Crossroads Trade is dedicated to ensuring the survival of indigenous craft traditions around the world. On our site you will see crafts of superb quality from artisans who employ timeless techniques. In addition to seeking the finest work available, we emphasize the uncommon. Most items you will see on our website are not available in stores or online. We showcase work from producer groups whose traditions are little known in the United States. Each year we scout new locales to identify new artisans and traditions.
We’re dedicated to ensuring fair trade. The crafts are purchased directly from artisans, cooperatives, refugee communities, economic development initiatives and a limited number of wholesalers who subscribe to fair trade principles. Artisans are paid promptly, receive a fair wage by local standards and set the price for their work. Working conditions are clean, safe and accessible.
Nonetheless, artisans’ lives remain arduous. Many are in refugee camps, or destitute, in windswept villages where their traditional arts are the only viable living. Getting their products to consumers is a formidable barrier. Often artisans walk many miles to bring their work from the villages. Often artisans have no access to packing and shipping supplies and each country has its own regulations for export of goods. Finally, the United States has costly and onerous regulations for goods coming into the U.S., particularly textiles. In each case, Crossroads Trade works with the artisans to find a way to bring their goods to market.