and their families. Their work together these past two years has provided them with sewing machines, (some by donation) washing machines, a grant for a water catchment cistern, and now the beginnings of a community centre for education and continued work on other projects.
The logo, the butterfly, was chosen to honour the Mirabal Sisters, code name Mariposas whose assassination in 1960 led to the movement observed today as International Day to End Violence Against Women. Butterflies symbolize change and transformation, an appropriate metaphor for breaking the cycle of domestic abuse. The women of Mariposas are indeed becoming butterflies as they grow and spread their wings in this endeavour. Lena continues to design market and sell their work, with the assistance of a growing number of volunteers and paid assistants.
BASHA’s house of hope is a social enterprise based in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. The slums of this city are bursting with talent: tailors, printers and embroiderers. These women have little status and live in extreme poverty. They are often forced into work they would not choose for themselves, and many are unemployed. To help them build a better life, now BASHA is training a number of them to turn their talents to making jewellery and beautiful Kantha throws. Through dignified work, Basha provides a sustainable livelihood for women at risk and for survivors of trafficking. As women learn the intricate skills needed to produce each Basha product, they receive many benefits in addition to their pay. At Basha we place as much funding into programs that enrich the lives of the women and their families as possible. In all it does, BASHA does its best to stay true to its Christian roots. This means we believe every woman in our care was created in love and is immeasurably valuable.
Arzu Studio Hope
Peace Cord® is a partnership between ARZU STUDIO HOPE and Spirit of America: like-minded organizations affecting positive change in communities across Afghanistan. Production of Peace Cord® creates jobs for impoverished Afghan women, delivers access to education and healthcare, and provides funds to U.S. troops for humanitarian projects to supply necessities like shoes, food and school books to isolated Afghan communities.100% of net proceeds from sales of Peace Cord® are used to rebuild Afghanistan and foster peace. Arzu Studio Hope believes that a sustainable approach to poverty alleviation is achieved through artisan-based employment that empowers women.
Peace Cord is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Good Shepherd Sisters Bangkok
The first house of the Good Shepherd Sisters was established in 1965 in Din Daeng, Bangkok. Since that time the number being helped has increased drastically. The area of Bangkok in which the Sisters first began working is unrecognizable. From the open paddy fields and slum dwellings, it is now a crowded busy metropolis. The slums have increased in number and the needs of the people facing unemployment, sickness, lack of educational opportunities and poverty have escalated. Responding to this need the Good Shepherd Sisters have very successfully implemented a residential care service, the Fatima Self-Help Centre, the day care centre and the Mother and Baby Home.
The Fatima Self-Help Centre offers to girls and women, mainly from the nearby slums and government housing, the possibility of learning basic skills that enables them to earn a decent living in a respectful and friendly environment.The women produce handicrafts, toys, educational books, children’s clothes, quilts, embroidered table and bathroom linens. They receive a just wage for their dignified work. Further studies and employment opportunities are also available to them.
With These Hands
The Matiliga Women’s Group was founded by Kezia and her sister Nuru after both women found themselves as single mothers with nine children to raise. In the small village in central Tanzania where Kezia and Nuru live there is no tourism or market for their baskets so the women were forced to leave their children in the care of relatives while they traveled to cities sometimes days away to sell their baskets on the roadside and in front of hotels. Now with the partnership of With These Hands, Kezia and Nuru have been able to focus on honing their craft and caring for their families. This has also enabled Kezia and Nuru to teach other women their techniques and to formally establish the Matiliga Women’s Group that now consists of 10 members. Matiliga is the Iramba tribal word for peace. Having a consistent income to count on has allowed Kezia to build her own home and for all of the women to send their children to school and to pay for medical expenses. Like the majority of other women from their region, the women of the Matiliga group spend most of their time farming and caring for their children and other family members. In an average day the women generally work in their farms and care for their families from 5:00am until lunch time when they feed their families. The afternoon is typically when they have time to weave baskets before preparing dinner. It can take anywhere from five to twenty hours to complete a basket depending on the complexity and size of the pattern.
