In accordance with the Fair Trade Federation’s Principles, dZi Handmade is committed to:
1. Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
dZi makes a concerted effort to create business opportunities for producer groups that might not otherwise have the chance to sell in the export market. These generally include groups that are located in more isolated areas, groups that employ less educated artisans, such as recently arrived refugees from Tibet, groups that employ disadvantaged or disabled peoples, and groups that have unique talents but are not connected to more mainstream business outlets.
2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
dZi educates both its customers and its artisan suppliers about the many links in the supply chain, so that all can understand and overcome the challenges of export and import.
3. Build Capacity
dZi has worked with several of its producer partners for over 25 years! When sales of any group's products begin to lag, the company considers other marketable items for them to make. dZi avoids leaving any group behind by investing in the development of new designs for them to produce.
4. Promote Fair Trade
dZi actively promotes Fair Trade at the trade fairs it participates in by discussing its work and the work of the FTF with customers and other visitors. dZi highlights information about the Fair Trade work being done by its artisan groups in its marketing materials, and regularly discusses the Fair Trade agenda with its producer partners.
5. Pay Promptly and Fairly
dZi's is committed to ensuring that the artisan and/or producer group is paid a fair and living wage in the context of the local economy. They work with the producers to balance the costs of skill, labor, materials and the production process with appropriate profit margins and income for their community, in order to create a dignified and sustainable business atmosphere.
6. Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
dZi staff visits producer and exporter facilities in India and Nepal at least once a year. To the best of their abilities, dZi reviews the working conditions at each of the production facilities we can visit and promote improvements, such as better ventilation or improved lighting. Proper ventilation, gloves, masks and hearing protection ensure safer and healthier conditions for traditional Tibetan singing bowl makers.
7. Ensure the Rights of Children
None of dZi’s producer partners employ children in production. In fact, all of dZi's producers help their artisans educate themselves and their children. Two of the company’s producer partners finance and manage a school for the children of their staff and workers, and for children in the local community.
8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
The company makes every attempt to avoid excessive packaging, uses natural or non-toxic dyes, sources locally and sustainably harvested materials, and uses non-mechanized handmade production processes whenever possible. Most production partners have systems for environmentally sound ways to dispose of waste products, such as used dyes (all dyes are Azo free). And every few years, dZi work with producers to re-evaluate and upgrade existing facilities and working conditions to promote better environmentally sensitive practices and outcomes.
9. Respect Cultural Identity
dZi’s founding mission was to promote awareness and preservation of Tibetan culture through the production and sale of traditional and innovative Tibetan-style crafts. As its producer network expanded to other groups in Nepal and India, dZi also promoted the use of the unique and indigenous talents and production techniques of these groups.