Congratulations to The Peace Exchange on becoming a member of the Fair Trade Federation! This nonprofit organization, founded by Katie Bond, works with artisans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Its mission is to “create social enterprise, economic growth, sustainability, and entrepreneurial trainings for citizens of developing nations.”
Here are 10 interesting facts about The Peace Exchange and its artisans…
1. The Peace Exchange has two sewing centers in the Kivu region of Eastern Congo and is planning for a third center.
2. 40 artisans, women who are at-risk due to poverty or other adverse conditions, are on this Fair Trade organization’s payroll.
3. Following a Holistic Fair Trade model, The Peace Exchange supports the overall well-being of its employees including: access to education, health and nutrition, fashion and design skills, legal advice, and more.
4. The Peace Exchange works directly with sewing circle collectives in the Congo, hiring women as employees to promote and sell their handmade goods.
5. To support their families, many of the artisans would have to work as farmers if they did not have the option to sew for a living.
6, Because they are paid a guaranteed fair wage, artisans can make more than six-times the daily wage that they’d earn as farmers.
7. Many artisans are able to send their children to school for a complete education-- and better opportunities-- because of the living wage they earn.
8. Vibrant textiles are handmade using an African wax-print technique which is a form of batik.
9. Traditionally, wax-prints have been used as a way African women communicate through the symbols and designs on the fabrics.
10. The Peace Exchange artisans make napkins, tablecloths, yoga mat bags and other items in a variety of colors and styles.
Whether you want to bring a splash of new color and design to your kitchen or you’re looking for a sturdy and stylish yoga mat bag, we encourage you to make your purchase count by choosing Fair Trade. You can find items made by The Peace Exchange artisans at Global Gifts in Columbus, OH.