Consumerism With A Purpose

If you’re like me, you love having artifacts or souvenirs from different parts of the world. It makes me feel like I’ve been places and that I am ‘in touch’ with the world as a whole. But if you’re not able to travel to those parts of the world, you often find yourself buying these ‘other culturally oriented’ decorations from department stores or shops. The reality is that many of these decorations are heavily taxed and not always made in the best circumstances or under the best conditions or work practices.

Ten Thousand Villages is an organization that, “is an exceptional source for unique, handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.”

The items for sale online and in various stores throughout North America offer amazing and original jewelry, baskets, toys, games, musical instruments and global treasures. The money that is made on these items is sent back to these countries from whence the product came. “Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care and housing.”

Ten Thousand Villages works with global organizations like the IFAT (the World Fair Trade Organization) and the FTF (Fair Trade Federation).

So if you’re re-decorating this Spring or looking for some great gift ideas. Check out Ten Thousand Villages or look for a local store in your area.

What do you think of Ten Thousand Villages? Let us know.

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