Where we live in North Africa, there are few available jobs and many of those pay very low wages. Woven With Hope was started with the goal of empowering our Arab neighbors to provide for themselves. Our artisans are proud people, not looking for hand-outs or pity. They are lacking opportunities, and we hope to bridge the gaps they face because of their gender, their class, and their lack of education.
We aim to support our local North African businesses as much as possible. We purchase nearly all of our supplies within a couple hour drive of where we and our artisans live, mostly from other small businesses rather than large companies.
The palm fronds used in our wall-hangings and ornaments come from a man who makes date palm furniture up the road from where we live. The fabric and buttons for our clutches and the leather for our wallets come from the local craft market in the nearby city. Our wool comes from a small village a couple hours away where a centuries-old weaving tradition is still hanging on.
We value community and believe strongly in the impact our purchasing choices can have on the communities where we live. We also see the ways technology can be used to shrink distances and overcome differences. We’re proud to be able to connect our artisans and community to you and your community.
Our goal is to build a business that will have a long-lasting impact rather than providing quick-temporary relief to needs. We want to pursue a business model that is not dependent on any one person, but that can adapt to changing personnel and circumstances.
While we cannot begin to express our gratitude for all of those who have volunteered their time and donated their resources to get us this far, we also look towards the day when this project can stand on its own feet. We believe that for-profit business which are built with intent and which keep people at their center can achieve lasting community transformation.
The sustainability of our environment is also important to us. We work entirely with natural materials, in incredibly low-impact processes.
Most of the yarn we use is actually a byproduct of sheep which are raised for meat. The coarseness of the wool makes it unsuitable for clothing, but it works beautifully for our rustic home goods and accessories. Our products are designed to last, but they are also easily repurposed as cleaning rags when they have begun to show wear, and in the end can simply be composted.
Our leather goods are also made with hides from local animals raised for meat, and many hides are discarded. We are happy to instead turn these “waste” products into something beautiful and useful.
“Fair Trade” is often synonymous with expensive, and for good reason. It costs more to pay people fairly, to not cut corners or labor costs in pursuit of profit. However, at Woven With Hope, we believe we all have the responsibility to love and support our neighbors, not only those of us with large disposable incomes.
As we expand our product selection, it is our intention to always carry items which could be purchased by customers of almost any socio-economic status. The women who partner with us receive fair compensation, but we strive to keep our other expenses like shipping and packaging as low as possible so our products can remain as affordable as possible.
We can all play a part in supporting and empowering others.