This year our Women and Fair Trade Festival will feature seven incredible fair trade vendors from different areas of the globe:
Fuerza Unida was formed in 1990 when one of the Levi's Strauss factories on the South Side of San Antonio closed, leaving over 1,150 workers without jobs and with unjust severance pay. As a result of the plant closure, the women organized themselves to demand fair compensation from Levi's, as well as better working conditions for workers in other factories. Through organizing efforts, Fuerza Unida has become involved in many other social struggles, working on issues of women's empowerment for self-sufficiency, women's and labor rights, immigration, environmental issues and health education.
“We are tsotsil and tseltal indigenous artisan women of the Highlands region of Chiapas, Mexico, who have been walking together in search of new possibilities that will allow us to strengthen our family and community economy. We participate in social, political, and economic spaces because we believe that the commercialization of our products does not resolve the multiple problems that we confront every day: poverty, marginalization, and racism. Assuming our organizational process, making decisions with regards to our cooperative, and administering it ourselves has allowed us to begin to construct our autonomy.”
Marigold Gateway to India
Marigold - Gateway to India brings clothing, accessories, home decor, jewelry, gifts and furniture to Austin.. all from India! Visit Marigold soon to see newly arrived items! Fashionable Dresses, Block Printed Cotton Tops, Crinkle Skirts, Homespun Kurtas and Shirts for men, Bed Linens, Traditional Indian Jewelry, White Cotton Clothing for Men & Women, Embroidered Kashmir Wool Shawls, and much more. We also have a new collection of our very popular vintage silk saris!
Mega Cooperativa de los Saraguros
This cooperative, based in Loja, Ecuador, is a project of the Warmipak Wasi (Casa de la Mujer) Foundation that works to prevent domestic abuse of women in the region.
Palestine Online Store
Palestine Online Store works with a number of women’s cooperatives, fair trade suppliers, and artisan families in Palestine. Our wide network has enabled us to present a variety of products, including handcrafts, groceries, body care products, informational resources, music, and solidarity items. Palestine’s most notable export is its prized extra virgin olive oil. Despite a military occupation and restrictions on free movement, Palestinian families cling to their ancient olive trees and harvesting them has always been a labor of love. The simple act of buying a bottle of Palestinian olive oil goes a long way in helping them stay on their land.
Women in Hebron is a Palestinian nonprofit fair trade cooperative under the Idna Cooperative Association for Embroidery and Handicrafts. The 120 women who produce the items that are sold come from across Hebron district from eight cities and villages. The proceeds from sales provide themselves and their families with additional income that could not otherwise be obtained through part-time employment.Their work is based on the idea that developing Palestinian handicrafts is more than just an income-generating project. It is in of itself an act of community-strengthening, of honoring the role of women in our society, and a means to show sumud – steadfastness – in the face of the occupation of Palestine and the harm it has done to the people of Hebron.
UPAVIM Unidas Para Vivir Mejor
A is a cooperative of approximately 80 women who live in a marginalized community on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The women in the organization are all mothers and homemakers, some widows, and some abandoned. Many are the sole providers of economic support for their families.
The mission of UPAVIM is to empower the women in the community. They strive to do this by improving the quality of life for themselves, their families and the whole community through access to UPAVIM's programs. These include education and employment opportunities, health and child care services, and personal and professional developmental programs.
Know that every purchase makes a difference and greatly enhances the quality of life for these women, their families and their community through the numerous programs, schools & services run by UPAVIM. When you empower women, you grow a community.
International Food from the women of Posada Esperanza
Tamales from Central America return to the Women and Fair Trade Festival of Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera.
Posada Esperanza, a program of Casa Marianella, is a shelter for child refugees and their mothers in East Austin. Women from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have joined together to craft tamales, in their various styles and for vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike. This year culinary treats from the countries the women come from may surprise and delight.
The women of Posada Esperanza welcome the support of the amazing people who attend the Women and Fair Trade Festival and believe that they can share the vision of dignity and self-sufficiency that the women of Posada Esperanza hold for themselves and their children.
Colores del Pueblo
Colores del Pueblo began in 1997 from the ashes of Pueblo to People. Pueblo to People had started in 1979 as a non-profit organization to assist Latin American artisans to find a market for their finely made crafts. Due to a combination of factors, they ceased to exist in 1997. Having worked with them for 3 1/2 years and knowing and loving many of the artisans and their families, it was decided to carry on the mission. We started small, working with some of the cooperatives that didn't have other outlets for sales.
Since 1997 we have taken on a number of new cooperatives - mostly groups of Mayan women weavers. Since textiles are my passion, I feel very privileged to work with such fine artisans and I hope, that by allowing them to earn a fair wage for their work, that they will be encouraged to continue the ancient tradition of back-strap weaving and treadle-loom weaving. We are members of the Fair Trade Federation and seek to promote a more socially and economically just trading system.
In all of the villages where we have worked, it is evident that many of the craft traditions and cultural traditions are slowly disappearing. Women may still wear their traditional huipiles and cortes, but the significance of the symbolism in the weaving is being lost. Poverty and illiteracy along with inadequate access to health care still plague the indigenous people. Yet their pride is intact in their rich cultural heritage. I hope that in a small but significant way, that we may continue to foster empowerment of the Mayan community.