The amount of freedom that can be gained through a fair wage is game-changing.
When you’re paid fairly for your work, you’re free to send your kids to school or pursue a higher degree. Free to see a doctor when you’re unwell or just going through a little amazing thing called pregnancy. Free to find stable housing for your family. Free to escape a difficult situation and live independently. Free, even, to treat yourself to ice cream every once in a while (it’s important).
At Ten Thousand Villages, we’re always excited about the ways in which fair trade empowers makers around the world, and our friends at The Tote Project are, too! The Tote Project offers adorable and handy pouches that are crafted by women escaping West Bengal’s sex trade and earning a living wage. Their tote bags are manufactured in a fair trade certified factory in partnership with Oasis Bags. Plus, their signature accessories are made with organic cotton and printed with water-based inks (we think that’s pretty neat).
Founders, Fay Grant and Michelle Chavez, shared, “The Tote Project was born out of our friendship and a shared dream to fight human trafficking and support survivors. We wanted to find a way to mass produce bags and raise funds to support a local non-profit, and we were thrilled to connect with fair trade manufacturers in India that provided jobs to women exiting the sex trade. Additionally, we decided to donate a percentage of our profits to Two Wings in Los Angeles. Two Wings hosts a career academy for survivors that helps them identify and pursue their dream jobs, and we are proud to both donate to their program and volunteer at the academy. Fay’s artwork for our collections is inspired by the idea that difficult experiences don’t have to feed into fear, shame and regret, but can be turned into compassionate, loving action for the greater good.”
We love the Tote Project’s mission so much that we decided to partner on four new pouches designed exclusively for Ten Thousand Villages (only available in at your local store and online!), and we love the sweet messages of freedom featured on each one.
These pouches were designed by Fay, handcrafted by Sapia, our fair trade partners in Colombia, and screenprinted by The Tote Project.
As with all pouches and bags sold by The Tote Project, a portion of proceeds will be donated to Two Wings to help survivors of human trafficking in the United States.