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Today, November 16th, Global Handmade Hope would like to celebrate the United Nations International Day for Tolerance.

In light of today’s current social climate, it seems to be especially clear how important it is to acknowledge and practice this message of cultural respect, toleration and dignity.

As members of the Fair Trade Federation,  respecting cultural identity is one of our core beliefs.  It is one of the nine main principles that govern our business relationships.

Listed below are all of the 9 main points that we are proud to say we practice each and every day.

1.  Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers

2.  Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships

3.  Build Capacity

4.  Promote Fair Trade

5.  Pay Promptly and Fairly

6.  Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions

7.  Ensure the Rights of Children

8.  Cultivate Environmental Stewardship

9.  Respect Cultural Identity

So this all great, right?  But, how does this play out in daily life?  I thought I would provide you a real life example to help you gain a better understanding of how we put these core beliefs into practice.

Last year we approached our Peruvian artisans with some ideas for Halloween products.   Did you know that in some cultures, they do not celebrate Halloween?  This is the case in Peru.  Our artisans feel that the holiday should not be celebrated for religious reasons.  Even though we have worked with these partners for years they were timid about letting us know that making these items would go against their beliefs.  They were worried that their beliefs may hurt our working relationship.  In fact, it only strengthened our relationship as true friends and valued business partners.  I am proud to say that not did we respect their position, we brain stormed together and came up many additional items for them to make for you.  We will always honor and respect cultural identity!

Below are a few links to the additional products that we had our friends and partners produce.

hand knit alpaca nativity from Peru

hand knit santa sleigh with reindeer

hand knit turkey with pilgrim hat and corn

I urge you to think about, tolerate and yes, respect others even when your point of view is different.  

 

If you would like additional information about the principles that Fair Trade Federation members follow, please visit their website at fairtradefederation.org

 

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