Does fair trade work? See how in the words of these five artisans — a few of the many shared with us from artisans and fair trade partners whose creations we offer through our One World by Gaiam Marketplace.
“Before I didn’t have enough money for three meals a day.
“… Now I have a regular income and I can support my family. Before I didn’t know how to read and write. Hagar helped me to learn. Before my mother had a hard time supporting my family. Now I can help her with the money I provide. I am so grateful for this job.”
– Ms. Vanny, seamstress with Hagar, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (video)
“India is a very male-dominated society. When I was young, I was not aware of the importance of my education.
“… But thanks to the Tara Learning Center, my daughter learned to read and write. Now she is in school. From Tara, I received tailor training and I have a job. I even have a savings account for the future! I am economically independent and confident about my life.”
– Ms. Jagwati, beading artisan with Tara Projects, Delhi, India (story)
“Silk weaving is a tradition in my village. I have done it for a long time. But previously, my main job was farming.
“… Then I contributed 10% to my family’s household income. Now that I work for Au Lac, I get to sew every day and I contribute over half of my family’s total income.”
– Ms. Tha, Silkweaver with Au Lac Design, Meo Village, Hung Ha District, Thai Binh, Vietnam (video)
“Rice farming is the main source of income here. But sometimes it is not enough.
“… Mae Hoe Partners provides alternative income for us between seasons and when the harvest is bad. We feel very fortunate for these jobs. We are also happy that our community traditions are kept alive and that the Western world cares about our culture.”
– Gay Paw, Group Leader with Mae Ho Partners, Karen Tribe Dying/Weaving Group, Huay Kay Pa Village, Northern Thailand (video)
“Before working here, I had to travel very far to work. I only saw my family on the weekends.
“… Now, I get to see them every night. With Craft Link, I am treated like a member of the family and because of the higher salary, I can send my children to school.”
– Mr. Binh, Master Craftsman with Craft Link Ceramic Group, Village of Bat Trang, Hanoi, Vietnam (related story: Craft Link Kids & Stone Group in Hanoi)