Look what's coming down the pike! This wonderful crocheted bag will be available soon on our website. The model is also the crocheter! Yup, she made this with her own two hands. Exquisite work! What do you all think??
Noah's Gifts and Gallery proudly carries products produced by two women's cooperatives - one in Haiti and one in Peru. We are big advocates of the cooperative structure. Here's a great example of why they are key to building self-sufficiency in remote communities:
The small Western Australian community of Gnowangerup is a world away from the cooperative breweries and wholefood stores dotting inner-city streets.
But the 600-strong community, 350 kilometres south-east of Perth, is using the same cooperative business model used by these trendy ventures to save its ailing businesses.
With many of the town's main street shopfronts empty, Gnowangerup has formed its own cooperative to combat a lack of basic services.
While investor-owned companies focus on returning profits for shareholders, cooperatives have a shared ownership and benefit for the community.
You can learn more here.
Before working, only 17% of women could afford to send their children to school. Now 100% of Haiti Projects' employees can and do send their children to school.
Raises Income and Strengthens Economy
Women report an average income increase of over 250% after working for Haiti Projects. This does not include the 32% of workers who were unemployed prior to working for the Women's Cooperative and who increased their income, on average, from 0 to 2150 gourdes per month. Haiti Projects' workers earn, on average, 262% more than the national minimum wage.
The Impact of Haiti Projects' work is not easy to measure. How do you measure the dignity that a job brings, or the joy of watching your child attend school? How do you quantify the opportunity to buy a home, determine how many children you can afford or purchase livestock to raise for added income for your family? The impact is clear and significant.
The gifts we remember are the ones that come with a story. That’s what makes a Fair Trade gifts special: knowing it’s making a positive impact that will last for years to come. When you bring Fair Trade into your home, gifts, and gatherings, it’s an act of kindness to the people who made it, the responsible companies who go the extra mile, and the planet we all share. Whether it's with a gift or a conversation, your holidays will likely be filled with opportunities to live your values. In a recent article, our friends at Numi Tea share some excellent advice on how to talk about your convictions during the holidays without alienating friends and loved ones.
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New Hampshire has an informative website dedicated to defining and promoting traditional crafts. Here's their thoughts on what makes traditional crafts special:
"Most traditional crafts developed before the industrial age, which brought the manufacture of interchangeable parts for machinery and household appliances – and before the invention of electricity, plastics and polyesters.
In the pre-industrial age, craftsmen used materials found in nature like wood, cotton, wool, natural dyes, stone, etc., to make their crafts – and they used hand- or water-powered tools to make them.
Some craftsmen became specialists in a particular craft and well respected by the community as master artisans. Some crafts were made by everyday people as a matter of survival. This was especially true on farms and rural towns were people needed to be self-sufficient.
Today, traditional craftsmen have bigger challenges preserving their skills because they need to produce their crafts in a modern economy. Because most traditional crafts are very labor-intensive, few people earn a living at making their traditional craft."
If you are interested, grant opportunities to support one-to-one instruction between a master traditional artist & an apprentice are available through the NH State Council on the Arts.
Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Social and economic opportunities are created through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Fair Trade businesses place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprise.
Pay Promptly and Fairly
Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor, time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. Fair trade businesses comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers. They seek to ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair trade companies ensure prompt payment to all of their partners. Producers are offered access to interest-free advance payment for handmade goods, or pre-finance of agricultural harvest with favorable terms.
Support Safe & Empowering Working ConditionsFair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor; workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them.; elimination of discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Fair trade participants support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
Ensure Children’s Rights
Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, businesses respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms; disclose the involvement of children in production; do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.
As a young girl I often sat on a stool in my great- grandmother's kitchen in Praputnjak Croatia and watched her and my grandmother magically turn raw goods into apparel and items for the home; aprons, linens, dish towels, even comforters and blankets. It was important these items be well made so they'd last. Being serviceable, however, didn't preclude them from being beautiful. One of my most prized possessions is a gorgeous lace bedspread crocheted by my great-grandmother.