For better or for worse, fair trade is beginning to become accepted as not simply good on their own right, but good for business, too. It’s social businesses like One Mango Tree -- businesses that have a story and a clear connection to the producer -- that consumers are increasingly looking for.
Founded by Halle Butvin, One Mango Tree is a fair trade clothing and accessories company that works with women artisans in Uganda to create sustainable livelihood models. While many social businesses cite fair trade as their ethos, One Mango Tree goes beyond the simplest of fair trade tenets and focuses simultaneously on social programs, market connection and job creation in order to strive for social and economic empowerment for the affected communities.
With that being said, One Mango Tree has five major strands to its mission statement: artisan identification, design assistance and training, market connection, holistic community improvements and consumer education. The artisan groups themselves are chosen based on four criteria: intuition, compassion, need and expanding opportunity.
What is admiring about One Mango Tree is the extent to which the artisans are central to the business. The homepage isn’t a collection of their clothing, but rather, it’s the faces of those who made the products. And still, One Mango Tree creates a variety of apparel and accessories -- and even less conventional fashion items, like an eye pillow, an apron and a lunch bag.
One Mango Tree hopes to set an example as a business model that goes beyond fair trade and focuses on social and economic empowerment for the communities that they work with.
One Mango Tree Website
One Mango Tree Facebook
One Mango Tree Twitter