Before living in Thailand we ran our own stores in A malls throughout California, starting off in northern California and then moving down to Southern California. We travelled to Thailand, Nepal, India and Indonesia to buy for our stores and on this particular visit to India we were visiting friends and business contacts.
The Fair Trade Federation has a screening process to ensure adherence to the organisation's principles. What kinds of things did you have to do to demonstrate that you were Fair Trade? (Was it difficult?)
We had to provide information regarding fair trade conditions and practices as well as realistic living wage rates in Thailand. We were required to provide references both in Thailand and the U.S vouching for our fair trade practices.
You employ 10 women from the Thai hill-tribes in your studio. How did that connection get made, and how did it come about that they became your employees?
We met a couple running a school for marginalized hill tribe children through the school that our children were attending. They introduced us to an organization that has been providing a two year tailoring program for young hill tribe women for the past 30 years. We started off with a master tailor/cutter and two tailors. This was a success and we were impressed with their skills and work ethic so we soon hired more tailors.
At the moment we are working with a very motivated master tailor, Dia, who is planning to open up her own shop in her home town. We are supporting her plans with machines, providing a flexible schedule for her to continue her studies and will also provide regular orders, which is the best way that we can provide support. Currently, we are teaching Dia cutting for production and design for the western market.
THE PRIZE: Nadiah has graciously offered a $30 gift certificate to spend online at Playing Fair to the winner of this giveaway draw.
TO ENTER: Simply leave a comment below. For an additional entry visit Playing Fair, come back here and tell us which garments you would buy with the certificate.Finally, add yourself to the ecoMILF followers (first time followers only) and you have gained yourself one more additional entry! **Make sure to leave another comment for each additional entry you make. Australian residents only (sorry!).
A winner will be drawn on Monday, February 7th. Thank you very much to Nadiah from Playing Fair for a great giveaway and thank you to HOPE for taking the time to tell us a little more about their company and vision. Good Luck to all entrants.