The Opuwo Beads and Seeds Group is a collective of artisans and carvers from the Town of Opuwo in North Western Namibia. The group was started in early 2007, when the members approached a Peace Corps Volunteer and asked for help reaching a larger customer base outside of Opwuo. Currently there are 16 members of the group, 2 men, and 14 women. They are all members of either the Himba or Thimba tribe.The bracelets are carved in recycled PVC pipe, old PVC often remains in the ground as an eye sore or is heaped into landfill where it doesn’t break down or is burned on rubbish piles releasing toxins into the environment and creating a health hazard. The Opuwo Town Council is in the very long process of replacing much of the PVC piping in Opuwo and recently made an agreement with the group to keep and sell the used PVC piping as it becomes available. The patterns are all based on traditional designs that have “always” been around. However, the patterns are always evolving and changing at the whim of the artists. The extra income generated through the project has made striking and visible changes to the members of the group over the past two years: it can be seen in their dress, their children’s dress and well being. New houses have been built and cell phones have appeared. The difference is tangible and real.
Project Have Hope
Project Have Hope is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower women in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda by providing education to both the women and their children and assisting the women to establish business opportunities to promote economic stability and sustainability. We believe education is integral to achieve sustained success. Our goal is to provide education, at all levels, to each woman. Many of the women have never attended school and are unable to write their names or do simple arithmetic. Others have a basic education, but not enough to allow them to obtain jobs in fields that would enable them to earn a greater income. By providing education across the board, we are not only empowering the women, but also, giving them the much needed tools that will help them to create a brighter future.
Education is not enough. The women lack the finances to develop their own businesses and secure their own future. We provide loans to stimulate their economic development. Whether its capital that enables a woman to buy fish and rent a space at the market, or money to purchase a sewing machine for one of our vocational training graduates, we are there to support them every step of the way.
Most of the women are not only caring for their own children, but also the children of relatives who have died of HIV-related illnesses. The women select the most needy of the children and we do the rest. We enroll them in high quality day and boarding schools. We supply them with uniforms, books and the rest of the long list of requirements, from pencils to mattresses. We do all we can to ensure the children receive a quality education that will help them to realize their potential and create a future filled with the basics of life: food, clean drinking water, access to medical care – all the things we take for granted.
In order to accomplish this, Project Have Hope has tapped into the artistry and industriousness of these extraordinary women. The women make beautiful, colourful jewellery from paper – individual works of art, really. We have developed markets in the United States for the jewellery and other handcrafted items and use the revenue to fund educational and economic programs. In this way, the women are actually using their skills and hard work to help pull themselves out of poverty. They just need a little help. Support the women of Project Have Hope today!
Project Have Hope is a Fair Trade Federation member.
Beads of Esiteti
Beads of Esiteti is a fair-trade social business dedicated to empowering the Maasai community of Esiteti through the selling of their traditional beadwork. Beads of Esiteti generates an income for over 275 Maasai women, creating the means for them to care for themselves, their families and their community while creating educational opportunities for their children and future generations.
Beads of Esiteti seeks to empower the Esiteti community through creating economic initiatives and access to education and healthcare. By providing an international market for the Maasai women of this community, Beads of Esiteti strives to unleash the power of these women decreasing cases of early marriage, HIV/AIDS, and FGM, while creating greater access to education for girls throughout Maasailand.
Beads Of Esiteti is a Fair Trade Federation member.
Mayan Hands is a fair trade organization founded in 1989. We partner with talented Maya weavers in their quest to bring their families out of extreme poverty. These women and their families are able to continue to live within the culture they cherish.
