Giving never looked so good. This Christmas, as you look for the perfect gift for that special someone, you can also do a little good in the world with a purchase that helps empower women entrepreneurs.
Each one-of-a-kind, handmade item in our 5by20 artisan collection is created by a female artisan using her creativity and resourcefulness to turn packaging (sometimes discarded as waste) into beauty. It’s better than guilt-free shopping; it’s do-good shopping.
These incredible women are part of our global 5by20 initiative, which aims to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020.
Artisans from our 5by20 programme receive design and business skills training, access to market and sometimes the materials they need to support their trade. Your purchase provides income to the women artisans who handmade the beautiful items.
So if you’re looking for a gift that gives back this season – or just a thoughtful gift that stands out from the crowd – look no further than these three items:
Artisan Group: Acacia Creations, Kenya
This fun Elephant ornament is the ultimate eco-friendly piece! It's handmade in Kenya from recycled aluminium cans and bound with recycled telephone wire.
Created by Acacia Creations, the mission of whom has always been to improve lives in a long-lasting and sustainable way. Acacia goes beyond fair trade by creating jobs, providing training, and giving back to the community through education and healthcare initiatives.
Also, because all of their items are made from reclaimed and recycled materials, the more Acacia sells, the more is kept from landfills. Since 2007 Acacia has been working directly with hundreds of craftsmen and women in Nairobi and across East Africa to improve their skills and product designs and thus their livelihoods.
Artisan Group: çöp(m)adam, Turkey
Handmade from recycled Coca-Cola bottle caps by Turkish women, this purse is handy, trendy and one-of-a kind. At 14cm x 9cm, it conveniently fits make-up, change, business cards and more, and is perfect for women of all ages. The purse is also available in grey.
The self-dubbed “garbage ladies” of the çöp(m)adam artisan group are pros at transforming trash into eco-chic accessories. Located in Western Turkey, çöp(m)adam strives to provide women with livelihoods, while also reducing waste. Many of the women had never earned a living before joining the group and receiving training through Coca-Cola’s 5by20 programme. Now, their beautiful items are sold throughout the world.
Artisan Group: Purple Community Fund, Philippines
Available in red, orange, black or grey, this eco-friendly bracelet is made entirely from locally sourced, recycled aluminium ring-pulls and elasticised thread. It’s the perfect accessory to any outfit, appropriate for both casual and dressy occasions.
The women of the Purple Community Fund (PCF) in the Philippines create products with natural materials combined with recycled Coca-Cola bottles and cans. Not only does the work provide a living for these women, but it also helps to keep trash off the streets of their communities.
In the poorest areas of the Philippines, women and children struggle to make a living scavenging trash heaps for reusable materials. By providing women with the necessary skills and tools to repurpose recyclable material into beautiful creations, PCF helps women advance their businesses, enabling them to buy essential household items and providing them with better access to education for their children.
Jocelyn Pacrin, a single mother of four living in the squatters’ area of Manila in the Philippines explains, “My biggest inspiration in my life is my kids and my mother. I am inspired to provide for their needs and to finish their studies … I was able to earn my own money and take care of my children on my own.”
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