Fair trade proves that greater justice in world trade is possible. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first. It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.
Ten Thousand Villages’ artisan investment model puts the maker first. It is designed to give makers opportunity to gain a safety net of financial security and escape the cycle of poverty.
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.
advance payment & financial security
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 and production and to protect makers from exploitative loans.
When the products are packed up and ready to ship to America, we pay the final 50% of the agreed price. This may sound like business as usual, but it’s actually quite unconventional.
By completing the financial transaction before items are exported, we take on all the risk. If products are lost at sea, trends change, tariffs rise, or the market becomes flooded with knock-offs, the artisans will not be burdened with loss. They’ve already been paid in full.