Be the change you wish to see in the world.
The customers I have the privilege of serving at our Montreal St-Denis store sure think so! I believe the words of Mahatma Ghandi above capture the motivations of many of our dedicated customers. (Incidentally, you might be interested to learn that the name “Ten Thousand Villages” was inspired by Mahatma Ghandi.)
For many, shopping at Ten Thousand Villages is a way to make a positive difference in the lives of those who work to create the things they love. Fair Trade serves as an alternative form of production: aiming to build and strengthen the communities from which our products are sourced, and putting people before profits.
When individuals make purchases, our mission of creating opportunities for artisans in developing countries comes to life.
Purchasing a gift from Ten Thousand Villages – for yourself or for someone else – is a way to share Fair Trade values with others. A teacher who visited our store told us that, in giving palawa stones with “hope” engraved into them, helping artisans in India discover hope was just as important as exposing her students to that perspective. To her, supporting Fair Trade meant communities she cared about could benefit from the little token of appreciation she planned to give.
Ten Thousand Villages also preserves and values artistic expression, artisanal crafts, and honouring the spirit of the artist. “We are all one,” said a young customer, while holding a piece of Vietnamese ceramic. She said she felt closer to the makers by buying Fair Trade. By choosing uniquely handcrafted items, our customers know of the care that was put into each piece.
For example, Ten Thousand Villages works with many small cooperatives, such as the embroidery workers of St. Mary’s in India. Their employees earn an income while working from home. They recognize the value of reducing disruption to family life, while allowing greater focus and attention to detail in each piece.
Through Ten Thousand Villages’ partnerships with small artisan cooperatives, we enable our customers to make a difference through their purchases in ways that otherwise would be difficult. Our artisans truly are our partners in this endeavour, and we strive to give them the integrity they deserve for the wonderful work they do. We are proud to share their stories, because we know that the combination of our efforts and their hard work is what has brought us all this far.
One message that sums up how our customers feel is well expressed in a quote from a recent store visitor: “All people, regardless of where they live, deserve to be fairly compensated for their work/art. And, it doesn’t hurt that it feels good to do so!”
|Vietnamese Blue Mug||Giraffe Bottle Topper||Sea Tones Mug|