Fair Trade Retailer Since 1946

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Press Releases

  • Ten Thousand Villages featured in Lucky Magazine Online Community

    Posted on September 30, 2014


    Lucky Magazine's online community featured Ten Thousand Villages products. Our Monsoon Infinity Scarf, $34, and Chenille Fringed Poncho, $69,   were photographed and described as great options for “traveling over the holidays.”

    To read the article, click here.

    Photo originally appeared in an article by Marie J Miczak on Best Picks Magazine.

    This post was posted in Press Releases and was tagged with fall fashion, lucky magazine, chenille poncho, monsoon infinity scarf, winter fashion, travel

  • Ten Thousand Villages Introduces Serendipity

    Posted on September 22, 2014


    Ten Thousand Villages newest jewelry and accessories collection, Serendipity, shines where unexpected materials meet and colors combine. Follow a road striped and straight, or take a turn on paisley’s swirling fortunes. Wrapped in pattern and wrought by hand, this collection is destined with design.

    Featured products in the Serendipity Collection include:


    Jacquard Caravan Scarf. Blue, green, gold, and maroon combine in this stretchy jacquard scarf from CRC in Kolkata, India. CRC (or Craft Resource Center) is committed to using only environmentally friendly methods and materials while developing self-sufficiency for a vulnerable segment of society through traditional handcrafting skills. Suggested retail price, $39.

    To access a high-resolution file, click here.


    Beaded Bohemian Earrings.  Blue and emerald glass beads bring cool shades against warmer antiqued gold dangles. Glistening in the classic bohemian style, these earrings are handmade by the artisans of Tara Projects in New Delhi, India. Suggested retail price, $24.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Stardust Ring. Vibrant colors sparkle like stardust captured inside glass. And because they’re handmade, you can rest assured that each is as unique as a star. Suggested retail price, $8.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Malachite Necklace and Earrings. At the workshop of Ram Chandra Sunnar, skilled jewelry-makers create this fine malachite and silver sterling necklace and coordinating earrings. Sunnar’s earnings have increased since he began working with the Manushi fair trade artisan group in 2009, and he is now able to send his five children to boarding school, as well as supply his workshop with needed tools. Suggested retail price, Malachite Necklace, $150. Suggested retail price, Malachite Earrings, $59.

    To access a high-resolution image of Malachite Necklace, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Malachite Earrings, click here.


    Discs and Drops Necklace. Shiny discs and droplets are artfully assembled into this statement piece accessory. Bombolulu Workshops in Kenya provides an opportunity for steady employment to disabled artisans. Suggested retail price, $59.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Windfall Necklace and Ocean Journey Earrings. The classic combination of turquoise and silver is brought to you by the artisans of Allpa. Windfall Necklace combines the casual look of a large-link silver chain with a polished dangling teardrop of turquoise, creating a unique necklace that can be dressed up or down. The matching Ocean Journey Earrings feature a classic French wire dangle design that ensures that they will never fall out of fashion. Translated from the Quechua dialect to mean “earth,” Allpa provides small-scale artisans with technical training, as well as assistance in design and product development. Windfall Necklace suggested retail price, $150. Ocean Journey Earrings suggested retail price, $59.

    To access a high-resolution image of Windfall Necklace, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Ocean Journey Earrings, click here.


    Gourd Graces Necklace and Earrings. Three precious teardops of hand-etched gourd hang gracefully from a sterling silver chain. The matching teardrop earrings feature hand-etched gourd framed in sterling silver and hung from French wires. An ensemble like no other, the authenticity of the artisan’s hand can be felt in the warm red hues of each gourd piece. Natural gourd shell is preserved and etched by hand to create these earrings from Manos Amigas. Gourd Graces Necklace suggested retail price, $89. Gourd Graces Earrings suggested retail price, $59.

    To access a high-resolution image of Gourd Graces Necklace, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Gourd Graces Earrings, click here.


    Encircled Necklace. A circle within a circle creates a delicate ripple effect in sterling silver. Beautifully handcrafted by the artisans of Allpa. Translated from the Quechua dialect to mean “earth,” Allpa provides small-scale artisans with technical training, as well as assistance in design and product development. Suggested retail price, $125.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Lush Leaves Necklace and Earrings. Thin slivers of tagua are dyed in deep shades of lush forest leaves. Also known as “vegetable ivory” tagua is produced by a palm-like tree in South America. The nuts fall to the ground when mature, thus harvesting does not damage the trees. Tagua nut’s grain is close and very hard, resembling the finest ivory. Cultural tradition and forest preservation combine in the use of this renewable resource. Lush Leaves Necklace suggested retail price, $34. Lush Leaves Earrings suggested retail price, $18.

