When you think of African beads, you probably envision tribal women handcrafting beads in traditional grab to their native country. You think of all those books you read in school, like the one set in Nigeria called Things Fall Apart. You probably also begin to think of the state of many African nations today. Ripped apart by the old practices of the slave trade that left many impoverished coupled with the rampant missionary work that forced tribal systems to disintegrate, many African countries are left impoverished and destroyed by corrupt leaders who fail to care for the people they are meant to look after. Indeed, other nations have not done much to help make this situation better. The use of cheap labor and natural resource extraction by more powerful nations has left so many African countries without the resources they need. There is hope, however. New initiatives and movements are changing the way many people think about African countries and are instead working hard to encourage fair trade and fair labor practices. That is why purchasing wholesale beading supplies from a fair trade supplier can make a huge difference in the lives of the craftsmen who create the beads. When you consider the impact of fair trade purchases on the daily lives of the talented artists who create them, you learn just how important it is to spend the extra dollar in order to give someone the livelihood that they deserve.
Finding a bead supplier that can help you do this is particularly important if you are a craftsperson who frequently uses beads in their work. That is why The Bead Chest at www.thebeadchest.com is such a great company to work with. They understand the importance of fair trade, cultural preservation, and working with artisans to bring the culture and heritage of African beads out of African countries and to many people across the world. African jewelry has a long and powerful heritage of being more than just a way to decorate and adorn the body. Rather, it can express a cultural heritage and many different symbolic meanings. With this in mind, the good folks at The Bead Chest are making their bead purchases from artisans like Global Mamas, a co-op in Ghana set up specifically to allow native Ghanaian women to make an income off of the artisanal work that they do. This is a powerful way to turn the tides and make impactful changes in communities not just in Ghana, but across the world.
By purchasing beads that are ethically sourced, you not only make an impact on the women from whom you purchase the beads, but also in the world at large. Making the decision that you will support local artisans rather than be yet another person to de-value their work simply because they live and work in a nation different from your own. By supporting the work that women across Ghana and across Africa do, you have an opportunity to make an impact with your purchases. Purchase beads with this kind of heritage; make an impact.