When it comes to ethical business models, Ten Thousand Villages follows a formula that makes sense for everyone involved. It's just doing the right thing.
It all starts with the maker. Sometimes a cooperative of artisans. Sometimes it's just one person. All of our makers are working towards improving their communities with sustainable business practices. These makers present us with a product sample built on their skill, tools, available materials and market design.
conversation & agreement
We talk with makers to figure out how to ensure sustainability for both of us. Quantity and timing are discussed, and we make sure that the makers' profit is factored in when we agree on a price that works for everyone.
When the product order is placed, we pay 50% of the agreed price (as an interest-free advance) to help cover the cost of materials. The maker group then produces enough quantity of the product to fill our order. Once the order is shipped, they receive the other 50% of what is owed, and we become wholly responsible for the product, relieving the maker of all liability should something happen to the product during transport. This system ensures that the maker is always paid in the full amount that was initially agreed upon. On time. Every time.