Unique World Gifts partners with about twenty fair trade vendors who work directly with artisan groups and farmer co-ops in about 40 countries. Since we offer such a wide variety of products the list of individual artisans and farmers we represent is long! Although our merchandise varies throughout the year, we typically carry items from the following countries:
Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Laos, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, USA, Vietnam, West Bank, and Zimbabwe.
Unique World Gifts purchases products from fair trade vendors who have a direct relationship with artisan and farmer co-ops that employ thousands of people, many of which are women. These relationships provide sustainable income that is vital to them and for their families basic needs. Unique World Gifts has proudly shared in the success of hundreds of these artisans over the last 27 years. We have featured a few of the many artisan co-ops we represent below.
Dhaka Handicrafts Ltd. helps extremely poor artisans in remote areas of Bangladesh struggling to sustain a craft-based livelihood. Generations of skilled Bangladeshi artisans are able to earn an income from craft, preserving this country's fine hand-crafting heritage.
Begun in 1976 by Swiss-owned Enfants du Monde to help impoverished craft makers, Dhaka Handicrafts today is artisan owned. The organization empowers nearly 1,500 rural artisans working in 30 cooperatives to improve their skills, income, and production capacity, and offers interest-free advances to purchase raw materials, encourages innovation, and opens the door to international export opportunities. More than 90% of Dhaka's artisans are women; most work from home. Priority is given to developing women's leadership and decision-making skills, and to providing equal gender pay, income for widows, healthcare for new mothers, and education for girls. Self-reliance is encouraged through a savings plan and improved sanitation, and the organization distributes saplings to families to promote reforestation. (photo courtesy of Serrv)
Craft Link, a nonprofit organization, works with Vietnamese artisans to generate income, with a focus on ethnic minorities, street children and artisans with disabilities. Craft Link also markets products from traditional Vietnamese handicraft villages. Craft Link helps artisan groups design new products, develop marketing opportunities, sells artisans’ handicrafts locally, and exports their handicrafts to fair trade organizations and commercial companies around the world.
The organization’s goals include cultural preservation, public education on traditional handicraft, income generation for small-scale Vietnamese artisans and acquiring new markets. Artisans working with Craft Link receive tools, interest-free loans, education, training and literacy classes. (photo courtesty of Ten Thousand Villages)
The National Association of Women's Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU) advocates for the rights of women and girls, and supports a vision of society where women are self-reliant and free from injustice.
NAWOU's footprints go back to women activists of the 1960s, whose continued advocacy for legal reform granted Ugandan women the right to own property, retain custody of their children when their marriages ended, enter university, and train in leadership and politics. Founded and led by women, this organization supports 70 women's handcraft groups, representing over 1,000 women throughout Uganda, including nearly 80 basket weavers. Earning their own income has meant improved self-esteem and confidence for these women, enabling them to make decisions and be less dependent on men for access to food, shelter, health, and education for their children. In addition to running income-generation projects, NAWOU is involved in microfinancing, information, and research, and continues to lobby for women's rights. (photo courtesy of Serrv)
Named for its location, Hebron Glass is located in the historic West Bank city of Hebron, well-known for its traditional glass-blowing. Hebron Glass operates three main workshops in Hebron, in addition to artisans who work in their own homes. Some 60 artisans, women and men, work with Hebron Glass, earning excellent income and benefiting from safe working environments.
Established in 1890, Hebron Glass is a family business that has expanded over the years and is now exporting traditional glassware and ceramics products. The group aims to build lasting relationships with fair trade associations and provide artisans with orders throughout the year. (photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages)
Intercrafts Peru is an artisan-owned organization that helps family workshops find marketing channels for their crafts. This grassroots organization was founded by and for artisans in 1992 to improve the living and working conditions of a family of artisan groups. By sharing responsibility, Intercrafts Peru lowers overhead and keeps more income in the hands of the artisans. It also provides more sustainable livelihoods by reaching beyond limited local markets to global fair trade markets. Committed to improving the conditions in which their artisans and families work and live, Intercrafts provides financial advances for raw materials, a savings and loan cooperative, technical assistance, access to health care, and education for artisans' children. Currently, Intercrafts Peru represents 10 partner organizations with more than 100 artisans throughout the country. (photo courtesy of Serrv)
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