When you go shopping for a new earring set, keep in mind that the jewelry you buy could have international repercussions.
There are some crazy talented people in our world. They've taught themselves, either through apprenticing or through sheer self-determination, to create gorgeous handmade products. While many can be found at local craft fairs or on Etsy, there's also an amazing number of talented craftsmen who just can't access markets. They often live in third world countries and isolated regions. There's little to no infrastructure, few opportunities to expand business, no way to reach a bigger market.
And that's where you come in. Providing work based income is the best way to fight poverty! And for these talented craftsmen and women, all they need is people willing to take a chance, to bypass mass market jewelry options and instead buy from them. By opening up new market opportunities, a true, lasting change can come about.
We're currently working with a jewelry maker in Nicaragua, a guy who's located on the remote volcanic island of Ometepe. He's able to sell some to the backpackers and tourists who visit his island, but his customer base is extremely limited. To help him expand, we're offering several of his jewelry styles under our Persona Grata Goods label. When you buy a set, you're giving your dollars an international reach.
But don't just stop with us. Take a look at the following fair trade fashion initiatives which focus on jewelry making artisans:
- Basha: Basha exists to provide secure employment for women at risk and survivors of trafficking. Each woman’s story varies, but for each her circumstances have put her at high risk of harm or resulted in her exploitation. They work with employees’ children too, ensuring the cycle of poverty and victimisation is broken.
- Ekata Designs: Ekata Designs employs refugee women in Memphis, Tennessee, training them in making high quality, unique jewelry pieces! With so many different cultures represented in their business, they value unity in working together and that’s actually what “Ekata” means in Nepali.
- Sasa Designs by the Deaf: Sasa Designs by the Deaf was started in 2011 to provide employment and fair wages to deaf women in Kenya. With an estimated unemployment rate of 85% nationwide, few deaf have ever had the opportunity to support themselves or explore their potential. Sasa Designs works to change that.