Hi, Sarah here from the Merchandise team. About a year ago, Marell, a co-worker of mine, and a partner (employee) from our Supplier Social Responsibility department, traveled to Rwanda, Kenya, and South Africa with the goal of bringing back vibrant, authentic materials that we could incorporate into our products and share with our customers.
Working with Fair Winds Trading, we are able to do just that—and take it a step further: we’re on our way to building a continuous business relationship with several rural communities in Africa. This allows talented artisans to weave together something more than just fabric. They can take progress into their own hands and seek opportunity through creativity. The results bring stability and sustainability to regions where hardship is the status quo, but where a rich culture and optimism shine through. We are proud to announce the launch of our Africa artisan collection to sell beside our seasonal African coffees starting on June 30.
My favorite products from the line are the reusable fabric bags made from 100% cotton and handcrafted by artisans from Rwanda. Offered in two different patterns, one symbolizing community and the other positive change, the purchase of these bags (U.S. retail- $ 12.95) connects you to a community of craftspeople who are working to create a better life for themselves and their families. I love being able to reuse the bag over and over again, especially because it’s the perfect size for carrying a pound of coffee beans, pastry purchases or even a lunch! And while the totes can also double as a gift bag to be accompanied with a coordinating tumbler, there is no greater gift than being able to help a cause that goes beyond the seams of a bag.
This blog was inspired by an idea: Bring your own bag!