The Importance of Supporting Artisan Workers
A year ago, I found myself glued to different shopping websites stuck in a pattern of filling some void with clothes, shoes, and accessories. I didn’t really need any of it, but I sure as hell convinced myself that just that one more thing would make me feel better. It was a vicious cycle that never really felt full – sound familiar?
Every day we’re fed hundreds to thousands of messages from different brands. BUY THIS, BUY THAT permeates our vision and hearing. We’re constantly being shown how we can “improve” our lives just by buying something that will elevate us to the next level of living.
I get it – with a marketing background, I have to admit I’m guilty of constructing some of these messages, but what kind of damage is it doing to our planet – let alone our psyche?
The textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Yep, that’s right. Those clothes you are wearing are contributing to a whole slew of issues our environment faces today. With fast fashion and globalization sweeping our planet, the mess that the garment industry is making environmentally, politically and socially, it’s about time we stop to take a look at what WE can do to slow things down.
After watching The True Cost on Netflix, a chilling documentary on the impact of fast fashion, I pledged to stop supporting brands like Forever 21 and H&M and instead focus on spending my money on products from fair trade companies. Although price tags have been higher, the quality and connection I’ve found to the products I’m buying is well worth the bump in cost.
So, where can you start?
Easing your way into solely supporting fair trade companies is a great way to get a taste of all the incredible companies and products that are available. I found GlobeIn, a monthly subscription box, that offers only artisanal products from across the globe.
And let me tell you… their handpicked products are AMAZING.
My first box consisted of:
Ceramique Serving Dish from Tunisia
This beautiful dish from Le Souk lives on my dining room table and was handcrafted by Mohamed Ali. In 2011, the Tunisian revolution left high unemployment rates in its wake and my purchase has employed Mohamed giving him the opportunity to earn and save money for his family.
Offer Box + Wishing Cards from India
These boxes are beautifully curated by Heena of Craft Boat & Tribe Alive. Heena moved from Calcutta to Jaipur in search of better opportunities and found one just in time to create these beautiful boxes that I will use for fair-trade gifts to my friends and loved ones.
The wishing cards are made from recycled cotton pulp, an eco-friendly alternative to trees.
Palm Leaf Basket from Mexico
My handwoven basket from GlobeIn is one of my favorite pieces now home to my beautiful Aloe Vera plant. Basket-weaving in the Mixteca region means a stable monthly income for building homes, starting a small business, or purchasing food and medicine. This basket was weaved by Doña Martina, who was able to sell her stall at the Oaxaca craft market after dedicating herself and her team to working for GlobeIn.
So how do I know all this neat stuff about my products?
GlobeIn tells you!
“Each Artisan Box is thoughtfully curated around a theme. We try to create an amazing, cohesive experience for our customers, and introduce them to unique, yet practical products. Sharing artisan stories is also very important to us, and each box includes a brochure that explains where the items came from and how they were made.”
The fact that I can look at my ceramic dish and say “Mohamed sculpted and painted this!” is one of the most rewarding things I can do.
This unique idea was sprouted from personal travels of co-founder Liza Moiseeva: “We saw talented artisans selling their goods, and wanted to help them gain access to the global market. By paying fair wages and placing large orders, working with GlobeIn makes it possible for them to grow and expand their businesses.”
Pretty empowering, eh? Check out this video they recently released:
Besides this box, GlobeIn has a TON of goodies that you can order directly from their site. This summer alone, they are releasing two new Artisan box themes every month with products ranging from outdoor adventure to culinary creations. Whether you’re shopping for a gift for friends or a gift for yourself, the sky’s the limit with their robust products.
It doesn’t matter if you’re one person, a family, or a whole village. The way you spend your money is a vote towards causes that you believe in. By working with brands like GlobeIn, you are empowering artisans throughout the world – and that’s a purchase I can get behind.