KeapSake
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Who We Are
 

About

 
 
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Sophia Willcocks with Uganda 2000 artisan

OUR VISION

KeapSake was founded with the hope of creating employment opportunities in developing countries so that people can earn sustainable incomes and, in doing so, work towards eliminating poverty. We believe the best people to help communities are those that are part of them. Rather than enacting temporary relief measures or sending money as part of short-term aid, we want to invest in communities so that they are empowered to create change for themselves.

At KeapSake we believe in the saying that the people closest to the problem are closet to its solution. By working together with artisans in emerging economies we support local craft development, as well as celebrate the skills of each region. 

Through trade, families and predominately women who often have limited access to paid work, are able to gain economic independence, preserve traditional crafts and create brighter futures for their children. Direct trade creates better educated, prosperous and more stable societies which, we believe, makes the world a better place.


THE PRODUCTS

We believe that our homes should be reflections of the journeys we take. Our personal spaces deserve designs with a soul, a story and a purpose. We want you to feel good about the products that you buy, how you decorate your home and the gifts that you give. At our core is the exploration of how it is made - the story of the product. Where each will have an imprint of the culture within which it was made and the hands that created it. 

The curated collection at KeapSake is either designed or hand-picked by us. Products that are functional and beautifully handcrafted, yet also responsibly made in an ethical and sustainable way. We focus on high quality products that are made to last. As things used to be before the 'throw-away' society over took us. Less 'fast fashion' and more of an emphasis on the more sustainable small batch 'slow production'. As we believe that 'cheap' can actually work out to be more expensive....in the long run.  

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THE NAME

KeapSake - a play on words with a word that holds meaning for many of us. Keepsakes are mementos. Special items that remind us of people or events. All the products that feature on KeapSake bear the mark of the people that make them and convey the story of that country and it's culture. By bringing them into your home, you are sharing in that story. 

We hope that the items purchased through KeapSake will last, be kept so to speak, for years to come. So that their story can be passed on while contributing to a more sustainable way of life, by avoiding landfills. 

Lastly, if you are looking on this site then hopefully you also believe in the social and economic benefit of buying ethically made goods. In buying items for the 'sake' or welfare of others. At KeapSake we seek to support local village, home or co-operative organisations that follow fair-trade and sustainability principles where possible. 

SUSTAINABLE CHANGE

At KeapSake, we believe that charitable efforts, while noble, do not provide a long-term solution to poverty. Our use of impact sourcing focuses on economic development, creating stable jobs that pay decent wages and build skills to address big problems like poverty, hunger and human rights abuses. We believe that if we can stand shoulder to shoulder with those in need and seek local solutions to local problems, then positive change can happen. 

When you shop KeapSake, your purchase sets a chain reaction in motion for long-term impact. 

1) Individual: When you shop, you make a direct investment in the person who made your product — your purchase provides him or her with dignified work, as well as an income and job training.

2) Community: To help strengthen the local community where the product was made, our brand partners offer development initiatives on the ground, such as health education, financial coaching and women’s empowerment programs.

 

MAKE IT MATTER

At KeapSake, as a social enterprise we are committed to supporting our artisan craft partners and the countries they live in. However, we also recognise that there are places in this world where violence and conflict are a daily reality and a much more fundamental action is needed. That of love. At KeapSake 20% of our profits are donated to Preemptitive Love Coalition, a global movement of peacemakers changing the way we engage the world’s most polarising conflicts by confronting fear with acts of love.

Your purchase will help this organisation build local capacity, investing in local institutions, and strengthen communities that will endure well after we are gone. 

Make your world a better place.

 

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MEET THE ARTISANS

The empowerment of artisans with sustainable income through their craft is the inspiration for KeapSake. To cherish the value of their work and their traditions. 

Every purchase through KeapSake provides artisans with a source of fair trade income, support for their community, and a global platform for their work. 

 

TURQUOISE MOUNTAIN

Afghanistan was once a great center of civilization found at the heart of the ‘silk road’. Their craft industry, a source of great pride for the Afghan people, suffered greatly after more than three decades of conflict and displacement. Turquoise Mountain trains a new generation of young Afghan artisans, ensuring the livelihoods of its students by connecting their work to markets across the globe. These craftswomen and men learn centuries-old skills and work with contemporary designers to produce their unique handmade pieces. 

 

 

PAC CO

Pac Co is a cooperative of 24 H'mong women in the northern hills of Vietnam working together towards a sustainable and equitable future for their families and wider community. Through the development and sale of their traditional crafts they can preserve and promote their ethnic minority culture, buy food for their family, educate their children and get a fair income for their work.  

 

 

MEYELO

Employing over 80 artisans in Kenya, Meyelo provides them with business training programs and revenue to the artisans and their communities by giving a portion of their proceeds back into the growth of artisan small businesses. 

With a long-term investment in helping others, Meyelo work in community development with Massai villages helping to provide better access to education, water, farming co-ops and medical needs. 

 

 

TARA PROJECTS

TARA Projects was established by Prof Shyam S Sharma in 1973 with the objective of empowering economically disadvantaged artisans in Delhi and working towards eradicating unfair trade practices and child labour. TARA actively engages in providing support services to artisans in the production and marketing of handicraft, and helps them work towards overcoming poverty and illiteracy, and hence exploitation. 

 

 

LAS MADEJAS

Manuel and Marcela are a young couple trying to maintain the traditional crafts passed down through their families through their generations. The work they do is reminiscent of how their grandparents would have done it, but the finished product has a definite eye towards the modern guided by Marcela's taste for fashion. As with so many of the weavers in Oaxaca, to them it is not just about making a living but a continuation of the knowledge and pride that exists within all artisanal craft.  

 

 

QUAZI DESIGNS

What began with a simple rolled paper bead earring displayed on a card and employing one artisan has become a thriving workshop and business. Established in 2009, Quazi Designs works with recycled paper to create original designs that include paper beaded necklaces, bracelets and bowls. Bright, re-used magazines turn into objects of beauty through innovative product development and the talented artisans in Swaziland.

“We believe in treating people, planet and profit equally, building a business where ethical and social standards balance with cutting edge design."