With so many brands being on sale and jostling for our attention at this time of year, the “noise” can be overwhelming. While we agree with some commentary on social media around the negative impacts of over-consumption, we also believe promotions can be a force for good. There are ways and means that business can do better for both people and planet, even while having a sale, and we would like to take this opportunity to share how we’ve done things differently at The Dharma Door for almost 20 years.
At the heart of our philosophy is the belief that Fair Trade is not just a transaction but a genuine partnership built on respect, dignity and sustainability. Each time we visit our artisan partners in Bangladesh, the last thing they always say to us is “Please give us more orders!”. This stays with us everyday in everything we do. It’s what drives us to grow our business so we can continue to place regular orders, it’s what motivates us to design products that our customers will love, and it’s also one of the reasons why we choose to have occasional promotions.
The reality for our artisan partners is, like many of us, they have been faced with increased living costs and reduced orders this year. For them - living in rural communities in a developing country - the impacts are far greater than we could imagine from our relatively comfortable position. That’s why our end-of-year sale is more important than ever before. Put simply, the more individual pieces we sell, the more work we are able to provide to the artisans. When our customers support us through purchases, they play a crucial role in enabling this process. It goes beyond a one-time sale; it's a commitment to uplifting the artisans' livelihoods and a step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
True to our belief that beauty and sustainability can coexist harmoniously, all of our products are handcrafted with natural fibres and dyes, sourced from the artisans’ local regions. Our intentional choice to design functional and timeless pieces that are made by hand is about more than aesthetics - it is a commitment to keeping craft skills alive across generations. Compared to mass production, handcrafting also significantly reduces negative environmental impacts by minimising waste, energy consumption and the use of harmful chemicals. Importantly, it allows artisans to work from their homes, empowering them to earn a fair income while staying close to their families, reducing the need for migration and contributing to the socio-economic fabric of their local community.
Our artisan partners are not just workers; they are an integral part of our extended Dharma Door family and we have immense pride in the meaningful relationships we've built with them over many years. As a Fair Trade brand our mission extends beyond creating beautiful goods; we are deeply committed to working with artisans for the long term, ensuring they have regular orders and are paid fairly for their time and skills. We are dedicated to their well-being and development, taking a holistic approach that includes contributing to training, superannuation, healthcare, and educational opportunities for their children. It's not just about creating products for us; it's about creating a positive ripple effect with the aim of building a sustainable future for the artisans, their families and communities.
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