Mayan Hands now partners with approximately 200 weavers, organized in groups of 10 to 30 women, living in different communities around the western and northern highlands of Guatemala. Working together, we design textiles that fit the tastes of people in the international market; then we seek out markets for them that pay a fair return to the women. Additionally, we work together with other organizations to offer opportunities to our weavers in many areas, including scholarships and school supplies for their children, home improvements, micro-lending, training in new skills and techniques, as well as classes in gender awareness, domestic violence, conflict resolution, and herbal medicine. Our weavers produce the exquisite, high quality products that we proudly offer you. The backstrap loom is a painstaking art form, whereby even experts weave only one inch of brocaded cloth per hour. Considering this, we think their craftwork is very reasonably priced and hope you’ll agree. Moreover, with a Fair Trade market, you can rest assured that your purchases allow these talented weavers to make a modest, but regular income with which they can feed their families, send their children to school, and harbor dreams for a better future.
Mayan Hands is a Fair Trade Federation member.
Threads of Hope
Threads of Hope is a project initiated by Alex and Chris Kuhlow in March 2003 to bring help and hope to families at risk in The Philippines. This outreach was unwittingly launched from one simple act of compassion for a hurting girl on a tropical beach in the Philippines. An order for 1200 bracelets was placed that provided a struggling family with a good source of income for an entire month. Our friends marveled at the artistry and effort that went into each piece and upon hearing this girl’s story, wanted to buy them out of compassion.A lot has happened since March 2003. We have gone from helping one family to nearly 250 families; that is nearly 700 people earning a steady income. Most of the children have returned to school instead of just one child per family attending.Currently, many of the bracelet makers have become so efficient that they can produce 100 or more bracelets in a day. A new sense of hope has been fostered within their communities. Dignity has been restored to these families who are anxious to work so they can provide for and protect their children.
Global Mamas helps more than 400 women in Ghana to improve their standard of living with dignity by promoting their traditional craftwork. Product proceeds go directly to the women and the non profit programs helping them to expand their businesses.Global Mamas practices fair trade principles ensuring that each woman in the network:
-earns a living wage
-has steady orders and is paid promptly
-gains access to critical raw materials
-strives to minimise any negative impact on the environment
-provides safe and healthy working conditions for employees
-receives training in new product development , business management, and quality control.
By purchasing the handmade Global Mamas products, you are offering sustainable livelihoods to women in Africa.
Global Mamas is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Ghana and Guatemala
Unique Batik works with batik artists, sewers, and beaders in Ghana and weavers, sewers and beaders in Guatemala. Our goal is to bring fun-loving and modern clothing and accessory designs to the international marketplace.
We work with artisan groups that produce high quality products using the age-old artistic traditions of batik printing in Ghana and backstrap weaving in Guatemala. Also, we purchase beaded jewelry in both countries. Our business gives these artisans access to markets beyond their local villages. Our artisans are ensured fair wages for their work, which allows them to remain in their home communities with their children and families. Fair trade means fair wages, sustainable relationships and safe working environments that are free from discrimination and forced child labor.
Unique Batik is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Blue Mango Trust
Blue Mango’s objective is to run a sustainable business by and for marginalized women who are disabled, deserted, widowed or living with AIDS. We offer a supportive infrastructure which enables women to gain financial stability and self-reliance. We hope that because of Blue Mango, those who are stigmatized will find greater respect and support from their larger communities.
Blue Mango is a social business that runs by the Ten Fair Trade principles of the World Fair Trade Organization. All of our profits are reinvested in the program, improving our business, and enhancing the quality of life for our women.
Blue Mango strives to make environmentally conscious choices. Noon meals are cooked with steam. The boiler is stoked with coconut husks, fabric bits, unusable packing materials and waste wood. Kitchen wash water is used to irrigate pumpkins in a back garden. Food packets for our homeless program are neatly wrapped in fresh banana leaves and recycled newspaper. Many of the Blue Mango products are made from vintage saris and leftover fabric. Recycled saris and newspaper are used to make shopping bags. Kitchen waste and ashes are composted. As much as possible, we procure our raw materials from environmentally friendly sources.
The concept of ownership by the women is fundamentally embedded in the ethos of Blue Mango. We have regular group meetings to help the newer women bond with the Blue Mango family.We have grown from 4 women to over 50 women. Except for the manager, accountants, driver, and cook, all other positions of responsibility in Blue Mango are held by senior women who started as trainees and worked their way up in the organization.As Blue Mango develops, the women themselves are taking a more active role in the business. We hope that they will not only embrace our vision, but take a major roll in shaping our future.
