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COVID-19's Global Impact

COVID-19's Global Impact

Posted by Sasha Wong on May 20th 2020

     The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to think outside the box and reimagine how we live our day-to-day lives. While we begin to adjust to our new reality, it is of paramount importance that we remember our Fair Trade Decor family members and artisans living and working overseas. Most of our artisans live in rural or impoverished communities where the majority of residents have limited access to quality healthcare and sustainable incomes. Thanks to fair trade initiatives and the support of incredible individuals like you, our artisans have access to sustainable incomes, healthcare, education, and adequate housing. However, this does not mean that they are untouched by the COVID-19 virus.

     As each country develops their own policies of social distancing and quarantine orders, artisans who are used to working in clean and safe workplaces are beginning to transition to working in their own homes. Our partners in Cambodia are splitting their staff into small work groups and encouraging at-home work whenever possible. Even during the pandemic, all artisans are still being paid in-full, ensuring that they are able to continue to provide for their families and themselves even in these unfortunate circumstances. Similar situations are playing out in Chile, with the government imposing mandatory curfews and stay-at-home orders as the virus rocks the nation. Luckily, the majority of our partners in Chile already work at home. 

     One of our partners in Ghana is especially feeling the financial burden of the virus. After their business narrowly survived Ebola, they were forced to take out loans to avoid further financial losses. As they are still repaying this debt, they are unable to borrow more money to help them survive COVID-19. While they are trying to work at-home to produce inventory, they are struggling with a reduced number of orders as businesses across the globe have been forced to shut their doors in response to COVID-19. All staff members have agreed to take a pay cut in solidarity, hoping to cut financial losses to the business. While they are still able to provide for themselves and their families, the income decrease is far from ideal. Their open willingness to take a pay cut to support their company demonstrates the strong sense of family which fair trade creates. 

     We are beyond grateful for the continued support from our loving community and dedicated customers. While we are continuing to adjust to this new reality and its global implications, we are overjoyed that we are able to continue to serve our community while supporting global artisans. As California advances in our reopening phases, we have been allowed to open our store for curbside shopping. In addition, we are continuing to offer free Coronado delivery and free shipping within the continental United States on online orders. We hope you are all staying safe and remembering to take care of yourselves during these unique times. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and NextDoor to stay up to date with sales and new products coming soon!