Serving the Faithful Since 1960
Catholic Supply of St. Louis, Inc. is happy to offer fair trade products from Bangladesh. By purchasing these items, you enable rural and mostly illiterate women to make handicrafts at home. Your purchase provides these women much-needed employment, a fair wage, freedom from exploitation, access to healthcare and education for their children. Sales of these fair trade handicrafts also benefit small-scale farmers who produce environmentally friendly jute, a key agricultural export.
Begun in 1973, this former Catholic service organization comprises over 150 artisan groups with more than 4,300 individual artisans today. With funds from craft sales, this fair trade company provides its artisans access to credit and business training, awareness of women's rights, health and nutrition programs, disaster relief, and education for their children, who would otherwise never attend school. Committed to improving the local environment, the organization has installed deep wells for fresh drinking water and sanitary toilets in homes, and annually distributes tree saplings to its communities.
Furthermore, your purchase provides employment to rural, disadvantaged women, many of whom are widows, single mothers, or heads-of-household with little or no income. Your purchase gives hope, dignity, and opportunity to disadvantaged women in some of the poorest parts of Bangladesh, helping to improve their standard of living and to send their children to school.
Part of a job creation program in handicrafts, the soap company was formed by the Mennonite Central Committee in 2001. Driven by the goal that all rural women of Bangladesh, regardless of caste or creed, become valued, contributing members of society, this company provides women skill development training. Throughout the country, women are given productive employment, design assistance, and sustainable links to new markets for the handicrafts. Currently, more than 1,000 women work in the handicraft centers and its partner organizations.