You might be interested in buying fair-trade goods that directly benefit artisans and villages, but just try looking for them in a small town--or even a big one, for that matter. The CraftNetwork is one of the best and brightest online marketplaces that sells artisan fair-trade home decor, jewelry, paintings, and sculptures.
Artisans are frequently ripped off by the middlemen who sell their goods at a huge markup and pocket the profits. Fair-trade practices ensure that local artisans receive the compensation they should for their efforts. This benefits the community at large, as more artisans can feasibly work and earn a living from their trades.
The CraftNetwork features a giant selection of handmade goods from local artisans. Each item tells its creator’s story. The bamboo vase that leads off the gallery, for example, was made by Nyoman Sida of Bali, who has been working with ceramics since he was a little boy. The CraftNetwork lets you compile a list of your favorite artisans to make browsing easier.
Check out some of my favorite finds from the CraftNetwork in the gallery.