Via Roxy Allen: Ten Thousand Villages, the not-for-profit seller of fairly traded handicrafts founded by Mennonite Central Committee, earns a write-up in Forbes. TTV’s roots apparently go back to 1946, when a Mennonite mission worker started bringing embroidery back from Puerto Rico — last year the U.S. branch of the charity brought in $24 million. And, as Forbes has it, they’re doing well by harnessing upscale consumerism for good.
New stores are in tony suburbs, in gentrifying neighborhoods and near college campuses. The typical consumer: an educated, socially conscious woman, aged 25 to 54, with a household income of $70,000 to $100,000. She might be looking for an inexpensive wedding present, replenishing her supply of Equal Exchange coffee or browsing racks of cheap jewelry for a gift to herself she’ll feel virtuous for buying.