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About Us

Ten Thousand Villages is the oldest and largest Fair Trade organization in North America, selling artisan-crafted personal accessories, home decor and gift items from around the globe. 

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit program of Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC), the relief and development agency of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in North America. Ten Thousand Villages has its roots in the work begun by Edna Ruth Byler in 1946.

Ten Thousand Villages is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), a coalition of handicraft and agricultural producer organizations, and Fair Trade organizations from both the North and the South.

Our Mission Statement

Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.


Commerce with a Conscience

Men and women around the world have a simple dream – to earn an honest living, provide a home, food and education for their children, and to be gainfully employed in a job that brings dignity and joy. Ten Thousand Villages partners with thousands of talented artisans in a healthy business relationship.

Often referred to as ‘Fair Trade,' our philosophy of helping to build a sustainable future is based on the principle that trade should have a conscience. Through Fair Trade, artisans receive respect, dignity and hope from working hard and earning fair value for their work.

Our Beliefs Guide our Business

Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit Fair Trade Organization (FTO). FTOs are non-governmental organizations designed to benefit artisans, not to maximize profits. They market products from handicraft and agricultural organizations based in low-income countries, providing consumers with products that have been fairly purchased from sustainable sources.

Ten Thousand Villages is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), a global network of Fair Trade Organizations. WFTO’s mission is to improve the livelihood and well-being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade organizations and speaking out for greater justice in world trade. Over 270 FTOs in 60 countries form the basis of this network.