Ninth Annual Benefit Report

Ninth Annual Benefit Report

A note on being a social enterprise:

As a social enterprise and Public Benefit Corporation, we're for-profit AND for good. This Annual Benefit Report is a key document in assessing the impact of Fair Anita’s efforts for 2022. It provides an overview of the progress made, successes achieved, and challenges faced throughout the year.

At Fair Anita, we combine the principles of fair trade, sustainability, and advocacy with for-profit goals. This report serves as a vital tool for stakeholders to understand the impact of operations and investments on people, the planet, and profits. It also helps us identify areas for improvement to ensure that how we run our business have a positive effect on society.

Highlights for 2023:

  • Jan-Feb 2023: Successful trade show season, with 4 back-to-back trade shows. We managed the fulfillment of orders well, even though many members of our team had COVID.
  • March 2023: Fair Trade Federation conference in Long Beach, CA. This was the first in-person conference since 2019, and we had a large group from our team attend. Kam and Ethan led a workshop on building inclusive retail spaces, Mary Lind added lots of value to a session on partnering with museum stores, and Joy, as President of the Board, facilitated a number of sessions.
  • April 2023: Visited artisan partners in India for the first time since 2019. Joy and Libby were able to design products for 3 seasons in one visit!
  • May 2023: Launched our custom product offerings, with many museums (especially) choosing to add our quote cuffs or recycled brass pins to their gift shops. We have had a lot of fun brainstorming fun + relevant quotes for our customers!
  • July 2023: Our team has our third annual Fair Anita Summer Camp, a fun day filled with team-building activities and goal-setting.
  • October 2023: Launched new collections of products, specifically birthstone crystal jewelry sets, zodiac stargazer necklaces, and quote cuff collections.

Selling fair trade products. As a business, our main activity is the creation and selling of fair trade products made by around 8000 women in 9 countries. The sale of these products provides fair incomes, good working conditions, and sustainable jobs to women around the world. Part of our mission is to fill a gap in consumer markets by sourcing fair trade goods that are designed to appeal to a younger and/or more mainstream demographic and at lower prices than are average for fair trade consumers. This brings a new demographic to ethical, fair trade purchasing, which ultimately increases the opportunity for our artisan partners to create and sell their products.

Increasing capacity in design and business of artisan groups. Fair Anita not only buys and sells products from fair trade artisan groups, but we work with the women to increase their competencies, supporting their business growth, and hiring additional artisans. We work with them on design skills, which helps us be able to sell more products and increase their sales. We regularly work on business acumen as well, making sure all costs are accounted for in their pricing strategies and figuring out the best ways to improve the supply chains.

Impact of selling products on earning opportunities for women. We are proud to have maintained steady income for our partners, continuing upfront payments to artisans whenever possible. In 2023, Fair Anita generated income for women employed by our primary artisan partners in the following countries (listed in order of size of our trade partnerships): India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Chile, South Africa, Egypt. 

  • Total sent to artisan partners in 2023: $326,896.71
  • All-time total: $2,049,155.15 (1/2/2015-12/31/2023)

  • Other impact-focused work:

    • Providing mentorship and guidance to entrepreneurs across the U.S. and globally. We worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, primarily those looking to start mission-driven businesses, to help them prepare, launch, and/or scale. We worked primarily with young entrepreneurs, often meeting with students to help them think critically about their business models.
    • Anti-Racism work focused both abroad and here in the U.S. At Fair Anita, we believe that anti-racism work is absolutely critical to the feminist movement. As a social enterprise (primarily led by white women) working with artisans in 9 countries, it is of utmost importance that we are always pushing ourselves further in our understanding of anti-racism work. Joy is a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation’s JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) Committee to further anti-racism work within the larger fair trade movement, and we continue to further these conversations with our customers.
    • Donating to causes that further Fair Anita’s mission. We made donations, both in-kind and otherwise, to nonprofit organizations that support women around the world and in the Twin Cities. These include (but aren’t limited to): Women’s March, Dress for Success, Sisterhood Boutique, Ann Bancroft Foundation, Survivor’s Memorial, YWCA, and Women Venture.
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