DATA

THE PROS:

Ten Thousand Villages aims to establish a sustainable market for handmade products in North America by creating opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to markets through long-term fair trading relationships. The brand reports that product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

The artisans that work for Ten Thousand Villages receive up to 50% in cash advances when an order is placed, and payment in full when an order is shipped. This capital allows artisan groups to purchase equipment and raw materials without going into debt by taking out loans with high interest rates. Ten Thousand Villages works with Shared Interest to deliver punctual payment to artisan groups.

When Ten Thousand Villages starts trading with an artisan group, the brand commits to working with the group in the long-term and to building its capacity to become successful with both commercial and fair trade buyers.

THE CONS:

Ten Thousand Villages is a Fair Trade brand. We contacted the brand to learn more about what this means and how this impacts the way in which it operates. We have not received a response yet so as such we don’t have any information on a monitoring process and what levels and how much of its supply chain it monitors.

It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

The brand does not share any information about specific programs it is implementing or collaborating on to improve the environmental impact of its suppliers.

 

/ The brand reports that sales revenue generated by Ten Thousand Villages and any surplus earned by operations is retained within Ten Thousand Villages. Surpluses are used to increase purchases from artisans and to finance the growth of Ten Thousand Villages retail network.

/ For the year ending 31 March, 2015, Ten Thousand Villages reported a net income of $1,740,867.

/ Ten Thousand Villages has 76 stores in the USA and 35 stores in Canada.

/ Ten Thousand Villages reports that it buys from more than 100 artisan groups which provides work for more than 60,000 individual people.

/ There are two branches of the Ten Thousand Villages organization, Ten Thousand Villages and Ten Thousand Villages Canada.

 

/ Ten Thousand Villages shares the names and countries of its artisan partners. The brand also shares a description of its partners, accompanied with photos and in many instances videos and additional stories.

/ The brand does not publicly disclose its artisan partners’ addresses.

The organization states that it strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).

/ Ten Thousand Villages aims to establish a sustainable market for handmade products in North America by creating opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to markets through long-term fair trading relationships. The brand reports that product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

/ The artisans that work for Ten Thousand Villages receive up to 50% in cash advances when an order is placed, and payment in full when an order is shipped. This capital allows artisan groups to purchase equipment and raw materials without going into debt by taking out loans with high interest rates. Ten Thousand Villages works with Shared Interest to deliver punctual payment to artisan groups.

/ When Ten Thousand Villages starts trading with an artisan group, the brand commits to working with the group in the long-term and to building its capacity to become successful with both commercial and fair trade buyers. Ten Thousand Villages reports that it is committed to sustaining consistent purchases each year, and strives not to decrease purchases from an artisan group from year to year. The brand states that long-term relationships give artisans a sustainable source of income that enables them to plan for the future, investing in technology and skills training in order to reach their full business potential.

/ Ten Thousand Villages is a Fair Trade brand. We contacted the brand to learn more about what this means and how this impacts the way in which it operates. We have not received a response yet so as such we don’t have any information on a monitoring process, how the brand addresses audit fatigue, what levels and how much of its supply chain it monitors and audit reports and corrective action plans.

 

Ten Thousand Villages encourages artisan partners to use environmentally friendly processes, sustainable natural resources and recycled materials. It encourages artisans to use local raw materials whenever possible and many of its artisans use natural dyes.

/ The brand states that it is working towards being more environmentally sustainable. From its headquarters to its artisan workshops, Ten Thousand Villages reports that it strives to minimize its carbon footprint. We don’t have any further information on how the brand is achieving this in its supply chain.

/ The majority of Ten Thousand Villages’ products are produced by hand.

/ Many of its artisan partners recycle materials such as newspaper, post-consumer magazines and glass to create products.

/ Several of Ten Thousand Villages’ artisan partners source sustainable wood, or “good wood,” from farms that replant trees after they are harvested.

/ Ten Thousand Villages is a Fair Trade brand. We contacted the brand to learn more about what this means and how this impacts the way in which it operates. We have not received a response yet so such we don’t have any information on animal welfare policies, whether or not the brand uses renewable energy at any stage of its supply chain, if the brand has measured its carbon footprint, if the brand has measured the water footprint of its supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its water footprint, what the brand is doing to ensure the proper treatment of water before it is returned to local waterways, and policies that are in place to limit the use of hazardous chemicals.

/ Ten Thousand Villages reports that it is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).

/ The brand strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.

/ Ten Thousand Villages aims to establish a sustainable market for handmade products in North America by creating opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to markets through long-term fair trading relationships. The brand reports that product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

/ The brand states that it is working towards being more environmentally sustainable. From its headquarters to its artisan workshops, Ten Thousand Villages reports that it strives to minimize its carbon footprint. We don’t have any further information on how the brand is achieving this in its supply chain.

/ Ten Thousand Villages collaborated with its artisan partners to refurbish two West Bank olive wood workshops in 2014. Upgrades to lighting and ventilation reduced health and safety risks for the woodworkers of the Al-Atrash workshop.

/ Ten Thousand Villages in the United States and Canada has contributed $93,000 to the Cyclone Sidr relief response led by Prokritee and Mennonite Central Committee in Agailjhara district. Most of the money will be used to help artisan families to reconstruct their houses.

/ Ten Thousand Villages donates $1.10 from every bottle of Zatoun Olive Oil its sells to “Trees for Life”, a program helping Palestinian farmers renew olive groves that have been destroyed. To date, Zatoun and Ten Thousand Villages have planted over 29,800 olive trees and hope to plant thousands more each year.

 

 

 

 

/ Ten Thousand Villages is an independent nonprofit, charitable organization (501(c)3, with an independent, 9 member board of directors.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO, Pamela A. Raffensberger, made in the last financial year.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

 

/ Ten Thousand Villages aims to establish a sustainable market for handmade products in North America by creating opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to markets through long-term fair trading relationships. The brand reports that product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

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