Border Partners presented the Fair Trade products of Palomas Oilcloth Designs at an Alternative Black Friday Sale in El Paso on the day after Thanksgiving. Our table participated with many local and international nonprofit organizations that sold artwork, jewelry, household goods, clothing and fashion accessories, and photography crafted by–and directly benefiting–economically challenged peoples.
“When you give a Fair Trade gift, your gift gives twice,” Border Partners founder Polly Edmunds reminded shoppers. The customers, appreciating the quality of the products, didn’t need urging to purchase aprons, cosmetic bags, place mats, tablecloths and bags for gifts.
Why an Alternative Black Friday Sale? Volunteer Billie Greenwood explained that the effort offered shoppers, who traditionally purchase holiday gifts on the day after Thanksgiving, with a more personal and constructive alternative to the commercialization that can creep into holiday gift-giving.
“By supporting local enterprise in developing countries and challenged communities right here on the U.S.-Mexico border we can make a positive difference. By encouraging employment we’re supporting dignity and human rights. People are able to provide for themselves and their families.”
The Palomas Oilcloth Design products are crafted by a group of seven women who design and sew on Mexican oilcloth to earn a stable income. Because Palomas is plagued with an astronomical rate of unemployment, the women’s initiative has made a significant difference for their families. They hope to attain full ownership of the business in the future; currently, the coop relies on Border Partners for support.
Palomas Oilcloth Design products are available for sale online at the group’s Etsy site: MXwomen’sHope.