Redefining fair trade – A big vision for change

One of the main motivations behind starting “The Soul of India” was the idea of changing the existing market to one that is more socially just and fair. The big question was:

What kind of action is required to not only benefit some small local projects and a handful of artisans but to actually create a bigger shift that would transform the entire market permanently? What would make the big companies that are ruling the market become more conscious and adapt more ethical and sustainable business practices?

During his numerous travels to India Eugen saw many local artists and artisans producing great art and handicraft items but often under poor working conditions. At the same time it seemed that small fair trade organizations and NGO´s where not very powerful in creating a lasting change. Rules and regulations make it difficult for them to operate. Often their impact is limited to small projects and the products are sold only in small World-shops in the western countries. The selections of these shops are often quite small, in the worst case old-fashioned and not of good quality.

This vision of creating something more impactful, that would create a win-win situation for the artisans, producers and customers at the same time, ultimately manifested as a business idea and  “The Soul of India” was born.

But what sets us apart from others who have started fair trade organizations?

The vision of The Soul of India is to influence the big players, establish lasting business relationships and then guide them towards a new ethical, sustainable and fair business model. The math is simple and reminds of the “Carrot Mob” principal: If we can succeed in creating a demand for fair trade products on a bigger scale, the companies will be willing to follow. At the same time we can provide the customers around the world with more trendy products.

The five most important goals of our work are:

  • Improve the life and working conditions of laborers and artisans.
  • Make manufacturers aware of the importance of Fair Trade.
  • Keep Indian Art alive for the long term.
  • Help foreign buyers to get connected with Fair trade activities.
  • To make Fair Trade a fancy label and reliable partner.

In the next step we would also like to give customers the option of choosing more freely which project they want to support in particular.  In this way we can establish more personal connections and customers can be actively involved in the process.

There is still a lot that needs to be done to reach our goal. But we are convinced that step by step we can create a real triple-bottom-line-business model that is good for the people and the planet.

Gandhi´s famous quote summarizes it quite well: Be the change you want to see in the world.

Welcome to be part of this project!



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