Fair Trade: Shop for a Cause

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Catholic Relief Services and Ten Thousand Villages, one of the world’s largest and oldest fair trade organizations, have teamed up to improve the lives of artisans and farmers overseas.

"Our partnership with Ten Thousand Villages is a natural fit for CRS,” says Simone Blanchard, who manages CRS’ Fair Trade program. “We work overseas to help artisans and farmers strengthen their organizations, improve their products and connect to markets—and we encourage Catholics in the United States to shop their values by supporting fair trade organizations.”

CRS and Ten Thousand Villages will hold a community shopping event on Friday, October 16. Fifteen percent of sales from customer-designated purchases will go to the CRS Fair Trade Fund, which provides grants to artisan and farmer groups overseas as well as the fair trade movement in the United States. To participate, mention CRS at checkout or shop online using coupon code CRS2015.

Your support will help women artisans in Nepal, still recovering from devastating earthquakes, rebuild their livelihoods. Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages. Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages
Your support will help women artisans in Nepal, still recovering from devastating earthquakes, rebuild their livelihoods. Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages. Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages

By supporting CRS and Ten Thousand Villages, you help struggling artisans, like those affected by the Nepal earthquakes. After the earthquakes, Ten Thousand Villages donated nearly $20,000 for immediate humanitarian relief. And through the CRS Fair Trade Fund, CRS invested another $10,500 toward rebuilding a cotton weaving workshop in Lubhu and a jewelry workshop in Annapurna.

The cotton weaving workshop was extensively damaged—looms and tools were lost or destroyed, and artisans have been unable to work. For many, this income was their sole source of support.

The Annapurna jewelry workshop is a home-based enterprise. In addition to serving as a workshop, the building shelters the family of two sons, two daughters-in-law, an uncle and his wife.

CRS and Ten Thousand Villages are rebuilding this artisan’s workshop, which was destroyed during last April’s earthquakes. Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages
CRS and Ten Thousand Villages are rebuilding this artisan’s workshop, which was destroyed during last April’s earthquakes. Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages
Together, the artisans make white metal jewelry and ornaments.

CRS is supporting the reconstruction of the workshops and helping artisans get back to their craft safely and comfortably. The workshops will be rebuilt with attention to natural lighting, space and security.

For nearly 20 years, the CRS Fair Trade program has helped provide a path out of poverty for small-scale farmers and artisans. And that path is not traveled alone. When you support fair trade, you make a difference in the lives of artisans and farmers by helping them advance in the marketplace—and in life.

 

GET INVOLVED:

Act: Support the CRS Fair Trade program.

Act: Participate in a community shopping event on October 16—15% of sales from customer-designated purchases go to the CRS Fair Trade Fund.

Learn: Find out more about Ten Thousand Villages.

Learn: Read a news release about the CRS and Ten Thousand Villages partnership.

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