What do you see in the picture above? At first glance, you may see a series of colorful, beautiful wallets. To be sure, they are wallets. More specifically, they are 100 percent cotton wallets with colorful leather trim and each measures 4.5 inches tall x 7.5 inches wide. Each features a snap closure, back pocket (which I love because it also is large enough to hold my phone), interior zip coin purse, clear ID cover, 4 card pockets, 2 passport-sized pockets and 2 large storage pockets.
What you don’t immediately see is that the sale of these wallets really means creating opportunities for artisans in the developing world. The wallets, part of The Opportunity Collection by Indianapolis-based The Village Experience, are made by Tsunami survivors in Thailand. Their work directly provides economic development and uplifts their community and local orphanage.
The Opportunity Collection includes a selection fair trade products Kenya, Thailand and India. Each artisan group has overcome tremendous odds. The Kenyan artisans are comprised of mentally and physically challenged people seeking employment and advancement. In Thailand the artisans are in the rebuilding process after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Indian artisans are survivors of human trafficking, seeking dignified, safe employment. Together they have crafted beautiful, unique and handmade items that are directly benefiting their communities, while creating opportunities for generations to come.
Like the Bombshell Collection from Shopanthropic that is designed by artisans in Cambodia, fair trade products help connects us to cultures and artisans in developing countries.
The Opportunity Collection’s yellow wallet featured in this picture had to come home with me and is now one of my favorite pieces. It’s roomy, has a ton of pockets (which I love), yet compact, sleek and chic. But even more than that, The Opportunity Collection’s pieces remind me that we live in a much larger world. We live in a world of hope, peace and love. And opportunity. And that looks good however you look at it.
What fair trade organizations do you support? Do you think fair trade is important?