Siamese Dream Design
Siamese Dream Design takes beautiful ethnic textiles and repurposes them into modern fashion and home decor items. So much of what the world thinks of as “new” eco or sustainable ways have been the tribal ways for centuries. Handmade, home grown plant based dyes, organic hand spun cotton and hemp is what they have always known.
The village ways are inherently fair trade. One may grow the indigo for the dye, one may draw the batik and another may add the embroidery trim. Siamese Dream Design is committed to ensuring that all receive a fair wage for their contribution, they work directly with and employ stateless indigenous people who otherwise would not have a reliable income source.
As Siamese Dream Design got to know the old tribal Grandmothers, it was explained that the younger generations were leaving their culture behind and heading to the cities to make money. They saw the textile master pieces being created and decided to take these works of art and repurpose them into modern fashion to market globally with the aim of creating livable incomes for the tribal women. In this way Siamese Dream Design hopes to encourage the younger generations to stay in their villages and keep their traditions alive.
Siamese Dream Design takes great pride in helping to empower indigenous women to provide financial security to their families while maintaining their unique traditions.
In Tonga the traditional craft of weaving is enjoyed for the companionship it promotes among women, as well as the creative pleasure it gives, and the comfort and utility woven goods provide and, in the islands, weaving materials are a free part of nature’s bounties. The village of Utulei is in the Vavau chain of Islands in Tonga. The village is raising money to purchase water tanks so that they have clean rain water available and the sale of these baskets contributes to the cause.
East Timor and Sri Lanka
Tradewinds is a small not-for profit, volunteer run company which has been importing fairtrade tea and coffee into Australia for over 30 years. Tradewinds began because a group of ordinary people wanted to show that international trade could provide decent work, adequate pay and quality of life for producer communities. We have continued to play a key role in educating Australian consumers about how we can contribute to making international trade fairer. We keep our prices as low as possible so that the highest proportion possible goes to the producer communities from whom we buy. We directly import and sell a combination of fairtrade certified and non-certified fair trade products and invest profits into projects to support producer communities. Tradewinds supports some small cooperatives and companies who are not fairtrade certified but fulfil the principles of fairtrade in their operations.
Tantakuna meaning ‘together’ is a group of eleven women formed to generate income and seek social support in association with Proyecto Horizonte a non-governmental aid organization. Located on the margins of Cochabamba, Bolivia, this community of 1500 families was formed by people moving from other parts of Bolivia in hopes of a brighter future. These families are mostly living in one room houses without basic water and sanitation services.
The Tantakuna women come together weekly at Proyecto Horizonte to discuss current issues, exchange ideas and talk about work and family life. They develop new product ideas together and decide what’s important for the future in order to make their products more beautiful and of higher quality. All products are handmade by the group according to traditional indigenous techniques. The knowledge and skills have been passed down from mother to daughter through the generations, strengthening the family bonds and keeping the culture alive. The income from the sale of all goods goes directly to the woman who has made the product. In this way, women can contribute to the household income which benefits the entire extended family.
Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. Between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped 2 million tons of ordnance on Lao PDR, averaging one B-52 bomb load every 8 minutes, for 9 years. At the current rate of removal, it will take an estimated 800 years to clear all unexploded ordnance. The majority of UXO in Laos are cluster bombs the size of a fist or soup can. They often remain buried in the ground undetonated, killing more civilians than enemy soldiers, and preventing war torn countries from redeveloping UXO littered land.
Article 22 works with 12 artisan families in rural Laos who began transforming bombs to spoons in the 1970s. Today the villagers continue to take a constructive approach to the destruction of war by recovering their livelihoods through available local resources, creating molds from wood and ash, kilns from the earth and casting bracelets and other items from aluminium war scrap metal .Each year Article 22 spends up to three months in Laos working side by side with artisans to create new shapes and refine techniques. Peacebomb metal is a mix of different types of aluminium scrap. Repurposed metal includes the stabilization fins of cluster bomb casings and rockets, flares, certain fuses and parts of fighter jets. To make scrap collection safer, Article 22 collaborates with expert demining organizations that also provide risk education to the local population.
