Fair Trade is quickly becoming a buzzword and popular shopping criteria for the conscious consumer, but not all Fair Trade stores are alike. Fair Hands distinguishes itself by working directly with the artisans as opposed to the increasingly common practice among retailers of buying from Fair Trade wholesalers. Founding owner Lindsey Parsons has gone to Turkey and worked with each artisan group that makes the products offered on Fair Hand’s site.
As she explains, "Fair Trade is about more than a fair price. It is about ethical business practices, environmental sustainability, workers’ rights, and respect among artisans, retailers, and customers. I know exactly where our products are coming from and how the artisans feel about their relationship with Fair Hands because I have spent time talking to them and visiting some of their workshops. I think our customers will appreciate that Fair Hands is such a direct link to the artisan.”
The fact that Fair Hands works with artisans in Turkey also sets it apart from other organizations. Most Fair Trade companies are currently working in Southeast Asia and South and Central America, but Lindsey feels that Turkey has been overlooked, “Turkish artisans make beautiful and unique items that are unlike anything you can find anywhere else, but these artisans also need the support that Fair Trade offers.” Fair Hands is working to support women who want to earn their own salary (currently only 1 in 4 women hold a paying job), to help parents earn enough income to keep their children in school (currently only 33% of adults have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree), and to support artisans from the poorest regions of Turkey to sell their handicrafts
“Through Fair Hands I support disadvantaged artisans in getting their products to the US market so they can earn a better and more regular income." Lindsey said. "I also help US customers find truly special, handmade items that are sourced in a socially and environmentally responsible way."
The selection of products that Fair Hands will unveil on September 24th includes handmade olive oil soaps with rare fragrances (such as wild pistachio), freshwater pearl lariat necklaces, colorful clutches made out of recycled chip bags and candy wrappers, and cotton scarves with traditional tatted-flower edging. Like Fair Hands on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/
More about Fair Hands: Fair Hands Exchange, LLC is an online Fair Trade boutique owned and operated in the United States. It sources unique handicrafts from Turkey and operates following the World Fair Trade Organization’
More about Lindsey Parsons: Lindsey is an entrepreneur and graduate from the University of Utah with degrees in Economics and International Studies. She has a passion for travel and language and an interest in development economics. Contact lindsey.parsons@