Developing world's STUFF for the first world's market

hello friends.

sometimes, one’s own resources only gets one so far. when internetting, it’s always possible to miss a few clicks to inadvertently avoid the web less traveled. So I’m reaching out to you guys for help.

I’m looking to compile a comprehensive list of for-profit organizations that help (mostly) developing world communities to produce ANYTHING for the contemporary western and first world market. (Emphasis on the word “help.”) Companies/projects like this include Tom’s Shoes, the North South Project, and Cappellini “Love.” I have a pretty good list so far, but more is always better when it comes to something of this nature, so if you know of a larger company that’s doing this rather quietly or if you have a friend who’s in El Salvador making paper bowls to be sold at your other buddy’s boutique in SoHo, I’d love to hear about it.

Any help you can give is much appreciated. Thanks!


Tim, maybe you could get it rolling by posting up some of the things on your list?

They’re more of a retailer than a manufacturing aid organization, but Ten Thousand Villages sounds like they might be a good one to know about. I think they might even sell paper bowls from El Salvador…

look for “fair trade” , its not so common a term in the US, but in the UK there are many products marked Fair trade and lists of them in the association site that all cater to developing world products for the first world

who doesn’t love to see mostly ignored topics pop up again?

in case anyone is at all interested, i happened upon a great resource several weeks back:

it’s a “competition” (i guess?) that the BBC has put together the last couple years to profile organizations that do the very thing i was talking about in my original post. it’s along the same lines as the stuff shown in the ‘design for the other 90%’ show at the cooper-hewitt.

maybe you don’t care about this stuff and you’d rather draw nice lines (that was not a knock, promise) or maybe you do. either way, there it is. i love you guys.