I recently stumbled upon a fantastic fair trade company called dsenyo, which sells beautiful clothes, accessories and jewelry, and I became smitten for several reasons. First, and perhaps most obviously, the products are colorful, unique and evoke a feeling of joy. Secondly, dsenyo is a fair trade company, meaning that the women who produce the beautiful goods receive training, support, raw materials and fair wages along with the work. Lastly, the artisans they support are from Malawi, Zambia and Brazil, and I have a personal connection with these places.
I have been to all three of these countries and I lived in Malawi for five of the most transformative months of my life. When I was in Malawi in 2003, I witnessed firsthand people who were desperate for work, competing for what little tourism market existed in the small village where I lived. Many of the locals that were artisans created beautiful wood carvings and jewelry, but the artisans all seemed to create the same designs as one another and so the tourists had bargaining power. To know that fair trade companies are a growing trend in Malawi, and artisans are receiving a fair wage for their beautiful work makes me very hopeful.
Check out their story and products on the dsenyo website!
And enjoy some photos from my time in Malawi …