All posts tagged: fairtrade

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10 Must Go Websites for Holiday Shoppers

We’re closing in fast on the holiday season! This time of year also happens to coincide with a lot of birthdays of friends and family. This year I’ve been trying to look beyond the usual gadgets/t-shirts/girlie things to get as gifts. And looking at unique, hand-made and one of a kind products, not to be found in retail stores, that can be bought online. I also asked around to see what others were recommending. From this research we came up with a neat list of stores that should have something for practically anyone. 1. Hoop Fund Hoop is part crowd-funding platform and part store. The website lets users contribute to the production of ethically made products (as an investor), as well as enjoy the products created directly by farmers and artisans. Hoop bundles combines a deal on the products along with a microloan to the people who make them. Customers help with doing good while discovering great products to buy or gift. Producers get new financing options to improve and diversify their businesses, and sustainable …

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MumbaiSmiles : A Fresh Approach to Addressing Urban Poverty

Mumbai Smiles is a non-profit organization based out of India, Spain and Mexico, focused on providing quality education, health services and livelihood opportunities for families living in the slums of Mumbai. The non-profit was born in 2005 when Spanish journalist and writer Jaume Sanllorente was on a holiday to Mumbai, India. His experience with the under-privileged inspired him to quit his job as a journalist, go back to university, and kick start Mumbai Smiles, in order to improve the living conditions of slum dwellers in the city of Mumbai. Why Mumbai Smiles are Unique Mumbai Smiles operates out of several of Mumbai’s lesser known slums in the suburb of Andheri. All their current efforts are focused around developing these few communities, so that children, as well as adults are benefited. In all activities, the community always provides input and feedback. This ensures that programs are successful at meeting the needs of the community. For example, the children of slum dwellers attend state of the art pre-schools. The teachers at these pre-schools are from the same …

natural-mystic

Space Cushions Bring Jobs to Rural Thailand.

The Isaan Cushion Company is a social business that aims to make the best cushions on the planet and to create employment opportunities for people in the under-developed Isaan region of North East Thailand. They also want to be the first to put a cushion into space! Where is the Isaan region? Isaan is a region making up the North Eastern part of Thailand. Despite Thailand’s strong economic performance in the past few years, many areas of the country have not seen the benefit from this growth. The Isaan region is considered to be one of the poorest regions of Thailand. The average wages are the lowest in the country at around 4,000 baht per month (USD $130), while the national average is about 7,000 baht (USD $230). As a result, many people have to leave the countryside in order to look for better wages, and end up migrating to cities, especially Bangkok. The making of beautiful cushions The Isaan Cushion Company launched its operations 1 month ago as a social business. The company leverages …

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Culture Aangan Homestays : Promoting Rural Development via Tourism

Culture Aangan makes use of Cultural Tourism to create a sustainable livelihood for rural communities. Visitors to Culture Aangan home stay’s get a great, first hand look at village life in a rural setting. Rural communities are benefited from promoting cultural tourism by creation of economic opportunities that previously did not exist. Aangan, literally means “courtyard”. An Aangan has always been central to the life of a village family, as a space to meet, perform ceremonies, dry food and bond as a family. Culture Aangan adopts this concept to provide visitors with a first hand experience into rural life, yet ensuring that basic traveler comforts are met. The beginnings In May 2005, Culture Aangan founder, Rashmi Sawant began work on a project with the goal to connect city dwellers with life in the villages of rural India. The experience involved staying with a rural family and getting to know a way of life that is vastly different from city lifestyles. At the same time, travelers made a contribution to the local economy of the village. …

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Fairtrade to Reduce Migrations from Himalayas

A DNA India report recently warned that mass migration from rural to urban India would put immense pressure on urban infrastructure, leading to riots, price wars and other bad stuff. However all is not lost. Social ventures such as Himjoli are attempting to prevent that from happening. ‘Friends in the Land of Ice’ Himjoli was founded in 2009. They are a profitable social enterprise working with rural producers from the Kumaon region in the Indian Himalayas. Their mission: To create profitable, sustainable jobs in villages and reduce migration to cities. The rural communities of Kumaon traditionally produced enough for local consumption. Excess produce was sold in the local markets, where margins are small. Alternate sources of income have been tourism, usually providing seasonal earnings. Rising prices for essential commodities led to large scale migrations from villages in to cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, in the hope of finding work to make better wages and to support the families back home. The exodus naturally results in reduced development of local populations, and no improvement in …