We Partner With Fair Trade Artisans
Voyage Fair Trade’s mission is to support people living in poverty by giving them a chance to lead a better and fairer life. We partner with fair trade artisans across the world, with the goal of making their gifts and crafts available to a wide audience. At the same time, we aim to bring our customers some of the most beautiful and unique items from different cultures around the world.
Meet Sam Birtwistle, the owner and founder of Voyage Fair Trade
Whilst studying Sociology and Economics at university, I became interested in other cultures and understanding how countries develop.
Post-university, I visited China, India and Indonesia. These travels highlighted the imbalance of wealth in the world and this naturally led to me becoming interested in fair trade. I saw it as a way to try to help alleviate poverty in developing countries and to promote the skills of their talented artisans, while at the same time trying to make a living myself!
I founded Voyage Fair Trade in 2013, selling online and in local markets. In 2014, I opened a high street shop in Teignmouth, Devon, UK. In 2015 and 2016, I was proud to receive Gold in the South West Fair Trade Awards, which is a reflection of our passion for fair trade and ethical sources. In 2017 I moved to larger premises in Teignmouth and now run workshops and provide studios for local artists. Today, I sell all over the UK and internationally, and hope to continue to promote Fair Trade together with the great work that I have discovered local artisans and artists produce.
We strictly and enthusiastically adhere to the 10 fair trade principles and we meet the minimum requirements of having 80% of stock that is fair trade. As a result, Voyage Fair Trade is now a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS) giving us the right to call ourselves a genuine fair trade company.
We recently moved to a bigger premises and have adopted a similar approach with giving a fair trade to local UK independent artisans and artists, making sure they can continue with their ethical approaches. We also hold exhibitions to show their work, as well as holding art workshops for the local community. This side of the business is known as Voyage Art and you can visit our Voyage Art website to see what we have to offer local Devon communities.
You can find out more about Sam and the Voyage Fair Trade journey on the blog.