Bangladesh Artisans

Not sure what to get her for Christmas? This holiday season, give meaning. Every handcrafted gift from Ten Thousand Villages feeds families, provides healthcare, sends children to school, helps to build safe homes and empowers women. With every purchase, we fight poverty and improve the lives of makers and their families around the world. Whether she’s your wife, sister or mom, she’ll love unwrapping these unique gifts that give back on Christmas morning.

Handcrafted Jewellery

handcrafted jewellery

This Christmas, surprise her with a new necklace, bracelet or set of earrings. This sterling silver jewellery was handcrafted in Peru by the makers of Allpa. Allpa aims to improve the living standards of handicraft producers in Lima by providing technical help, product development advice, skills training, tools and equipment.

Cozy Scarves

cozy scarves

Gift her with a beautiful, cozy scarf that she can wear all winter long. Whether it’s made of viscose, chiffon or silk, all our scarves and shawls are handstitched by makers all over the world benefiting from a fair wage and safe working conditions.

Eco-leather Purses

eco-leather purses

Make her Christmas with a practical, environmentally friendly purse. These eco-leather handbags were handcrafted in India by the makers of CRC. Unlike the commercial leather industry, makers working with CRC tan leather products without using harmful chemicals. In other words, instead of using harmful substances, eco-leather is tanned using environmentally-friendly materials derived from sustainable tea bark extracts and waxes.

Divine Chocolate

divine chocolate

If she has a sweet tooth, gift her with her favourite chocolate bar, or try something new this holiday season. When you buy our chocolate, you improve the lives and opportunities of small-scale farmers.

What are you getting her for Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!

It’s no secret that the commercial tanning process for leather is hazardous. Not only is leather tanned with compounds that are harmful to the environment, but this chemical process is also damaging to the health of the people working in the leather production industry.

Yellow purse

Many of our bags, purses and wallets are handcrafted using eco-leather by makers working with the Craft Resource Centre (CRC). CRC is a fair trade resource and marketing centre in India that tans their leather products without using harmful chemicals. In other words, instead of using azo dyes, formaldehyde and other harmful substances, eco-leather is tanned using environmentally-friendly materials derived from sustainable tea bark extracts and waxes.

Indro at Ten Thousand Villages store

Indro Dasgupta is the director of CRC and we were fortunate to spend time with him this past spring. During his visit with us, he outlined the eco-leather process. He explained that since the government in India has banned the use of cow in the production of leather, CRC eco-leather products are made with water buffalo. The water buffalo are first used for milk and meat, and then the skin, which would typically be considered waste, is sold to CRC for the production of leather. In other words, no animals are killed for the purpose of making leather. CRC is simply upcycling the waste produced by other industries.

Leather hide drying

Indro also explained that after the raw hide is collected, it is tanned with eco-friendly materials on a drumming machine and then it’s set out to dry. Once the leather is dry, it is then waxed, shined and sprayed. Finally, the leather is assembled into beautiful purses, wallets and bags.

Mallika

Mallika Manjari De is a quality checker and packer working with CRC. She is 28 years old and has been working with CRC for almost two years. When asked about how her life has changed since working with CRC, she said, “Life was difficult. I found it difficult to make ends meet. Now, I am able to buy necessities for my home.”

Brown purse

Eco-leather is more than a fashion choice; it’s a way to better the environment and improve the lives of people like Mallika. Browse our handcrafted eco-leather collection online.