Ten Thousand Villages

Fair Trade Month

Did you know that October is Fair Trade Month?  Today, I’m sharing my go-to store for fair trade goodies called  Ten Thousand Villages, which is one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization.

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit retailer with an online store and 55 brick and mortar shops around the US, two of which are in LA (Redondo and Pasadena).  You can see on the website how much Ten Thousand Villages cares about the artisans it works with.

What Makes Ten Thousand Villages Special?

Ten Thousand Villages works with thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.  Their team builds transparent relationships with artisans that help them establish a stable income.  You can also find a detailed explanation of Ten Thousand Villages’s ethical practices and even the artisanal group that made your product.

How Ten Thousand Villages Calculate a Fair Wage and Pay Artisans 

The selection on Ten Thousand Villages’s website is the largest I’ve seen for any eco store platform. You’ll find jewelry made from left-over bombs (the bombshell collection), hand block printed robes made using ancient techniques in India, and bags by The Tote Project whose name you may recognise from a previous blog post.

I picked the Meow Mug, which was made in Nepal by Sana Hastakala artisans. I love that the mug has a lid because it keeps my tea warmer. The mug also has an internal strainer to steep tea leaves.  Loose leaf is now the best way to avoid plastic tea bag shed in your cuppa.

My Five Favourites 

Below are some of my five favorite pieces by Ten Thousand Villages.  A lot of items are made with sustainable or recycled materials through environmentally-responsible processes.

Recycled Sari Cat Basket

Bangladeshi artisans made this cat basket out of recycled sari fabric and plastic.  It looks like the perfect nook for a cat or maybe a tortoise (our bell’s hingeback would make a beeline for this basket).

Mouse Cheese Knife

Recently, the price of metal has risen.  To deal with this, Noah’s Ark in Moradabad trained their artisans to work with different materials and metals.  They experimented with alternatives and created this mouse-shaped cheese knife.

Cookie Pocket Mug

You can never have enough mugs and one with a cookie pocket ranks highly in my household.  Each mug is hand-painted by women artisans in Vietnam.

Harmony Bell Necklace

I was tempted to buy this necklace for myself but it’s typically worn by “mamas to be.” The chime from the bell rests atop the baby bump and the sound is meant to comfort the baby.  When the baby’s born, the same chime of the bell should be a familiar and comforting sound to them. Each necklace is made in craft workshops in India.

Pineapple Wood Cutting Board

Asha Handicrafts Association in Mumbai made this chopping board, which of course caught my eye. If you don’t know, I love pineapple anything.

Ten Thousand Villages makes it easy to find ethically made items. To find your closest Ten Thousand Villages store, click here and to check out their online store, click here.

I’d like to say thank you to Ten Thousand Villages for sponsoring this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

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