Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tips Needed: Fair Trade, Sustainable, Empowering Businesses

Last year, my friend sent me one of my most favorite gifts ever: a bag from sari bari. Sari Bari is a safe home in India where women who have been exploited by the sex industry can be healed, restored, and where they can create a new life. One of the ways they do this (practically and symbolically) is through their business where they take old, worn-out saris and create beautiful bags and blankets out of them. The products are sold at a fair price, giving these women income, purpose and hope.

One of the best details of a Sari Bari bag is that it bears the name of the woman who created it. Every time I  look at my bag I think of the artist behind it and the steps she has taken to create a new life for herself, and I am inspired.

Anyway, are there any companies you love that follow a similar model? Any companies where when you buy from them, you get the sense you are participating in something really amazing? I'd love you tips!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, I just bought 2, one for me and one for a gift!

Suzanne said...

tenthousandvillages.com is a fair trade store with locations around the US.

Worldofgood.ebay.com also has lots of fair trade items, like this http://worldofgood.ebay.com/Dried-Flower-Pillar-Candle---Fair-Trade-From-Honduras/270499770135/item from an organization focused on helping women (abused, pregnant, abandoned, etc) that I visited in Honduras back in 2001.

Christina Marie said...

I love Ten Thousand Villages! We have one right by our house.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing people with stories and experiences ... turn them into good. Sari Bari is wicked cool ... and such an ingenious idea.

Thanks for sharing!

Rachel Carter said...

Tradeasone.com and OF COURSE: cardsfromafrica.com

I am going to get a Sari Bari bag too! Keep me posted if you find other gem companies. :)


ryangie said...


really similar program...a woman from our church partners with them, and the stories are so incredible...praise God for bringing darkness into light and bringing healing and hope...hi to your family, Susie, from Ryan & the girls and I :)

Dad said...

Just for the record.... Media, PA became the first Fair Trade Town in the USA in June, 2006, it has inspired nineteen other towns in the US to follow suit raising awareness of how the simple purchase of Fair Trade products can address poverty in the developing world. That may not mean much to a lot of people, but it IS the birthplace of your dad!

Laura said...

http://store.nightlightinternational.com/ jewelry made from women rescued from the sex-slave industry in Thailand. Some really beautiful stuff:)

Cristy said...

Fair trade Rwandan coffee started by a pastor to help Rwandan coffee growers to rebuild and work together after the genocide.
I love having my little piece of Rwanda each morning (with my not so little Rwandan baby on my hip:).

Stephanie N. said...

Ooo, I'm so excited to check all these out!
I'll add:
Bajalia Trading Company @ http://www.bajalia.com/site/page/pg2571-pn_Home.html
The Rafiki Exchange @ http://store.rafikifoundation.org/default.aspx