    To access a high-resolution image of Lush Leaves Necklace, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Lush Leaves Earrings, click here.


    Ancient Wisdom Bracelet. Ancient ancestors have used bone in their decorative jewelry pieces for hundreds of years. We hope that by wearing this bracelet of natural bone, you too will be instilled with the wisdom of the ancestors. Suggested retail price, $34.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Road Less Traveled Pendant. Made from authentic recycled Latin American road maps, each pendant shows a different little piece of the world. Strung on a delicate silver chain, this necklace is a fun piece that will show off your wanderlust. From the artisans of Union Progresisita Artesanal in Taxco, Mexico. Suggested retail price, $34.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Good Deeds and Seeds Necklace. The chirilla seed works well in the production of jewelry as it can be dyed in a wide range of colors. Seeds must be collected at the perfect moment— while they are still attached to the plant, but after they have begun to dry. The dark skin of the seed is removed in a tumbler filled with sandy water (which acts as a natural abrasive). Seeds are then drilled and submerged into boiling dye. After two days of drying time, seeds are finally ready to be made into playful jewelry. Suggested retail price, $24.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Fairytale Coin Purse. Whimsical as a fairytale, this small coin purse will keep all your small treasures safely at your side. Embroidered finely as a princess’ gown by the women of Sana Hastakala based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Translating to “small handicraft,” Sana Hastakala works to preserve the skills of traditional artisans while improving their social and economic status through fair trade. Suggested retail price, $16.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.

    This post was posted in Press Releases and was tagged with jewelry, fair trade, handcrafted, handmade, artisans, serendipity, sterling silver, turquoise, malachite

  • Stacks Magazine Features Ten Thousand Villages Scarves

    Posted on September 11, 2014

    Stacks Magazine, an online magazine covering entertainment, fashion and sports, featured Ten Thousand Villages scarves in an article entitled, "Ten Thousand Villages' Fall Must Have: The Scarf" on Tuesday, September 9.   

    The article featured scarves handcrafted by artisans in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Indonesia and Laos. To read the article, click here.

    This post was posted in Press Releases and was tagged with bangladesh, handcrafted, artisans, fashion, stacks mag, scarves, fall must have, indonesia, laos, ecuador, accessories, fall

  • Ten Thousand Villages Introduces Roots

    Posted on August 28, 2014

    New Home Decor Collection Mimics the Colors and Shapes of our World.

    roots collection revised

    Serving pieces, baskets and home décor made from raw materials like stone, wood, bark and clay inspire an earthy elegance and hospitality in any home can now be found in Ten Thousand Villages stores across the country and at tenthousandvillages.com.

    Statement pieces from the Roots Collection include banana bark giraffes and elephants from Kenya (shown above). Artisans transform banana bark into whimsical African animals, bringing an urban safari to your home.

    Other statement pieces from the collection include:


    Resting Camel Lamp. Ceramic camel sits serenely beneath a naturally woven shade. Reminiscent of an oasis—paradise found in the desert. Suggested retail price, $79.

    To access a high-resolution image of Resting Camel Lamp, click here.



    Lost Wax Drummer, Guitarist and Sax Player. These happy musicians are handcrafted using the ancient lost wax method of casting bronze. Originating in the Middle East in the ninth century, lost wax is one of the first known methods of working with molten metal. The artisan sculpts wax, then coats it with clay and allows it to dry. The wax is melted and drained, then molten bronze is poured into the mold to fill the shape. After the metal cools, the artisan breaks the clay, revealing a one-of-a-kind figure. Suggested retail price, $99 each.

    To access a high-resolution image of Lost Wax Drummer, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Lost Wax Guitarist, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Lost Wax Sax Player, click here.


    Savannah, Desert and Grassland Dancer Wall Hangings.  African beauties dance in celebration in these amazing wall hangings from Burkina Faso. The colors and textures of the wall hangings are achieved through the ancient technique of batik dyeing which starts by hand-tracing an original design on a light but sturdy fabric. Hot wax and dye are expertly applied in an alternating process of adding color to certain places while preserving other areas with the wax. At the end of the process, all of the wax is removed to reveal the finished design. Suggested retail price, $59 each.

