Innovation That Matters

Earth Heir founder Sasibai Kimis (left) meets with the Mah Meri artisans who weave mengkuang for Earth Heir's products. | Photo source Earth Heir

Ethical accessory brand celebrates heritage crafts

Fashion & Beauty

The Fair Trade company works closely with artisans to help develop their businesses

Spotted: Social enterprises are a type of business that earns profits for the benefit of a local community. One such organisation in Malaysia, the Earth Heir accessory brand, works with weavers and jewellers to produce handmade bags, baskets, jewellery, stationery, and more. The company spent more than a year earning its Fair Trade certification by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), and works with refugees as well as local artisans.

Earth Heir helps individuals and groups of artisans design a product to sell. The company then provides additional support in the form of education and training for sustainable business longevity. As well as selling directly from its website, the company also accepts commercial commissions for events and individual products and matches artisans with requests.  

The Made51 jewellery line is the result of the brand’s partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Making the jewellery helps people in some of the most insecure situations improve their finances – something that is particularly powerful in locations where the host country does not allow refugees to work.  

With ethical consumption becoming a more common goal for many people, artists around the world are providing the means to shop sustainably. Springwise has spotted a South African social enterprise working with young people with disabilities and special needs to help them earn a living from their craftwork. And an e-commerce platform centred on Mexican handicrafts provides a transparent supply chain that supports some of the country’s most vulnerable artists.  

Written by: Keely Khoury



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