This year our Women and Fair Trade Festival will feature nine incredible fair trade artisan cooperatives from different areas of the globe:
“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 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, Shawls, Scarves and much more. Many of the items are one of a kind and vintage!
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. "Warmipa Huasy" (Women's House) was originated when they founded a group of support of domestic violence victims. They organized their own counseling and later added occupational therapy through crafting the traditional jewelry.
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.
Fuerza Unida’s mission is to empower women workers and their families to achieve social, economic and environmental justice through education, organizing and advocacy. A special part of Fuerza Unida’s mission is to address issues confronting garment workers in economic crisis because of plant closings and lay-offs.
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.
The Rug Hook Project
In the small village of Agustin Gonzales located in the central Mexican highlands near San Miguel de Allende, 15 women spend what little free time they have hooking rugs. You will find them working late at night by kitchen tables after children are asleep or perhaps you will see them sitting under a tree in the hillside tending the cows and working on their rugs. Their subject matter is the life around them; mountains, cactus, cows, horses, burros, flowers, a small house, a church, ducks, rabbits, chickens, roosters or fish.
The people of the area are subsistence farmers who grow corn, beans and squash. Each art piece is entirely unique as is the skill of rug hooking in Mexico.
The project was begun in 1996 by Mujeres en Cambio.
The proceeds from selling these art pieces help with paying for additional food, children’s schooling, doctor visits and other family needs. Many of the women are the sole support of their families.
Hilda Ramirez from Austin Sanctuary Coalition