Some brand name backpack companies have been in the news and the subject of protests and controversy on college campuses because of their use of sweatshops. Below find backpacks and bags for school and everyday use which have been made in safe conditions for fair pay and are bringing blessing to the lives of those who made them.
The Mission Lazarus social enterprise "program exists to empower local Hondurans and Haitians, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, to learn artisan skills and sustainable business development training in efforts to advance their overall education." They offer an incredible leather backpack briefcase for men.
Partners for Just Trade is a "non-profit, faith-based organization that builds partnerships between producers living in extreme poverty and consumers in North America." They sell adorable animal backpacks for kids. My 7-year-old loves his monkey backpack :) To find their products in a retail store near you, click here.
Trades of Hope sells products made by women who "have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have HIV/AIDS and leprosy...with Trades of Hope's help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of hope!" They offer an adorable turtle backpack for kids..
Krochet Kids began with the incredible story of three college-age guys who liked to crochet sharing that skill with refugee women in Uganda. "Every purchase impacts a life and every product is hand-signed by the lady who made it." They sell backpacks designed for men and women. To find their products in a retail location near you, click here.
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Ten Thousand Villages started 65 years ago with the Mennonite Central Committee to "provide sustainable economic opportunities for artisans in developing countries by creating a viable marketplace for their products in North America." They sell a beautiful cork backpack. (To also find their products in a retail location near you, click here.)