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Fair trade: more than the money

October 30, 2016

Pacific Artisan offers customers unique ethically sourced and produced products, hand-crafted using natural materials by talented artisans working locally within their communities in decent conditions with fair terms of trade.


The World Fair Trade Organisation defines fair trade as a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. When the Fair Trade movement first began the goal was to provide ‘trade not aid’ to marginalised communities by creating fair access to export markets. Fifty years on and the term ‘Fair Trade’ means a whole lot more: it speaks to creating economic empowerment but with a focus on culture, community and tradition.


So what does fair trade mean for the women and communities on Pacific Artisan? Well for one thing, it’s about more than the money…



  • The women and communities manage what they produce. Traditional artefacts are made the way they have been for generations, preserving culture and skills that are being lost.

  • All creations are individual, unique and tell their own story. When Tjanpi desert weavers collect the grasses to weave their creations they visit sacred sites and traditional homelands and teach their children about country.



  • Women have the freedom to work individually or collaborate and work in collectives or groups.

  • Women determine their hours and working conditions – removing the trappings of exploitation, and enabling them to continue to provide and care for their families.



  • Artisans receive fair remuneration for their product and their time. Women can contribute income to their families where opportunities do not otherwise exist. They can achieve economic independence without compromising the health and wellbeing of themselves or their family.

  • A sustainable income means stability for their community and opportunities for the next generation.

  • Multiple studies have shown that women spend more of their earned income on food, healthcare, home improvement, and schooling for themselves and their children. In short, they reinvest, and that kind of spending has a multiplier effect leading to more job growth and diversified local economies. And that, in turn, can help ensure better educated, healthier citizens as well as provide a cushion in the event of market downturns.


Fair trade markets create economic empowerment – but they also cultivate respect, equality and the preservation of culture and community.









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