Ten Thousand Villages making millions

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.

2 thoughts on “Ten Thousand Villages making millions

  1. When I saw this article in Forbes (not that I like Forbes but I got a free subscription), I was stunned!

    TTV really did start the Fair Trade movement.


    Do you think they have enough profit to help MCC’s revenues?

  2. Yeah, probably the biggest surprise about the article is that Forbes carried it. Millions in revenue isn’t the same as profits, of course — but I have to wonder if MCC are wishing they hadn’t spun TTV off back in 2000.

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