Ethical City partners with faith-based organizations in Austin to host fair trade global bazaars. Ethical City is owned and operated by Jennifer Lucas, the queen of all collaborators and a champion for fair trade in Austin. Ethical City's products include jewelry from India and Afghanistan, metal work from Haiti, and gift cards made by orphans in Rwanda.
© Ojoba Collective
One of her most popular products are colorful baskets made by widows in Ghana. The Fra-Fra people of northern Ghana live in a very dry area with little means of sustenance. The culture is polygamous, so when one man dies, he leaves behind many wives and children with no way to support themselves. Basket weaving has long been a part of the culture, but pervasive poverty makes it nearly impossible for women to earn a living wage from weaving. To address this issue, the Ojoba Collective started a widow's weaving cooperative in 2005 which now works with more than 400 women in three villages, and finds markets for these beautiful baskets.
|© Ojoba Collective|
But things have been improving since joining the weaving cooperative. They met with her again on their last trip, and she reports that having the steady work, long-term business partnership, and good prices for her baskets have made a huge impact on her life. As she says, “now I realize that I can stand on my own two feet. Even without a husband I can earn enough money for food and school fees. We don’t have to struggle as much now.”
Shop at Ethical City at Artreach November 12 to enjoy the beautiful handiwork of women like Ayimbono and support sustainable, equitable development in communities around the globe.