Resource Exchange


A Call to U.S. Crafters Unite for World-wide (Fair-Trade) Empowerment and Global Awareness

Posted May 16, 2015 from United States
Expired on July 14, 2015
Do you Make Handmade, Sustainable, Re-Purposed Items?
I have an idea to make an online site/store to sell handmade things out of re-purposed materials that also links to/gives exposure to individuals or groups, worldwide, doing similar 'fair-trade' work to empower themselves and their families. I want to highlight free-trade items and global humanitarian issues on website that sells handmade goods and provides DIY tutorials to a primarily U.S. audience. This is a calling to other artist/crafters, like myself, in the U.S., and abroad, to join together and create this vision, or to help shape and modify it, from the ground up.

I have an idea to make an online site/store to sell handmade things out of repurposed materials.

My thought is that this can provide an income for the crafters, but also provide information about crafters / artists worldwide (fair trade) who are working to empower themselves and their communities by repurposing materials. The site could provide information about worldwide humanitarian issues, as well as link to other similar storefronts, in different locations, around the world. This site would be organized from North America, as a storefront, so that it can be specific to shipping logistics, regarding creating an inventory and protocol for delivering purchases. My thought is that anyone interested in this idea can propose the type of hand made product that they wish to produce, and in what quantity they feel able to produce it (how many of the item per week or month). If one crafter/artist cannot produce and ample producion, (to maintain a basic inventory) then pairs or groups of crafters/artists can collaborate, to create the item from their own location. To keep the product quality and uniformity accurate, the website can also provide instructional tutorials / visual instructions. This information would also be available to the public, drawing in individuals looking for DIY tutorials. The goal, again, would be to not only provide a storefront for crafters/artists, but also to promote awareness of global humanitarian challenges that are being solved, worldwide, by individuals empowering themselves and their communities through the repurposing of materials to make and sell artistically rendered utilitarian objects and artwork.

As far as determining the quantity and location of items in inventory, for a given product, the crafters/artists would be responsible for staying in contact with each other, produce the number of items they agreed to (to the best of their ability), and contact the administrator of the storefront to keep inventory numbers accurate. The artist or crafter would be responsible for shipping the items to a storehouse location, once they had accumulated a given number of the item.

The cost for shipping items to the storehouse, and then to the customer would be at the expense of the crafter/artist, but compensated for, in the price of the item.

The shipping would be determined by a flat rate, within the U.S.

The crafter/artists would recieve payment once the purchase and shipping is complete.

Each artist can have a bio page, and link to their favorite 'liked' items of other crafters/ artists across the globe.

Items for sale can be categorized, not only listing items for sale at this website, but others, worldwide, as well, giving exposure to a community of worldwide (fair trade) crafters and artists, not just those in the U.S.

Like I said, there will be a link, where applicable, to tutorials (DIYs) for the item, as well.

Some people will find this information empowering, while others will prefer and be able to purchase existing items made by crafters/artists on the site.

Each item page will provide information on how the item for sale relates to the crafter/artist and their own community, perhaps, as well as how the re-purposing of the given materials helps, in environmental terms.

I would like for the item page to also 'showcase' examples of similar items for sale, worldwide, by crafters/artists in different countries.

I would like to focus on how the making of these goods is an example of personal expression, empowerment, concern for the greater good, and a means of income that is fair and not exploitative.

I do not want to encourage chidlren, (for example), to focus on making handmade items at the expense of an education, or allow any one person to benefit by making others do the work, for them, and not pay them fairly.

This is not a scheme to 'get rich', but to provide income assitance to people who need it, and to promote awareness of global humantarian issues.

I don't have a website or store, or anything, yet. I don't have my own inventory of goods, even.

This is a calling to other artist/crafters, like myself to join together and create this vision, or to help shape and modify it, from the ground up.

I am not trying to re-create 'Etsy'... I really want to keep this focused on the humanitarian aspect. The items must be made of sustainable / repurposed materials, made by hand, made by specific featured individuals (perhaps in collaboration), and the storefront must also promote awareness of global humanitarian issues and links to other fair trade crafter/artists worldwide, doing similar work. (Similar, in terms of the category of goods; for example - "bags, pouches", "clothing", "decore", "textiles").

What I need is simply the expression of interest of individuals who would like to be part of this undertaking, and an example of how they can contribute.

After I have a few people that are interested, we can begin to share more specific ideas.

To participate as a artist or crafter, you are responsible for finding your own materials.

Please feel free, however, to express a request, along with your interest in participating, if you need the help of a collaborative partner, in completing an assembled item. Perhaps if one person has one sort of material on hand, but not another, more than one individual can work together, to assemble an item, (that is, if delivering the materials between individuals is not cost prohibitive).

If you have any thoughts or ideas about how to help me streamline this concept any better, please contact me, as well.

Thank You,


Comments 3

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Bettina Amendi
May 28, 2015
May 28, 2015

Hi Laura,this is a good course i would request to be part of it.

Keep me posted.

Jul 13, 2015
Jul 13, 2015

Hi Laura,

Your idea is in line with our objects of fighting poverty in Cameroon based on fair trade not aid.

NDOPCRAFT is a fair trade producer organization based in Cameroon and our producers produce unique dolls,placemats,baskets,music instruments,jewelries etc that you find of great interest for the new product.

Our greatest difficulties have been accessing steady markets and income for our women producers.Your project will be of great interest for our organization and help empower our roraul women

Best regards


Paula LaPierre
Jul 13, 2015
Jul 13, 2015

I am interested in this as I have been working on something similiar. What would you have to offer to a collaboration?