This month, we celebrate 17 years of Global Goods Partners and look forward to many more. What started in 2005 as a bold mission to impact women's lives, has grown to encompass over 155,000 artisans. We truly could not have reached these heights without the many people lifting up our mission along the way. Thank you for 17 incredible years! See below the story of our work & core of our mission.
Inspired by their travels and the beautifully hand-crafted products made by women around the globe, our founders Joan Shifrin and Catherine Shimony saw an opportunity to bring these unique and culturally rich crafts to the international market while producing sustainable jobs for women in impoverished areas.
GGP was founded in 2005 and has since partnered with over 128 artisan groups in 39 countries throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Each artisan that creates the products in our assortment earns reliable and fair living wages while also gaining experience that adds value to all aspects of her life. Moreover, the empowerment of these women not only improves their own experience, but those of their families and communities. We have seen this self-reinforcing cycle of women supporting other women within each of our partnerships, this year especially, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reasons we focus on women are two-fold: Firstly, around the world, women disproportionately suffer from economic, environmental, political, and social hardships. At the same time, when women receive the tools to learn a craft, receive their own income, start and run a business of their own, they gain confidence, experience, and economic independence that is proven not only to uplift themselves but those around them. Supporting women supports everyone.
As a fair-trade organization, GGP remains committed to improving conditions for the working poor, determine fair living wages, and emphasize responsible stewardship of the environment through the production process. By bridging the gap between craft businesses from some of our weakest economies and the global market for fair trade, GGP is able to promote the economic development of local communities, social justice, female empowerment, and global sustainability, all while providing the marketing and distribution channels necessary for our enterprises to reach global markets.
While it has been difficult to compete with established companies, retailers with superior budgets, and fast fashion brands as a fair-trade company, we have learned much in our 17 years and ultimately find that the returns we receive are far more gratifying compared to our competition.
We are grateful for the continued support of our partners and loyal customers. We cannot wait to see what the future holds. Happy 17 years to Global Goods Partners and here’s to the years to come!