It's Fair Trade February!
Those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe to the Manos Del Uruguay Fair Trade Newsletter know that we've dedicated the entire month of February to celebrate Fair Trade. Besides the yarn itself, it's the story behind the yarn and the people who work in the Co-Ops in Uruguay who make Manos yarns and fibers so special. From time to time, we share artisan profiles with our fiber fans; each person who works at the Co-op has a unique story and we enjoy sharing them with you!The Manos Cooperatives were founded in 1968 by five women whose goal was to develop economic opportunities for women in a country where there were (and still are) few opportunities for work. This is especially important in the more remote areas of Uruguay, as the Co-ops there provide a source of income that enables the workers to remain with their families. If you'd like to find out more about the history of the Manos Co-ops, click here. When you buy a skein of Manos yarn, you're getting much more than meets the eye! Each and every purchased skein helps a woman in Uruguay support her family and supports the Manos mission to eradicate poverty through sustainable economic development and reinvestment in marginalized artisans, farmers and producer communities. As you spin or knit with our products, you become part of the Manos story, too! Our first giveaway this month was on our Facebook Fan Page and we were astounded and thrilled to see the thoughtful and insightful comments posted in answer to our question, "what does Fair Trade mean to you?" We wish we could post them all here, but instead we'll share a random sample (click here to read all 149 comments!): "Manos is a very well organized co-op, that has given women opportunities they would have not had other wise, that's something I can always get behind!" - Catalina "It means quality and equality for maker and consumer." - Diana "Fair trade means that someone used their skill, love and ability to create and distribute something while finding joy in it themselves. This means that I am then able to do the same thing by using the material to create something else full of love and skill that can bring joy to someone else." - Antonia "Fair trade yarn means knitting without guilt." - Emily [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="294" caption="Irene"][/caption] And our winning comment: "Fair trade yarn allows for me to help support the women who have made such a beautiful product in a way that is dignified, as well as knowing where my product is coming from." - Naomi If you'd like a chance to win some free Fair Trade Yarn of your own, leave a comment on this blog post sharing something new or interesting you've learned about the Manos Cooperatives after reading this blog post (or following the links above). Be sure to also share your Ravelry ID or some way we can contact you in case you win! We'll randomly select 1 lucky winner to announce on Friday, February 24th via this blog. Good luck! (P.S. We have more chances for you to win this month - be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or join our Ravelry group to stay updated!)