Fair Trade Principle 6: Support Safe & Empowering Working Conditions

Office Photo {Marisa Vitale - The Little Market}Photo by Marisa Vitale

The sixth fair trade principle outlined by the Fair Trade Federation is the promotion of a safe and healthy working environment. Fair trade supporters advocate for a workplace that is free of forced labor, harassment, and discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status.

At The Little Market, we partner with artisan groups that provide the artisans and producers empowering work spaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse. After four years of partnering with various groups around the world, we engaged in a dialectic, research exercise. In our recently published 2017 Report, we highlight the benefits that some of the artisan groups we work with provide to artisans:

92% of our partners provide skill development opportunities to the artisans

On average, artisans working with our partners earn wages 90% above the minimum wage

80% of artisans working with our partners have access to health care

60% of artisan working with our partners have access to literacy programs

50% of artisans working with our partners enjoy paid sick time off

Alpaca Stuffed Animals {The Little Market}Photo by Alandra Chavarria

We are proud to work with artisans at Inspired Peru as they create beautiful alpaca stuffed animals. In addition to providing a safe workplace, Inspired Peru provides empowering environment in which artisans enjoy flexibility. The artisans generally work from the comfort of their home in the Peruvian highlands; however, they have access to a communal workshop in the city of Lima. The artisans have the option, should they chose to do so, to travel to the city to finish production of their plush alpaca animals. They have access to room and board while using the communal workshop in Lima. At Inspired Peru, artisans are empowered to transmit their traditional skills to future generations while expanding their business and leadership skills. They also have access to skill development programs.

Embroidered Sign & Wall Art {Courtesy of Haiti Design Co-op}Photo Courtesy of Haiti Design Co-op

Our partner Haiti Design Co-op is a community-based nonprofit founded in 2014 that provides ample leadership and skill development opportunities to the artisans.  Around 45 women and 15 men who have experienced vulnerable situations in life are working in-house. Haiti Design Co-op has empowered artisans to organize and form a community development committee; this committee provides resources such as leadership development, healthcare, and educational seminars, and mental health awareness workshops, among other informational sessions.

We are proud to partner with a variety of artisan groups that provide a safe and healthy working environment. Each of the artisan groups we partner with provides a set of benefits that are specific to the needs of the artisans, as well as contextual to the national context of the country in which they are located.


Yazmin Gonzalez - Artisan Liaison {The Little Market}


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