Fair Trade Empowers Women to Independence
Posted: Jul 12 2016
In the spirit of Independence Day, we are spending the month of July talking about how different work and personal practices promote independence: among women, populations in developing countries and small businesses.
One of the founding principles of Nomadista is to offer designs from artisans that not only fit the style and sustainability factors that represent the brand, but that have a purpose beyond beauty: To provide craftspeople coming from disadvantaged environments with education and fair wages so that they can be empowered to create a better life for their families. The way we do this is through fair trade agreements.
Fair trade means to develop a producer's independence--it is about paying fair market prices to smallholder farmers, producers and artisans in developing countries. Small and large companies alike that participate in fair trade agreements first provide training programs in business practices to ensure the artisans gain an understanding of the global market.
The buyer then pays fair market wages or prices for the artisans' products. Paying fair wages does not necessarily mean that products cost the consumer more. Since Fair Trade Organizations bypass exploitative middlemen and work directly with producers, they are able to cut costs and return a greater percentage of the retail price to the producers.
Businesses who work with artisans in fair trade agreements often permanently invest in the future of their selected craftspeople and their communities by giving a portion of proceeds back into the growth of their small businesses.
One of our designers, Carmen Myers of Meyelo--with shoes currently featured in our Step Into Summer Collection--currently employs over 80 artisans in Kenya. Part of Meyelo's mission is empowering women and girls, and working in community development in Maasai villages to provide access to education, water, farming co-ops and medical needs.
Another of our designers, Kopal, brings gorgeous, ageless, high-quality clothing from women in India. Partnering with SEWA (a non-profit organization in India), Kopal is able to work with female artisans in India--providing them with fair wages, fulfilling work, financial independence and a chance to engage the skills they've honed all their lives.
Raven + Lily --through their stunning yet simple statement jewelry--helps employ marginalized women in Africa, India, Cambodia and the United States at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, healthcare, education, and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.
Buying consciously through fair trade-connected businesses allows you to support the communities of skilled but underprivileged craftspeople, and help give them a global platform for their work. Plus it brings styles, techniques and quality in craftsmanship you can't often find close to home. While you're shopping for your next unique piece that speaks volumes of your own style and independence, remember how your choice of fair trade design helps build up individuals all over the world.