I have to thank one of my readers for introducing me to this week’s Do-Gooder Company, Global Goods Partners. I also must say up front that this company is not truly a company. They are a non-profit organization that “sells handmade, fair trade products in order to improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world.” Consider this a post in support of International Women’s Day, albeit a week late. In my opinion, it is never too late to call attention to an important issue!
You may be wondering how a non-profit organization ends up on a list of companies. Well, the whole purpose of the Do-Gooder Company series is to empower me (and hopefully you) to shop responsibly. That being the case, I think Global Goods Partners fits in swimmingly. GGP works with artisan groups which, amongst them all, employ about 3000 women in nearly 20 impoverished countries. They are a member of the Fair Trade Federation and ensure that the women are paid a fair living wage and safe working conditions.
There are a few things that set them apart from other retailers of “Fair Trade” products. The artisan groups they work with are marginalized, rural groups who are just starting to bring their products to market. GGP gives these artisans a launching pad and then helps to promote these groups via their website. Moreover, GGP’s partners (the artisan groups) are all involved in community development efforts in their regions ranging from access to healthcare to education initiatives. Additionally, Global Goods Partners offers critical funding through grants to artisan groups in support of healthcare, education and emergency services.
The artisan groups each have a fascinating story and mission. Friends International in Cambodia works with parents of former street children and high-risk youth and provides income opportunity, education, health care and vocational education. The artisans produce bags and jewelry using recycled goods, including sarongs, newspaper and rice bags. Mantay, in Peru, provides refuge for teen mothers, many who have been victims of abuse. The teen mothers and their children are provided with comprehensive care, including accomodations. The teens complete apprenticeships in a leather workshop and learn a craft that will provide them with income for a lifetime. Read more about the artisan groups on the GGP website.
My Bottom Line: These are beautiful hand-crafted pieces from all around the world, all made by women who are paid fairly and are bettering not only their lives but the lives of their children and community. What’s not to like? Yes, the prices for many of the items are more than I would typically pay, but there are significant “behind the scenes” fees with this sort of import business (i.e. freight, warehousing, customs) and, more importantly, the extra padding in the price supports a great program! This may not be an “everyday” kind of shop for me, but definitely a go-to site for gifts.
Check Out Some of the Treasures Available From Global Goods Partners:
Embroidered Peruvian Belt (Peru)
Bold Brass Bangles (India)
Miro Coaster Set (Swaziland)
Natural Woven Scarves (Thai-Burma Border)
Fingerless Mittens (Bolivia)
Recycled Sari Silk Tote (India)
Recycled Net Weekend Bag (Cambodia)