    To access a high-resolution image of Savannah Dancer Wall Hanging, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Desert Dancer Wall Hanging, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Grassland Dancer Wall Hanging, click here.


    Traditional Djembe Drum. The djembe drum has ancient roots in West Africa. Featuring artisan-inspired carved designs on the redwood base and a goatskin hide, this drum is meant to be played with bare hands. The professional-grade drum can be tuned by tightening or loosening the cord. Traditionally, drums of this kind are used in drum circles with different styles of drums to represent the three sounds of slap, tone, and bass. Broken down, the word “dje” means “gather” while “be” means “everyone.” All together, the name means “everyone gather together.” Suggested retail price, $450.

    To access a high-resolution image of Traditional Djembe Drum, click here.



    Alabaster Mood Lamp. Translucent alabaster with its beautiful stone grain makes an attractive mood lamp. Alabaster, revered by the ancients for its beauty, is hand-carved by artisans in Luxor, Egypt. Alabaster is an ornamental white stone frequently used for carving statuary or architectural decoration. With its translucent luster, alabaster was highly esteemed in ancient Egypt for making small perfume bottles. Suggested retail price, $79.

    To access a high-resolution image of Alabaster Mood Lamp, click here.

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    Wood and Alabaster Tray.  The natural beauty of shesham wood and alabaster stone is showcased in this serving tray. Demonstrating the expert skill of two separate workshops: Hegaza Wooden Craft Project and Hassan Alabaster Group each contribute their part with the help of Fair Trade Egypt. Collaborations such as this show just how much better things can be if we work together, each sharing our talents for an end result that would not have been possible without separate parts coming together as one.

    To learn more about the artisans who work at Hegaza Wooden Craft Project and to watch their story in video, click here.

    To maintain shesham’s natural luster, apply lemon oil or another food-safe wood polish occasionally. Suggested retail price, $99.

    To access a high-resolution image of Wood and Alabaster Tray, click here.


    Summer Striped Rag Rug. Woven in all the colors of summer, this rug will add a fun and playful flare to your space. Suggested retail price, $39.

    To access a high-resolution image of Summer Striped Rag Rug, click here.



    Olive Wood Dish. Beautiful olive wood is reknowned for its rich contrasting grain. This dish is carved from a single pruned olive branch. Hand-carved by Palestinian artisans. Carvers do not cut down trees, but use pruned branches removed to enhance the health of the trees. Olive wood is one of the hardest woods available. The darker and more dense the grain, the older the tree from which it was pruned. Suggested retail price, $16.

    To access a high-resolution image of Olive Wood Dish, click here.

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    Banana Fiber Giraffe and Elephant. These playful giraffe and elephant figures are handmade in Kenya using banana bark and sisal fiber. Sisal fiber, traditionally used for rope and twine making, is made from leaves of the agave plant. Decorative only. Keep out of reach of children. Suggested retail price, $89 each. 

    To access a high-resolution image of Banana Fiber Giraffe, click here.

    To access a high-resolution image of Banana Fiber Elephant, click here.



    Coconut Hands Salad Server. Landmines left from wartime are still an unfortunate reality to citizens of Cambodia, rendering a large portion of the population disabled. Rehab Craft Cambodia (RCC) works towards restoring dignity to these citizens who have been faced with unfair challanges. These salad servers made from natural coconut shell and wood are in the shape of hands—an international symbol of friendship and giving.  Suggested retail price, $24.

    To access a high-resolution image of Coconut Hands Salad Server, click here.



    Cambodian Butter Crock. A genius design from Rajana Association of Cambodia, this butter crock is a simple and effective solution to your butter woes. Butter, when placed in the cup-shaped lid, will stay soft and fresh. Simply add water to the base for an airtight seal. Suggested retail price, $24.

    To access a high-resolution image of Cambodian Butter Crock, click here.

    Ten Thousand Villages offers products from more than 130 artisan groups in 35 countries via a network of more than 390 retail outlets throughout the United States.

    For more than 65 years, Ten Thousand Villages has established fair, long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income.

    For more information about Ten Thousand Villages or the products featured in this release, please contact Michele Loeper, marketing manager, at 717-859-8149 or Michele.Loeper@tenthousandvillages.com.


