About Team Vietnam
Meet Team Vietnam, an artisan cooperative based in Hanoi (run by 20 brilliant women!), working with over 70 artisan groups throughout the country. Fair Anita partners with one of these artisan groups with 17 women, working in a beautiful workshop about 2.5 hours outside of the capital city of Hanoi. Our partners in Vietnam specialize in handwoven silk products, a traditional form of Vietnamese craftsmanship that has struggled to compete in modern textile markets. As you drive into the weaving town, you can hear the clicking of automated weaving machines coming from every angle; families that can afford an automated machine are typically making bath towels to compete with the Chinese market. However, our fair trade artisan partners are committed to preserving this 200-year old tradition and local cultures, employing vulnerable groups and improving the quality of life for artisans around the country. Silk is spun by hand, dyed with natural materials, and handwoven to create beautiful scarves. The artisans' request for us? They're looking for customers to support them through their work so that they're able to maintain these traditions.
Team Vietnam is committed to employing mainly marginalized groups. They focus on partnering with ethnic minority groups, rural or isolated communities, people with disabilities and traditional villagers. By providing these groups with good jobs and access to national and international markets, Team Vietnam brings visibility and dignity to marginalized populations. Team Vietnam uses its profits to:
- Train artisans on technical skills
- Train artisans on business skills
- Bring traditional goods to modern markets
- Increase visibility of marginalized populations
- Improve livelihoods for artisans all over the country
How We Support Team Vietnam
We support Team Vietnam by helping them employ more women, earn higher wages and reach new customers.
- We commit to long term, reliable trade agreements that allow cooperatives to hire more women and make proactive business decisions. Team Vietnam can count on us to place continuous orders at consistent prices, and that trust results in more jobs and more job security for women.
- We recognize the difference between living wage and minimum wage, and we pay our artisans at least 2x the minimum wage in Vietnam, which is set at 125,000 Vietnamese dong per day ($5.50 USD).
Product Spotlight: Binh Scarf
This scarf is handmade by women silk weavers in traditional villages of Vietnam. Silk weaving is an ancient form of art in Vietnam, but the traditional methods of silk weaving do not exist in many villages today. The Binh scarf is named after one of the women in Team Vietnam, and her name translates to peace in English. Team Vietnam protects traditional art forms and invests in safe work environments for its employees. This scarf was made on a handloom using majority local materials and natural dyes. The thread is 40% silk, 40% linen and 20% polyester. A beautiful mixture of textures, color variations, and materials, our striped Binh scarf is one you will quickly fall in love with!
Artisan Spotlight: Mrs Tha
Mrs. Tha (her preferred name) learned the 200 year old tradition of weaving scarves from her family, as everyone in their village is a weaver. When she married at 17, she knew she wanted to start a weaving workshop with her husband to preserve the traditional craft, especially as automated machines were starting to invade her community and make products mega cheap in not-so-great conditions for the workers. Now, she sustains work for herself and 17 other women through fair trade purchases. The workshop is in 3 parts around the village: her home (the weaving area), her parents' old home (the thread-spinning area/ storage), and another workshop that's used for dying threads and silk printing any designs. Nearly all of her food comes from her garden, located right outside the workshop, and she cooks for the artisans daily.
"If we work together, we can go on and create a big glory path." - Mrs Tha