Far + Wide Collective is partnering with some of the most talented artisans in post-conflict and emerging countries. While taking shoppers on a journey, we give them access to a rare selection of unique and high-quality fair trade products.
We are dedicated to connecting artisans in emerging economies to the international market. In doing so, we have created an organizational support system that revolves around artisan fair trade clothing, décor and jewelry. Our craftswomen and men focus on creating the best and most unique products while we take care of getting them to you.
At Far + Wide Collective we have a passion for discovering the beautifully unique and carefully made things one can only stumble upon in the tucked-away workshops and rural village markets on exotic travels. We have found these products – and the fair trade artisans who make them – and we are bringing them to you. We know that if we do, we are helping to build a more sustainable infrastructure of these communities and countries for the future.
We believe that supporting individual craft producers and small businesses through trade is the most effective and sustainable way of improving people’s lives. We also strongly believe in the beauty and authenticity of goods produced in traditional ways. We work with artisans on different levels; some already have a well-designed and high-quality product but simply lack market access, others have a good product that needs enhancement and quality control. We also work with organizations and NGO’s on the ground to help fair trade artisans who have great skills but need design and production assistance. Far + Wide Collective seeks to create long-term relationships with our partnered artisans, helping them grow their business for the long term and helping them establish infrastructure for the future.
Having worked in emerging economies for more than a decade we know that real change and long-term economic growth is only achieved by adding value within these societies – not through simply donating products made elsewhere or supporting non-sustainable programs.
These beautiful crafts have the power of evoking thoughts of exotic and faraway places. Their authenticity is unparalleled as each handmade piece is uniquely linked to the artisan who created it. But in addition to producing beautiful pieces for your home, supporting the crafts industry will also make you feel great about buying. As the second largest employer after agriculture in developing countries, the crafts industry provides the opportunity for the millions of underprivileged to own their own successful business. These artisans, many of them women, were never given the opportunity to go to school and so, are illiterate. But, craft production requires only the skills that, in many families, are passed on from generation to generation. With the ever-growing demand for handmade crafts, there is hope yet, that these artisans will be able to provide their children with the privilege of education.
To ensure that artisans receive as much value from the final sale price as possible, we prefer to work directly with our partners. In cases where additional support is needed to create products of the highest quality, we partner with locally based value-adding organizations such as NGO’s and development networks to help develop market channels and skills so that we can continue offering the best fair trade products for all countries that we work in.
We purchase the products from the artisans at their asking market price. The final retail price covers the cost of getting the product to the online marketplace, from freight and import duties to warehousing, packaging, marketing, customer service, sales and shipping to your front door. Profits from Far + Wide Collective are reinvested threefold: to help our artisan partners grow their businesses, to help with sourcing new products and to help develop new artisan networks and channels.
Hedvig Christine Alexander spent seven years in Afghanistan working in international development. She established Building Markets in Afghanistan, an organization stimulating the local economy by encouraging international businesses to support local goods and services. Later, she became the Managing Director of Turquoise Mountain, a charity promoting education of traditional Afghan art and architecture, and oversaw a major heritage and regeneration program in the Old City of Kabul. During her time in Afghanistan and traveling in the region, Hedvig Christine saw how even the most talented craftswomen and men were unable to connect with buyers abroad. Consequently, they could not benefit from the increased demand for beautiful, authentic, and handmade items in recent years. As current online retail business models largely exclude emerging-market craft producers, Hedvig Christine decided to create an online market place that would focus entirely on bringing a new segment fair trade fair trade artisan’s and artisan products the international market. Far + Wide Collective is a result of this.
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