Whether they’re baskets from Kenya, embroidery from Mexico, or lapis jewelry from Afghanistan, the unique artisanal offerings from Far & Wide Collective are fair-trade goods at their most covetable.
From a young age, Danish entrepreneur Hedvig Alexander has dedicated her career to improving the lives of others. After training with Denmark’s armed forces straight out of high school, she worked for the country’s embassy as a United Nations peacekeeping officer in Georgia, and eventually landed in Afghanistan to help revitalize the local economy from the trauma of war. It was during this time, working closely with the Afghani people, that she recognized the issue blocking the success of developing economies: an inability to connect with the global market and its consumers. Determined to help impoverished artisans and crafters, especially women, launch careers beyond their own borders, Alexander founded Far & Wide Collective in 2013, hoping to spread her mission from Afghanistan to the rest of the world. The company’s colorful online shop offers authentic fair trade items from hundreds of skilled craftspeople in 15 different countries—one group consists of an 800-strong sisterhood of weavers from the Kasigau area of Kenya who produce exquisite striped baskets. “In even the most deeply conservative countries, craft production allows women to participate in the economy, empower themselves, and lift their families out of poverty,” says Alexander.