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Fair Trade Practices

Folk Art Mavens strives, to the best of its ability, to follow fair trade practices.

What does FAIR TRADE mean?

A Fair Trade Business must:

Strive to create direct relationships with the producers

Pay fair wages and make money available to producers in advance for purchasing materials

Work to improve the producers' ability to market their products

Make a tangible contribution to the artisan or the artisans' community by providing a financial premium or offering help in meeting community-specific needs

Engage in environmentally sustainable practices



How we create direct relationships
Folk Art Mavens meets with the actual producers whenever possible. This ensures that we know the source of the products we sell. Because Folk Art Mavens works with 'threatened communities', it is not always possible to meet with the producers due to military closures, roadblocks, and curfews - particularly in the case of artisans in the Gaza Strip. In these cases, Folk Art Mavens buys those artisans' products through reputable cooperatives or non-profits that work directly with the producers and are known to pay fair wages.

How we pay fair wages and make money available to producers in advance for purchasing materials
Because we meet directly with the producers, we are able to personally negotiate with them regarding fair prices as well as quality standards. This ensures the our customers know that they are not only getting the best quality product possible, but it is also being produced by someone being paid fairly for their efforts.

How we work to improve producers' ability to market their products

Folk Art Mavens spends a great deal of time educating the public about the artisans and their crafts through its web site, through its participation at international cultural festivals and within middle schools, high schools, and colleges. The goal is to increase public appreciation for the traditional crafts, raising the value of the products for both buyers and producers. We want the artisans to succeed, and want them to be able to market successfully to the western world. We work with producers to help them develop products that reflect their traditions and that will be attractive to westerners.

How we make tangible contributions to artisan communities

The communities that Folk Art Mavens works with have great needs. Specifically, Folk Art Mavens helped purchase costumes for traditional dabke dancers in Ayda refugee camp, Bethlehem. More generally, Folk Art Mavens donates 5% of its profits to American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) which goes to needs within the broader community.

How we engage in environmentally sustainable practices

Folk Art Mavens attempts to run its business in an environmentally sustainable way. When possible, we reuse packing materials to reduce the impact on the environment. We visit the artisans and family-run workshops that we deal with to observe the practices within the business.

Folk Art Mavens believes that the traditional arts should be available to and appreciated by all - from the struggling student or worker to the wealthy. With that belief in mind, Folk Art Mavens strives to provide quality traditional products at a range of prices. We care about the artisan producers and about our buyers, and work hand-in-hand with both to try to make this a fairer and more beautiful world.