Everything has a story...
The story of who made it, their culture, talents, struggles and traditions. By telling the stories of global makers, we contribute to a culture of transparency, connection, equality and understanding. And we could all use more of that.
Every core line we carry aligns with at least 2 of our values:
Support artisans in economically challenged areas
Provide alternatives to the sex trade or human slavery
Provide fair wages and education and training opportunities to artisans
- Use sustainable materials, ethically sourced
- Align with or give part of profits to a cause-driven non-profit organization
Pillows and throws made of overdyed vintage Indian saris
Shortly following a class trip to India during design school, Anchal’s co-founders raised $400 by selling handmade notebooks and notecards. These humble beginnings facilitated the purchase of a sewing machine, sewing instruction, materials, and a stipend for the artisans.
“We felt compelled to take the project beyond the classroom with the conviction that our design training in collaboration with local leadership could address seemingly intractable social and environmental systems. The women we met became our sisters, sisters we had to fight for.” - Colleen Clines, Co-Founder & CEO
85% of Anchal artisans came from the commercial sex trade due to a lack of alternatives. Anchal believes investing in a female commercial sex worker, especially one with children, is an opportunity that can transform an entire family and in turn, society. Anchal artisans are smart, talented women who are empowered through design training, health benefits, education workshops and financial security.
The artisans design beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces and support themselves and their families through safe and dignified employment. Together with their partners and target community, Anchal designs creative programs and eco-friendly textiles that facilitate impact.
Tasseled boho Jewelry
bluma project is a Brooklyn-based contemporary jewelry and accessories company. While the collection is designed in Brooklyn, it is inspired by global culture and is produced by artisans in Peru, India, Guatemala and other developing nations.
Designer/founder Beth Schaeffer hits the road to be inspired, but also to work with artisans in the regions we discover. Using ancient techniques, all pieces are fully crafted by hand. The resulting designs have an organic, but very modern feel — an east meets west sensibility that bluma project is known for.
bluma project is pleased to be working in these parts of the world, to continuously be inspired and to produce authentically handcrafted designs for their loyal and global customer base.
Baskets, jewelry, wood kitchen goods and utensils
At seventeen, BADALA's founder, Joelle McNamara was struck with this realization: people are dying by the millions just because they don't have enough to eat. If this was going to continue happening in our world, it wasn't going to be because she didn't do anything about it, so as a restless and passionate high school senior, she founded BADALA as a fundraising organization.
When she traveled to Africa for the first time, she befriended women who were prostituting themselves just to feed their children. Instead of asking for hand outs, everyone she met was looking for opportunities. BADALA’s line of jewelry and accessories, and later their housewares, was born out of this request for employment.
Since launching in Kenya, they have since expanded employment programs to women and artisans across East Africa, Central America, and domestic sex trafficking survivors.
Baskets, home decor items
Swahili African Modern has been building relationships with African artisans for over 20 years. Founded by Leslie Mittelberg, an avid traveler with a heart for sustainable development & a head for business, Swahili represents thousands of artisans from one of the world's most diverse & enigmatic continents.
Swahili operates from a small warehouse in the Pacific Northwest, but their network spans the globe. At all times they are developing handcrafted products directly with artisans in Africa. Working in Africa presents specific challenges, but Swahili thrives on creative problem solving and inspired design. They believe in fair trade: their work in Africa shows it. When they meet artisans, they plan for a long-term relationship that helps dedicated Africans advance professionally & personally. They pay fairly and on time, because artisans work hard to provide for their families. They design products from sustainable or recycled materials & strive to keep customers in touch with the talented artisans who create the products.
Jewelry and Leather Handbags
FASHIONABLE started when the co-founder was living in Ethiopia and met women coming out of the commercial sex industry who were in need of jobs. Today FASHIONABLE works globally with women coming from many diverse backgrounds, all looking for opportunity.
More recently, FASHIONABLE started creating jewelry and doing creative therapy with women coming out of recovery who have battled everything from addiction to depression to homelessness. After hearing from these women how difficult it was to get jobs post-recovery, Miriam Designs was born in efforts to provide opportunities.
FASHIONABLE’s business model is not creating goods in a strong economic country, selling those goods in the West, and then giving charity to developing countries. This still leaves the developing country out of the opportunity for economic growth, and keeps them in a cycle of dependency. They believe in doing the manufacturing in the communities they wish to impact, creating jobs along the way. Although it often creates a unique set of challenges, trade with developing countries is an empowerment model that they are committed to.
Woven Bracelets and Necklaces
Exposed to design and travel from a young age, and fascinated by indigenous cultures and spirituality, founder Jessica Hendricks traveled to Cambodia to teach English during her studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She was mesmerized by the tangled synthesis of both the beautiful and heartbreakingly violent past of this small Buddhist country in the wake of genocide, and the reality of human trafficking. Combining her love of jewelry and philanthropic spirit, Jessica was inspired to create a collection to celebrate this unique community, and connect courageous women across the globe.
The Brave Collection jewelry is handmade by talented Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Mostly mothers, their team of artists work in a small studio in Cambodia, or from their homes while they care for their young children. All artists work in a free, fair and dignified work environment where they are paid above average wages and receive benefits such as health insurance and stipends for their children's education.
The goal is to provide job opportunities to talented artisans, exposing them to a global customer and collaborating creatively. Additionally, 10% of profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia. The Brave Collection works with partners on the ground to support programming that empowers vulnerable Cambodian girls.
Ethiopian cotton towels, napkins and canvas bags
The mission of Woven Promises is to create economic partnerships through support of entrepreneurial efforts of talented, economically struggling people in the developing world.
The further goal of the partnership is to provide assistance to improve the quality of their lives and is based on a foundation of deep appreciation of their cultural heritage and traditional artisanry.Woven Promises is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Fleece backed blankets, Masai beaded pieces
While traveling to India, Safari Blankets founder Heidi visited several sewing projects in the red light district of Kolkata. These projects employ women who have found dignity and FREEDOM in their work. Inspired by these women, she brought some beautiful Indian sari fabric back home, dusted off her sewing machine and began to sew again.This time with a purpose.
She made her first SafariBlanket for a dear friend’s mother who was fighting cancer at the time. She wanted to DO something for the people right in front of her struggling with this awful disease. Combining her love for travel, culture, sewing, fabrics, she found for the first time some purpose behind all these loves and a reason to bring them together.
With every fabric bringing something wonderful and unique from their country and culture, each SafariBlanket has story of it’s own. From India to Kenya, Thailand to Peru, these SafariBlankets are one of a kind, handmade with LOVE and sewn with a purpose.