Can Earrings Change the World?

When we see suffering in the world, our immediate response is to give. Charities originally formed from our big-hearted desire to help the less fortunate. However, if you watched the documentary Poverty, Inc., you know that the current foreign aid system is completely broken.

Handouts actually hurt the local economy of the country we’re trying to help. While free food and free shoes might alleviate immediate discomfort for the poor, charities condition them to be dependent on the poverty industry instead of learning the skills to be self-reliant. As experts in the documentary state, commerce—entrepreneur capitalism—is the answer for third world countries to thrive. Countries do not develop on aid. They develop on trade.

Most people, when given the choice, want to contribute to society in a meaningful way. Acquiring marketable skills and working gives them dignity, purpose and the pride of earning for their families. In developing countries, what people really need are jobs.

For the global economy to benefit everyone, modern slavery should not be part of the equation. If companies can’t trace their supply chain, they are turning a blind eye on employees working in sweatshops. Needless to say, I’d much rather buy from fair trade companies who shout their good ethics from the rooftops.

dharla-earrings-threads-worldwide

Threads Worldwide is one such company. Established in 2011, they employ women in different countries to make artisan jewelry. Helping people help themselves to become their own creators of wealth is the best model to end poverty. Companies need to treat the poor as colleagues, instead of as helpless victims.

Through fair trade, Threads Worldwide empower women with the opportunity to make their dreams come true, from sending their children to school, or helping them start their own businesses.

These dainty crystal and gold Dharla earrings are made in Asia, by a survivor of the sex trade.

To be honest, at first I found it jarring to associate a pretty piece of jewelry to the sex trade. Not many people want to think about the dark corners of the world, especially when shopping to beautify ourselves, but now I think the association is positive. These earrings symbolize how a woman can transform the ugly into the beautiful, and make other women feel more beautiful.

parbat-earrings-threads-worldwide

These fun and colourful Parbat earrings are handmade from upcycled Kantha fabric in India. The artisans reinvest their income into their children’s schools.

At the end of the day, my purchasing decision is still based on the quality of the product. Fortunately, these Threads earrings check all the boxes. Not only are both pairs even more beautiful in real life, they are well-made, ethically sourced, and they contribute to the livelihood of women, their families, their communities and the global economy.

Not a bad deal for earrings.

What are your favourite fair trade companies? Let me know in the comments below!

This is a sponsored post from Threads Worldwide. Story, opinions, and editorial direction are my own.

Learn more about Threads Worldwide from my blogger buddies in the Ethical Writers Coalition: —Saiint SistersLeotie LovelyMy Kind ClosetEcologique Fashion.