WU’s Nest and Ten Thousand Villages partner for upcoming holiday season

A fair trade pop up store educates and involves the Waynesburg community for a limited time during the holiday season. Ten Thousand Villages, a company that utilizes fair trade, will be set up in the Nest to sell their products. 

As stated, the main focus of Ten Thousand Villages is fair trade. Fair trade offers a living wage to people from developing nations. This wage pays for items like food, education, homes and future endeavors. The artisans making these products are paid in full before their product leaves their country. They also utilize a maker-to-market movement which involves keeping the economy fair and “empowers” artisans, according to the Ten Thousand Village Website 

“You can trust that every purchase and donation you make directly impacts the life and community of its maker in an under-resourced community. Together we break the cycle of generational poverty and ignite social change,” their website states. 

This company sells products such as jewelry, blankets, pillows and more. These products are from Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines as well as a number of other locations globally. 

Cassy Dorsch, director of the Nest, had an internship with Ten Thousand Villages during her time as a student at Waynesburg University. Due to her relations with the company, Dorsch reached out hoping they could have the opportunity to sell their products during the holidays. 

“What fair trade does is it makes sure that the people who are producing, whether it is chocolate or coffee, apparel or handmade crafts, that they are making a living wage and are able to support their families from what they are creating,” Dorsch said. 

Their mission is to provide ethical work for artisans who do not have access to economies of scale in developing countries.  This all started with their founder Edna Ruth Byler in 1946. 

“I’m just a woman trying to help other women,” according to a quote by Byler on the organization’s website. 

According to Dorsch, up to this year, Ten Thousand Villages is working with 120 artisan groups within 35 countries. They are a founding member of the World Trade Organization. The unique nature of this store makes it stand out from other retail stores. 

Aside from Dorsch, two other women are working closely with this organization, with those two being Raelyn Bowser, the student manager and intern at the Nest, and Karlee Anderson, the graduate assistant for the Nest. Working with Ten Thousand Villages has had an impact on them both. 

“I know there’s a lot of women and a lot of countries that are underemployed, not employed,” Anderson said. “This company is able to help them and provide them money for food and resources.”

“It will help our environment down the road because we’re using sustainable products,” Bowser said. “Instead of stuff going to waste, it’s used to where the people can make a living.”

Ten Thousand Villages pop up will be here from the middle of November to the middle of December for the holiday season in the Nest. There are unique, fair trade-items that will be sold during the Christmas season.