Mapula Embroidery Project - All about this co-operative project and BuddhaBee Collection's business practices with them

Part of the Mapula value proposition includes empowerment of the Members of the Mapula Embroidery collective by introducing them to new skills and giving them opportunities to broaden their horizon such as museum visits and participation in collaborative projects. Each embroiderer is paid for their work as it sells (you may have noticed the name tags pinned or stitched to the pieces). A percentage of the sale price goes to the cost of materials such as fabric and embroidery cottons, overhead, and to support group projects such as an educational fund, transport to clinics for women who needs to collect medication on a monthly basis, and Christmas food parcels.

BuddhaBee Collection pays Mapula their set wholesale price just as do retailers in South Africa. We mark up the price to cover shipping, exchange fees, advertising and overhead, and profit. We have had questions about whether the items are “fair trade.” Except for the Mapula Embroidery Project, BuddhaBee Collection does not trade in imported goods or in fair trade commodity markets. Just as we do with artists in the United States, and is the practice with art galleries and dealers, we pay the artist their asking wholesale price and mark up accordingly. We are not experts in international trade, but we feel that dealing directly with the artists, or in this case with their collective, is fair to the artists and to our customers.
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