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Ten Thousand Villages is more than a store. It’s a place where you can explore and connect with your global village.
From communities throughout the developing world, every inspired design is crafted with love using local materials (usually natural or recycled) and time-honoured skills by makers we have known and worked with for years.
Every purchase improves the lives of makers by supporting their craft and providing a fair, stable income.
We offer a way for you to become part of the story, to shop your values and give gifts with meaning.
Because this is bigger than us.
Create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.
Ten Thousand Villages, Mennonite Central Committee’s fair trade social enterprise was born in the trunk of a car. In 1946, Edna Ruth Byler, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) worker, visited volunteers in Puerto Rico who were teaching sewing classes to help improve the lives of women living in poverty. Back in North America, she filled her car with their embroidery and hit the road, selling pieces at churches, parties and sewing circles. The concept of fair trade – and Ten Thousand Villages – was born.
Today, we are still not your typical business. We are a non-profit social enterprise that partners with independent small-scale artisan groups, co-ops and workshops to bring their wares to our markets.
To learn more about Mennonite Central Committee please visit their website.
At Ten Thousand Villages, we don’t believe in have-nots. We believe in not-yets. We lay the groundwork for sustainable change by providing a space for people to take charge of their own lives and build something for themselves.
Our name — Ten Thousand Villages — was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote. Because in every village are people who want to live a meaningful life with dignity and who bring beautiful culture worth sharing. Multiply the village idea by ten thousand and it represents the world we’re working to build.