I love worldly finds from independent craftsmen like one-off bags, artisan jewelry and handmade home accessories. Whenever I go on holiday I bring back jewelry and home decorations because, for one it is unique, and secondly, I like to have souvenirs of my travels that are timeless, and wearable or functional. In addition, buying from the local people helps them to maintain their business so I gladly risk a little excess baggage for the stretch home.
Therefore I was very excited to find out about discovered., an online marketplace where you can buy global handmade products directly from the artisans. What I love about discovered. is that you can see and read the artisans background and story, e.g. about the Artesenas Campesinas, a group of farmer’s women from rural areas in the Tecalpulco region, Mexico, who support their families by making traditional handcrafted jewelry. Or the Cooperative Tagmat, a group of women in a village of Tizgaine 70 KM south of Marrakech, who make traditional carpets.
Once you set up your profile you are ready to shop, or you can share your own story about a product you bought overseas, an artisan you met while travelling. By cutting out all middlemen, artisans receive at least 20% more for their products. This is what I call fair trade! I selected a few products I like, and you can buy online now:
- A jute rug made in Bangladesh by a fair trade cooperative that creates work and training opportunities for underprivileged women.
- A burlap and leather iPad sleeve from Surabaya-Indonesia. It’s handmade and handpainted from Burlaps and rice sacks combined with leather and Indonesian traditional fabrics.
- A bamboo, Samsung cover with engraved Indonesian traditional art work
- A notebook from Bangladesh. The notebook is covered with reused sari fabric with a design of small leaves. The paper is made from 100% jute, from leftover waste.
- A camel leather tote, Hand crafted from the Jawaja Artisans Alliance in Rajasthan.