Fair Trade Knitters™ services are provided by a cooperative of professional knitters in Ecuador. Our knitters reside in a remote area in the Andes Mountains where the poverty rate is high and job opportunities are scarce. Lack of child care makes it difficult for mothers to work, even if they are fortunate enough to find employment. The cooperative provides a way for these women to make a living by knitting, a skill that has been passed on in Ecuador from generation to generation.
Their member-owned, democratically managed cooperative allows these women to take control of their lives. It not only provides them with steady income, it also builds their self-esteem and gives them a unique opportunity to socialize within their isolated community. A portion of the cooperative’s profits is reinvested into the community, providing funds for public health programs and training.
The United Nations encourages the formation of such cooperatives and sees them as an important tool in their goal of reducing world poverty by half. Currently, almost half of the world’s population is living on less than $2 a day. The power of cooperatives to provide long-term employment opportunities makes them an effective weapon in the fight against poverty.