Why Purchase Fair Trade Crafts?
• To promote Fair Trade and justice in the marketplace.
• As an exchange of care with impoverished communities in developing countries.
• To obtain quality, unique, handmade gifts.
• To help women who live in material poverty find a reliable source of income.
• To provide education and training for cooperative members engaged in this activity.
• To encourage the preservation of traditional art forms within various cultures.
For decades now, Concern America has promoted products from cooperative groups in countries where the organization has worked. These products have been marketed using the values of “Fair Trade.” Fair Trade means that trading partnerships are based on reciprocal benefits and mutual respect; that prices paid to producers reflect the work they do; that national health, safety, and wage laws are enforced; and that products are environmentally sustainable and conserve natural resources. The artisans, who are often able to work in their homes and in environmentally safe surroundings, are paid living wages for their art, enabling them to support their families in dignified, culturally-rooted ways.
One of the best ways of assisting people in their struggle against material poverty is to support them in developing their
skills and talents so that they can participate in gainful employment or organized income-generating projects in their own communities. Purchasing fairly traded handcrafted items from community-based producers in “developing” countries affirms this process.
Concern America supports cooperatives in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico by purchasing their beautiful, handcrafted art pieces at fair trade prices, set by those who make them. C/A then makes these items available through “craft sales” hosted in homes, churches, businesses, schools, civic events, and now online. Funds generated by these sales are used to support the C/A field projects in these same countries.