    This post was posted in Press Releases

  • Woman's World Features Ten Thousand Villages Scarf

    Posted on August 20, 2014



    Ten Thousand Villages Good Companion Scarf was included in a round up of cobalt blue clothing and accessories for fashion-forward shoppers in the August 25 issue of Woman's World.

    Artisans working with Ankur Kala in Kolkata, India, use an intricate tie dye technique to craft this beautifully patterned blue-toned cotton scarf. Ankur Kala, meaning “Seedling of Art,”creates skill and employment opportunities for the poor of Kolkata. Suggested retail price, $24.



    This post was posted in Press Releases and was tagged with fair trade, India, women's world, cobalt, fall 2014 fashion, fashion, fall fashion, tie dye, ankur kala

  • Ten Thousand Villages featured in New York Times

    Posted on June 20, 2014


    A Sunday, June 15 article in the Travel Section of the New York Times recommended Ten Thousand Villages in an article entitled "Browsing Boutiques Without Taking the Trip."

    To read the full article, click here.

    This post was posted in Press Releases and was tagged with fair trade, nytimes.com, New York Times, shopping, online shopping, international shopping

  • Ten Thousand Villages Named World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for 7th Consecutive Year

    Posted on March 20, 2014

    AKRON, Pa. – Ten Thousand Villages, the world’s oldest and largest fair trade retailer, announced today that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company® for the seventh consecutive year.

    The award recognizes companies and organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior. World’s Most Ethical Company honorees demonstrate real and sustained ethical leadership within their industries. Ten Thousand Villages is one of only three companies in the general retail category honored this year.

    “To be named a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company® is truly an honor,” said Pam Raffensberger, Ten Thousand Villages Chief Executive Officer. “For more than 65 years, we have been working to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income and bring meaning and dignity to their lives through fair trade. Our commitment to long standing relationships provides these women and men with vital income to send their children to school, to put food on their table and to care for their families. A natural part of our work is a commitment to fairness and transparency with our stakeholders, as well as a commitment to environmental responsibility. We are thrilled that Ethisphere has recognized Ten Thousand Villages as a leader in the specialty retail category.”

    The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ framework. The Ethics Quotient framework has been developed over years of effort to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics. The Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel.

    Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25%), reputation, leadership and innovation (20%), governance (10%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25%) and culture of ethics (20%).

    The full list of the 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/.

    About Ten Thousand Villages
    Ten Thousand Villages, a leader in the fair trade industry, markets artisan-crafted home decor and gifts through a network of stores in more than 75 locations and online at tenthousandvillages.com. Ten Thousand Villages currently partners with more than 110 artisan groups in 37 developing countries. For more than 65 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. All artisans are fairly paid for their products.

    About the Ethisphere Institute
    The Ethisphere® Institute is an independent center of research, best practices and thought leadership that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and governance and enables organizations to improve compliance, mitigate risk, and enhance relationships with employees, business partners, investors and the broad regulatory community. Ethisphere evaluates and benchmarks compliance and governance programs, honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program and publishes Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs that include: Ethics Inside® Certification, Compliance Leader Verification™ and Anti-Corruption Program Verification™. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: www.ethisphere.com.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with world's most ethical company, ethisphere, sustainable, award, international award

  • Ten Thousand Villages Appoints First Woman CEO

    Posted on December 30, 2013

    Pam Raffensberger 3x4 150dpi Pam Raffensberger, named Ten Thousand Villages CEO.

    Ten Thousand Villages’ board of directors recently announced their unanimous decision to appoint Pam Raffensberger as chief executive officer (CEO) to lead its network of more than 80 fair trade retail stores in the US, effective immediately.

    Raffensberger was appointed interim CEO in March, 2013. She joined Ten Thousand Villages in late 2006 as controller and was promoted to chief financial officer two years later. Ten Thousand Villages Chairman, Alex Hartzler, endorsed Raffensberger by saying, “Pam has demonstrated exemplary and effective leadership skills as interim CEO. The Board and I are unified in our confidence in Pam’s leadership and delighted and excited that she has taken on this challenge on behalf of our artisans, stores and entire organization.” He added that the board was looking for a visionary leader who possesses excellent decision-making qualities, as well as an ability to motivate and inspire people. “Pam’s strong financial background, together with her ability to engage and connect with people on a sincere and personable level, makes her an ideal person to lead Villages well into the future.”

