We were lucky enough to be featured on Miss Malaprop, a blog that focuses on promoting small businesses with ethical missions! Read the full post below or click here to read it on her site!
The world of contemporary fashion and modern business often leaves behind centuries-old practices in art and culture. Across the globe, many communities that have made a living by using traditional art practices have found themselves struggling to find new sources of income, and have been held back by lack of economic empowerment and resources. This is where GGP comes in.
Global Goods Partners is a non-profit organization that specializes in partnering with artisan communities across the globe and providing them with access to the US market. We work with nearly 40 associations, cooperatives and social enterprises worldwide that integrate their commitment to community development—such as improvements in education, health, women’s rights, and employment opportunities—with socially responsible income-generating programs in craft development. GGP works exclusively through local organizations, so none of the work disrupts the community or negatively affects other artisans trying to make a living. This way the focus is entirely on the needs of the community; not building a foreign business that competes with other impoverished citizens.
Our designers work with our artisans to create fashion-forward designs that incorporate traditional practices into contemporary products. This partnership not only reinforces a community-centered artistic tradition, but also provides living wages and economic empowerment to impoverished families around the world.
One example of our collaborations is the Indigo Ikat Weekender bag, a beautiful product from our partner Maya Traditions in Guatemala. Indigenous peoples such as the Maya are especially in danger of loss of culture, so we are proud to show a design that features an example of traditional Mayan weaving practices.
To create this product, first natural dye is prepared and applied to cotton thread to achieve a deep, vibrant indigo:
Next, the thread is woven on a traditional back-strap loom as the intricate ikat pattern is formed. Although ikat has become a trendy pattern seen on style icons such as Kristen Bell, Leighton Meester, and Michelle Obama, the roots of the pattern can be seen in traditional Maya blankets and weaving:
After that, the woven fabric is carefully sewn into shape. With the addition of locally-sourced leather straps, the bag is ready to be shipped to our warehouse and then to you!
Every purchase of the Weekender provides social services such as youth education, financial assistance, a community health program, and workshops on product design and business development, as well as a living wage to our artisans.
To shop our handmade, fair trade products and support hundreds of talented women throughout the Global South, please visit GlobalGoodsPartners.org. Any questions or comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeted to @GlobalGoods. You can also find Global Goods Partners on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.