One of the fundamentals of fair trade is sustainability. At Ten Thousand Villages, we are committed to making responsible decisions that will have a positive impact not only on people, but also on the earth we all share.
We pride ourselves in using natural, sustainable, or recycled materials in an effort to minimize our carbon footprint.
Most of our products fall under one of two categories: natural or recycled. Our natural items showcase the beauty of the Earth itself—unadulterated and celebrated. Our recycled products demonstrate the resourcefulness and innovation of our artisan partners. They take something discarded and elevate it, often with vibrant colors and tactile textures.
Bottles collected from local businesses in Hebron are ground up, melted down, and turned into Phoenician glass masterpieces.
2 & 3. Sari Fabric
The fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world. Makers in Bangladesh are doing their part to reduce environmental impact by repurposing sari fabric scraps in innovative ways. Pieces of sari are washed and then sewn or woven together and given a beautiful new life.
4. Fish Feed Bags
These water resistant and durable bags are cut up, cleaned, and given new jobs by our partners in Cambodia. From pouches to outdoor planters, they are a practical (and pretty!) way to incorporate recycled materials into your daily life.
Makers all over the world have found ways to reuse paper and give it a second life. Whether it’s cut up into strips and coiled into a bowl, or folded and layered to make coasters, paper is one of the easiest materials to recycle. Our partners even use shredded recycled newspapers to cushion fragile items in shipment!
Tagua nuts are collected from the ground, sliced, and dyed to create stunning jewelry pieces. An eco-friendly alternative to plastic or glass beads, tagua is also lighter and stronger than normal accessories.
Bamboo doesn’t require any chemical fertilizers to grow, and replenishes itself after harvesting. It’s strong, it’s biodegradable, and it’s versatile. Our partners in Vietnam are experts at coiling bamboo into plates and bowls that bring a natural feel to your kitchen.
3. Fallen Wood
Acacia trees in Kenya that have died of natural causes are lovingly turned into some of the most beautiful tableware you will ever see. Men from the Maasai tribe cut, shape, sand, and polish these masterpieces by hand.
4. Handmade Paper
Water hyacinth is a dangerously invasive species in Lake Victoria. The tenacious and fast growing aquatic reed has drastically decreased access to suitable fishing grounds. The makers at Kick Trading in Kenya have found a way to turn these reeds into handmade paper, a wonderfully constructive use for the problematic plant.