At Manos Zapotecas, we feel very fortunate to have a such a stellar community of like-minded fair trade fashion brands within the Fair Trade Federation. We have connected with six of them in order to bring our greater community five weeks of giveaways building up to World Fair Trade Day on May 11th. For Week 3, WorldFinds, in conjunction with GREENOLA STYLE, is offering up a gorgeous Floral Paisley Scarf and Threaded Tassel Bracelet Set on Facebook and an earring/bracelet set on Instagram.
WorldFinds mission is to create positive change, build hope, and design beautiful, sustainable products for a better world. It’s a business using fashion and design to combat poverty.
We caught up with WorldFinds to learn more.
1. How and why was WorldFinds started?
The idea for WorldFinds began in the middle of a yearlong backpacking trip around the world. I had spent much of that time in the developing world – different parts of Africa, the Middle East, and finally Asia. After seeing the overwhelmingly vast need, I knew I wanted to do something to help on a global scale. When I was in Nepal I met a fellow traveler from New Zealand who mentioned visiting a women’s cooperative to get a gift for her mom – because she was really into fair trade. My curiosity was piqued and I needed to know more! I went with her, and suddenly I was clear about what I was going to do next in my life. The name “WorldFinds” came to me one day on a mountain in Nepal. The remainder of the trip was spent learning about the different issues the artisans faced, their family and community needs, challenges, talents, etc. and exactly what the business would look like. When I returned to the States I started it full time and it has been my passion ever since!
2. Would you like to talk about your mission, vision and commitment to fair trade?
We are fully committed fair traders – who believe empowering women is the first step to improving life in the developing world. The first thing the women we work with say is that they don’t want charity, they want work. That’s why the concept of fair trade is so sustainable – it goes above and beyond a temporary solution, and provides marginalized women with fair wages, training, education, stability and dignity. Fair trade accomplishes a huge amount – but there is always more to do! As orders grow, the entire community benefits – more development takes place, more girls are educated, women and their families have hope.
3. Can you give me a bit of insight into your design and production process?
We have a wonderful designer on our team, and we work closely with our artisan groups in regards to design. We know their talents but do try to push the envelope a little to challenge them to learn new techniques and continually improve. We also work on incorporating new, unexpected materials into designs – recycled, repurposed, or sustainable whenever possible. We design two primary new collections per year, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter that coincide with the trade shows, and often add additional seasons when we feel like something more is needed. Maybe a “Summer 2” or Valentine’s. We work with different artisan groups in India for our costume/trend jewelry and accessories collections, and a group in Bali for our sterling silver collections.
4. Who is your typical consumer and how does your brand fit in to their fashion sense and lifestyle?
We are realizing as we grow that our typical consumer fits more into an aesthetic rather than an age group. We are B2B, and our designs do well in a range of stores from style-driven boutiques, to art museum shops, and eclectic gift stores. Of course ethically-focused fair trade shops are the most perfect mesh with our mission. Our end user is well educated, loves to read and travel, and while she is conscious of current trends, she has an independent-minded aesthetic. And is super stylish! She likes unique jewelry and accessories that make a statement and also have an amazing story behind them.