One of the poorest countries in SE Asia, 80% of the Lao population relies on subsistence agriculture. Families eat most of what they harvest, leaving little to sell. With meagre disposable income, handcrafts play a vital role in the livelihoods of families. Article 22 helps support income generating activities and the creation of sustainable businesses so that the next generation can build upon the foundation set by their parents. Benefits from the sale of Peacebombs are shared across the community through donations to the Village Development Fund. A micro-credit fund provides small business and other loans to members as well as supporting community infrastructure projects.
The purchase of a bracelet will clear 3m2 of bomb littered land and support artisan livelihoods and village development.
Mulberries aim is to advance an ecological, economic, cultural and socially sustainable Lao silk and handicraft enterprise that improves the livelihood of the people they work with. An important part of their work is to ensure that their environmental, cultural and artistic resources are safeguarded for future generations. Their role is to build close relationships with Lao village producers and contribute to improving their livelihood and standard of living.
1976, Kommaly Chanthavong founded a cooperative for the production of silk, which she still heads. The cooperative teaches mostly women, traditional skills in raising silkworms, making natural dyes and weaving traditional patterns. Kommaly was 11 years old when her village was destroyed by US bombers attacking the Ho Chi Minh Trail. She walked for a month to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, bringing with her, her silk weaving skills that her family has been engaged in for generations. Following this devastating experience, Kommaly met many desperately poor families displaced from rural areas without any marketable skills. In 1976, she founded the cooperative with 10 members; today the cooperative consists of 3,000 farmers, weavers and artisans from over 200 village families. In 2005, Kommaly was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize with 1000 Peace Women for her contribution to strengthening the position of women by giving them a dependable income and thus improving the lives of their children.
By purchasing products from Mulberries you will be supporting the economic livelihood of Lao village communities. You will also help to ensure that traditional skills and artistic designs distinctive to Lao culture are passed on to younger generations.
Mulberries is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
Threads of Hope
Threads of Hope is a transformational economic development project seeking to empower impoverished artisans around the world. There are currently two main projects in Peru affecting over 700 artisans. The artisans create the indigenous textiles of their regions, one being Exquisite 3D narrative textiles known as “arpilleras” the other, a lush boucle embroidery. Threads of Hope facilitates the sale of these one-of-a-kind handcrafted textiles with the help of volunteers, churches, and businesses. Due to this extraordinary collaboration with volunteers, ToH is able to return 100% of the profit generated from textile sales to participating artisans through grants. Grants are awarded in areas that directly alleviate poverty: education, housing, healthcare, and small business / community development. Since 1999 ToH has returned over $1.5M to the artisan’s lives and their communities, breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering women, children, and the generations that will follow.
BALADARSHAN is a network of South Indian social organizations involving particularly disadvantaged women in crafts production. BALADARSHAN has been founded by social workers who were concerned about improving the livelihood of isolated women and their children in Chennai slum areas. After setting-up producers groups in several slums, Baladarshan extended its partnership to many other organizations / producers’ groups in South India.Their vision is to reduce the poverty and ensure a sustainable livelihood by providing training in handicrafts and job opportunities within the Fair Trade Principles.
Their mission:*To train socially & economically marginalized community, especially downtrodden women, in handicrafts, directly or through partnerships established with different producers’ groups / organizations.*To provide the beneficiaries with fair paid and sustainable employment within good working conditions.*To build self-esteem and confidence to the producers by enhancing and promoting their skills.*To fight child labour and to insure education of the beneficiaries’ children.*To successfully implement marketing strategies to meet local and worldwide buyers demand by ensuring quality handcrafts realized by these producers.*To provide livelihood and safe environments in term of housing, nutrition, health, education to the producers through social projects set up directly or in partnership with NGOs.
BALADARSHAN is member of the World Fair Trade Organization