Fair Trade from Peru Comes to Belton
"We've been talking to UMHB for several years. Our goal is for people to have the opportunity to express their love for life through colors and art," founder Kim Niman said.
The idea of Threads of Hope is to empower impoverished women in Peru through business and education. All products are handmade and are sold by the women for a fair price.
"We started with seven artisans and have expanded to seven hundred. We buy textiles from these wonderful artisans in Peru and sell them all around the United States," director Cinde Rawn said.
Threads of Hope runs on the premise that the best way to help workers beat poverty is to pay them a fair price for their products. While most of the world's products are mass produced in sweat shops with questionable conditions, fair trade tries to create a better way.
"God is changing lives through this project," Rawn said.
The women who work with Threads of Hope have been able to craft a better future for themselves and their families.
"I visited my Peruvian friend and asked her if she would put down floors with the money she made from sewing. In my Western mind, I saw all the dirt and thought that's what she needed. She told me, no, she would be putting her son through law school. He works now as a lawyer in Lima. She sewed her son a better future."
The University will house the products until they're shipped. They plan to host events on campus to sell products and continue their partnership with the business department to send study abroad students to Peru.
"I thank you from the bottom of my heart, " Reina, a seamstress from Threads of Hope said. "When you support my art, I can support my children."