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dZi Handmade's commitent to the 9 Fair Trade Federation Principles...

As a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation, dZi strives to create ethical business relationships to promote better wages and working conditions for the artisans and people who produce and manage the production of our products.

The Fair Trade Federation was formed in 1994 as a trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade. The Fair Trade Federation is part of the global fair trade movement, building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty.


1. Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers

dZi makes a concerted effort to create business opportunities for producer groups that might not otherwise have the chance to sell in the export market. These generally include groups that are located in more isolated areas, groups that employ less educated artisans such as recently arrived refugees from Tibet, groups that employ disadvantaged or disabled peoples, and groups that have unique talents but are not connected to more mainstream business outlets. Above all we seek to channel business to groups that are committed to their local community and fair trade practices.

Long term relationships with our Fair Trade partners bring much-needed employment opportunities in Nepal, one of the poorest economies in Asia.

2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships

dZi tells the story of its artisans through its product labeling, catalog and website. The company educates both its customers and its artisan suppliers about the many links in the supply chain so that all can understand and overcome the challenges of export and import. dZi facilitates visits by its artisans to the US market for training programs, and helps customers who wish to visit production centers in India or Nepal.

We enhance our Fair Trade relationships through hands-on training.

3. Build Capacity

dZi has worked with several of its producer partners for over 25 years! When sales of any group's products begin to lag, the company considers other marketable items for them to make. dZi avoids leaving any group behind by investing in the development of new designs for them to produce.

dZi continually invests in new design development and shares knowledge about better production techniques with its producers. One or more of the company’s design staff visits production centers at least once a year to introduce and review information on new design and market trends, develop new product ideas, and promote improved production techniques, communication, quality control oversight and working conditions as appropriate.

We build capacity by engaging one-on-one with Artisan design quality control teams to better understand and solve production challenges.

4. Promote Fair Trade

dZi actively promotes Fair Trade at the trade fairs it participates in by discussing its work and the work of the FTF with customers and other visitors. dZi highlights information about the Fair Trade work being done by its artisan groups in its marketing materials, and regularly discusses the Fair Trade agenda with its producer partners.

dZi acts as a bridge to NGOs and other independent groups that seek to support or promote Tibetan culturesuch as the International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, DC, and Tibet House in New York City.

dZi Handmade spreads the message of Fair Trade through marketing and promotional material.

5. Pay Promptly and Fairly

dZi's is committed to ensuring that the artisan and/or producer group is paid a fair and living wage in the context of the local economy. We work with the producers to balance the costs of skill, labor, materials and the production process with appropriate profit margins and income for their community in order to create a dignified and sustainable business atmosphere.

Artisans come first! Fair Trade ensures prompt payment and fair wages.

6. Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions

dZi staff visits producer and exporter facilities in India and Nepal at least once a year. To the best of ourabilities we review the working conditions at each of the production facilities we are able to visit and promote improvements such as better ventilation or improved lighting when considered necessary. We routinely ask each group to reply to an in-depth questionnaire addressing health and safety concerns. We comply with US consumer product safety protocol. We test for lead and ensure the use of safe colors and Azo-free dyes. We choose materials and packaging that are as sustainable as possible.

Proper ventilation, gloves, masks and hearing protection ensure safer and healthier conditions for traditional Tibetan singing bowl makers.

7. Ensure the Rights of Children

None ofdZi’s producer partnersemploys children in production. In fact, all of our producers assist their artisans with efforts to educate themselves and their children. Two of the company’s producer partners finance and manage a school for the children of their staff and workers and for children in the local community.

Artisans send their children to school for free through this Fair Trade
company-established school.

8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship

The company makes every attempt to avoid excessive packaging, use natural or non-toxic dyes, source locally and sustainably harvested materials, and use non-mechanized handmade production processes whenever possible. Most of the groups have systems for environmentally sound ways to dispose of waste products such as used dyes (all dyes are Azo free). Every few years we work with the producers to re-evaluate and upgrade existing facilities and working conditions to promote better environmentally sensitive practices and outcomes.

Our traditional Nepalese Lokta paper is eco-friendly and hand-made from sustainably harvested fiber of the Himalayan Daphne tree.

9. Respect Cultural Identity

dZi’s founding mission was to promote awareness and preservation of Tibetan culture through the production and sale of traditional and innovative Tibetan-style crafts. As its producer network expanded to other groups in Nepal and India, dZi also promoted the use of the unique and indigenous talents and production techniques of these groups.

Tibetan Nuns Project keeps cultural traditions alive by making authentic Tibetan Prayer Flags.

Learn more about The Fair Trade Federation at


dZi Handmade and Health Care:

All qualifying full time staff are provided with a company sponsored health care program.

dZi Handmade and Personal Development:

dZi employs unique personal and team building tools in our workplace, and encourages employees to grow within their positions.

dZi Handmade and Recycling:

We use recycled paper for printing our catalog and for general office use, as well as making every effort to recycle materials from our office and shipments.


How It's made! Here's a glimpse into our design process 


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us:

• Email: [email protected]

• Phone:1-800-318-5857 (Easthampton, Massachusetts)

• Office Hours are 9-5:30, M-F, EST

   - Please leave a message if you can’t reach one of our staff.