    With a commitment to support artisans in developing countries around the globe by providing a path to sustainable income through fair trade, Raffensberger is tasked with continuing a 65 year tradition and Ten Thousand Villages’ legacy as the founder of the Fair Trade movement. “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to lead this extraordinary organization,” said Raffensberger. "With an eye on the future, I will focus on decisions that will lead this organization on a path towards growth….not just for Ten Thousand Villages, but for the women and men around the world whose livelihood depends on the success of our organization." Raffensberger added, “Our mission will be the anchor grounding every decision I make as CEO, and I look forward to working with our talented team of employees to create even more opportunities to bring our artisan’s beautiful handcrafted products and stories to the homes and hearts of American consumers.”

    Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 110 artisan groups in 37 countries, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income for more than 65 years. All artisans are fairly paid for their products. For more information visit www.tenthousandvillages.com.


    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases

  • A Call for Consumers to Exercise Their Purchasing Power

    Posted on June 13, 2013


    As the death toll from the garment factory building collapse near Dhaka, Bangladesh reaches 900, American consumers should be asking themselves this very important question: “Where do the goods I purchase come from?”


    This Saturday, May 11, is World Fair Trade Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about how our purchases have the potential to profoundly impact the lives of women and men in developing countries.


    What happened in Bangladesh does not have to happen again. Retail giants in the U.S. who place large orders with suppliers, such as the factories in the Rana Plaza in Dhaka, have a choice.  They could choose to purchase their goods from producers who follow fair business practices, and monitor working conditions to ensure safety.  But instead, as we have recently learned from this tragedy, in the interest of lower prices, many of them turn a blind eye to the working conditions within the factories where their products are made.  And when they do, tragic things can and do happen.


    This kind of manufacturing seems to fly in the face of humanity, and now, has come at a deadly cost.


    Fair trade is defined by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) as “a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade.” As the nation’s oldest and largest fair trade retailer, we at Ten Thousand Villages are rooted in a mission to provide sustainable, fair income to women and men in developing nations. We build relationships with the artisan organizations that make the handcrafted products we sell. We follow the 10 principles of fair trade, as outlined by the WFTO, one of which is to ensure good working conditions. It’s what we’ve been doing for 65 years.


    American consumers have a choice when buying goods.  They can support the retailers who purchase their products blindly based on costs, or they can look for opportunities to purchase products that have been manufactured and purchased responsibly, like those at Ten Thousand Villages and other fair trade retailers.


    So, the next time you are standing in front of a table of colorful $20 shorts, you should remember the factory in Dhaka…and the owner who forced his workers to enter the building knowing full well that the structure had visible cracks and was unsafe. American consumers will pay $20 for those Joe Fresh shorts, the tags visible in the rubble after the building collapse; meanwhile, the men and women who earned little more than $38 a month to make those shorts, according to a May 8 story in The Huffington Post, paid the ultimate price.  As Americans, we know this is unacceptable…and it should make us stop and think about where we choose to spend our money.


    I recently heard someone ask “how can we prevent [the building collapse in Bangladesh] from happening?”  I say, it comes down to basic economics: supply and demand.  Demand a fair supply chain from your retailers. Ask them where their merchandise comes from.  Embrace fair trade, and seek out retailers who proudly embrace those principles. (Visit www.WFTO.com for a list of those principles.)


    We grieve an economic system that insists on the cheapest possible production, at the price of human dignity, safety and life itself. As we prepare to acknowledge World Fair Trade Day again this year, my wish is that one day in the not so distant future, all retailers will practice the principles of fair trade. On Saturday, I encourage you to shop responsibly. Seek out the fair trade retailers in your area, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Together, over time, we can put an end to this kind of irresponsible manufacturing. As consumers you do have a voice….a powerful one, at that.  I encourage you to exercise your power the next time you shop by purchasing products that are produced by people who are treated fairly.


    My heart breaks for the men and women of Dhaka who lost their lives so abruptly, so tragically, and so unnecessarily. Please join me in exercising your power to make a difference by shopping fair trade.  For a list of organizations that support fair trade, visit the Fair Trade Federation’s website at www.fairtradefederation.org.


    -Pam Raffensberger


    Chief Executive Officer, Ten Thousand Villages


    This post was posted in Press Releases