Our Story

hey there changemaker

We are guessing that, like us, you're excited about the idea of your purchases creating good in the world. We started Fair Anita in 2015 because we wanted products that were ethically-made, affordable, and actually cute!  Since then, we've partnered with 8,000 women in 9 countries who are utilizing this resource of economic self-sufficiency to create real change around the globe.  We're on a mission to create a world where women feel safe, valued, and respected no matter their geography, and we're thrilled to include you in this community.

We're building a business in the most ethical way we can dream up. That's why:

  • Our products are always fair trade, made in ethical working conditions, where our female artisan partners are paid 2-3x minimum wage plus health insurance and educational scholarships. We have full transparency around these relationships, and we'd love for you to learn more!
  • We're striving to be as eco-friendly as a consumer-driven brand can be. Nearly all our products are made from recycled materials, and we offset our carbon footprint by funding and supporting anti-climate change initiatives with our artisan partners around the world.
  • We source all materials in the local communities where our products are handmade. This stimulates the local economy, and gives us the fun challenge to figure out how to work with foreign recycled materials. 
  • We value consent in storytelling.  Though our products are made by kick-butt women around the world, we don't always talk about them a ton. We only share stories of women who have given us their full permission to talk about how awesome they are!

Sound good? Ready to put your dollars to work doing good in the world?

shop now

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Although every single member of our team now responds to the name "Anita." the namesake of our company is this spunky Peruvian woman. 

Meet Anita

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 on our blog.

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Sustainability nerds are our favorite kind of people (but if you're not quite there yet, we still love you, too!). Here's a little more about our social enterprise:

OUR METHOD

Our fair trade brand works to empower women in four main ways:

  1. Selling fair trade products: We invest financially in the success of our female artisan partners around the world, paying at least 2-3x the minimum wage and making sure women have access to the resources they need. We are PROUD members of the Fair Trade Federation, meaning an outside governing board has verified our work as meeting all the fair trade principles.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

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. 

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OUR INSPIRATION

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.

Watch our Founder Joy McBrien's TEDx talk, entitled "How Women Rise" to hear more about the inspiration behind starting Fair Anita.