Bangladesh Artisans
Giving Change

We are not your typical retailer. We are a non-profit, social enterprise following the basic principles of fair trade. One of the key principles of fair trade is micro-financing.

In many of the communities that we work with, banking services are scarce and interest rates are excessively high. These financial barriers prevent maker groups from taking out loans to purchase materials they need to make their products. In an effort to reduce these financial blocks for makers and their families, we pay 50% of our invoice when we submit an order. We then pay the remaining 50% when we receive confirmation that the products have shipped. At times, this means that we could pay for products that we won’t actually sell for 6-12 months. However, this process relieves the financial burden for makers and their families, giving them the freedom to purchase materials they need to create their products, and in turn, allowing them to continue earning a fair wage for their work.

“I am sincerely grateful toward Ten Thousand Villages Canada. The orders they send us allow us to provide for ourselves.”

Ahmed

UPAP

Niger

With all that being said, we are proud and excited to introduce Giving Change. We developed the Giving Change program so we could continue to offer this interest-free micro-financing program to the groups we work with. Your donations will support our efforts to bridge the monetary gap between production and sale, and empower makers around the world, like Ahmed, through micro-financing.

Thank you for supporting our Giving Change program, our mission and our commitment to socially conscious retail. We believe that all people deserve to earn a fair and stable income – and we couldn’t do it without the support of our valued customers.

To make a contribution to Giving Change, please visit our website.

Web ImagesI’ll just come out and admit it: I’m seriously coveting this year’s Reindeer Cushion. (It seems a lot of you are too – the online stock is almost gone.)

The cushion is a perfect example of what fair trade looks like today: Contemporary. Beautiful. Handmade. And, yes, a little trendy.

As a customer, it’s also a product that I can feel good about buying or giving this season (although, sorry, I’m keeping mine!). Not only do I love the way it looks, but because it comes from Ten Thousand Villages, I’ll never have that niggling worry that I’m improving my own life at the expense of someone else’s.

“The most fulfilling thing about working in fair trade? Definitely the amazing trading relationships Sasha has developed,” says Roopa Mehta, CEO of Sasha Exports.

“Sasha’s partnerships with workshops – and with our trading partners around the world, like Ten Thousand Villages – all make me so pleased. Every single one of these groups has overcome challenges to get where they are today.

“Fair trade is growing, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.”Roopa Mehta from Sasha Exports