Fair Anita was built on a vision--
One where women and girls can grow up feeling safe, respected, and valued no matter their geography.
We came to this vision through the simple act of listening. In 2009, our founder Joy McBrien set out to learn about violence against women in Peru, which has one of the highest rates of reported domestic violence in the world. During the months she spent building a women’s shelter in Chimbote, Peru, Joy met many survivors of domestic violence and learned about their stories of survival and resilience. Each of these women expressed that jobs are the single most important resource for women experiencing domestic violence, knowing that sustainable income would help empower them to leave an abusive partner. Joy founded Fair Anita from the lessons she learned in Chimbote, and to this day our work remains grounded in supporting women’s resilience through responsive business relationships.
Ana, fondly referred to as Senora Anita by her adoring community, is the sort of empathetic leader we aspire to be. Ana is the social worker in Chimbote, Peru, a town of nearly 400,000 people, where 80% of the population lives in extreme poverty and 70% of women report having experienced domestic violence. Ana makes each individual feel cared for, looking after everyone's needs and treating everyone fairly. Walking down the street with her, every few steps you're stopped by someone running to hug Senora Anita and thank her for her commitment to improving the lives of women and children in Chimbote. Ana taught us that when you improve a woman's life, her family and community improves right along with her. She taught us the power of women investing in other women, and it is her leadership that inspired Fair Anita.
Get a feel for Anita's genius; watch our interview with her:
Fair Anita is a social enterprise that exists to create opportunities for women and girls, selling trendy (and affordable!) fair trade products made by over 8,000 talented yet marginalized women in 9 countries. In other words, we are women investing in other women.
In 9 countries around the world, we partner with female artisan collectives and provide them with fair wages, long-term employment and business development opportunities.
By paying artisans at two or three-times+ the minimum wage, we generate income for women that helps them respond to violent gender dynamics in their community.
By committing to reliable partnerships, we help our partners grow their businesses and provide more women with paths to economic independence.
By connecting resilient and talented artisans with new markets and customers, we're helping women be leaders in their communities.
We aim to create a community of women who celebrate, support, and invest in one another's success, building a world where we can all thrive, no matter our geography.
Our fair trade brand works to empower women in four main ways:
Selling fair trade products: We invest financially in the success of our female artisan partners around the world, paying at least 3x the minimum wage and making sure women have access to the resources they need.
Promoting skill and talent development: We work with the women to increase their competencies, allowing their businesses to grow and enabling them to hire more women. By investing in women’s design skills, business acumen and pricing strategies, we're helping women be leaders in their communities on the national and international level.
Hosting workshops: As women investing in other women, we aim to inspire female entrepreneurship and provide women with business skills and resources. We do this through workshops, mentorship roles and networking events across the U.S.
Philanthropic giving: As a social enterprise, we use commercial strategies to improve human well-being. Basically, we’re a do-good business, and we use part of our profits to support other causes that further our mission of creating opportunities for women and girls around the world.
Read more about our method and our impact in our first three years of operations here:
- First Annual Benefit Report, covering impact Jan. 1, 2015- Dec. 31, 2015
- Second Annual Benefit Report, covering impact Jan. 1, 2016- Dec. 31, 2016
- Third Annual Benefit Report, covering impact Jan. 1, 2017- Dec. 31, 2017
- Fourth Annual Benefit Report, covering impact Jan. 1, 2018- Dec. 31, 2018
Our work to create dignified economic opportunities for marginalized women contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forward by the United Nations. Specifically, we seek to impact: #5) Gender Equality, #8) Decent work and Economic Growth, and #12) Responsible Consumption and Production.
Watch our Founder Joy McBrien's TEDx talk, entitled "How Women Rise" to hear more about the inspiration behind starting Fair Anita.