On International Workers Day, we celebrate the talented women of Mayan Hands and artisans – weavers, basket makers, knitters, woodworkers, metalsmiths, and more – across the world. After agriculture, the artisan sector is the second largest employer in rural areas of the developing world.
We’re especially happy to participate in the #TogetherforArtisans initiative and shine a light on the extraordinary work of artisans who partner with our sister brands working in Latin America. Be sure to visit their websites (see below) and find special offers.
The impact of artisan work is significant. Artisans generate income and invest in their local economies as they also preserve significant artistic traditions. By sharing their unique culture with the world, in the form of craft, artisans contribute to an appreciation of the rich diversity of world cultures and the artistic expression of what it means to be human.
In particular, the artisan sector can open doors of opportunity for women. Over the course of 30 years, we have seen the transformative power of economic opportunity in the lives of Mayan women and their families. When women have income, they put food on their families’ tables, send their children to school, invest in their local communities and work for a better future.
In an increasingly tech-driven world, there is a hunger for connection and beauty. Artisan products fill this void. The appreciation of the handmade continues to grow, as people find meaning in the stories of how a handcrafted item is made and in knowing about the person who made it. A basket, a scarf, a piece of jewelry can directly connect us with an artist across the world.
More and more, consumers are asking about how the people behind the products they purchase and the conditions under which these products were made. Fair trade practices ensure that artisans receive fair compensation for their time and talent. Too often the local market undervalues the labor of an artisan and producers are forced to sell their goods below the cost of production, not knowing when the next sale might come. With fair trade, artisans can count on regular income and gain more control over their lives.
We're proud to partner with these Latin American artisan brands that are part of the #TogertherforArtisans collective:
Artisans of Inti
Threads of Peru