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Retailer Spotlight: Thistle Farms

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Retailer Spotlight: Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms Quilt

Thistle Farms is committed to partnering with social enterprises that employ women survivors of trafficking, violence, addiction and extreme poverty.  Anchal Project shares a like-minded vision for women’s economic freedom by employing women survivors in India. A partnership between our two brands has blossomed and we are proudly one of the 18 social enterprises represented in their marketplace.

We recently took the opportunity to chat with the Thistle Farms team to learn about the incredible growth of this organization and some exciting updates including a exclusive product collaboration with Anchal!

Shared Trade WomenWhat inspired the creation of Thistle Farms?

Thistle Farms was birthed out of a search for a wholesale model that enabled a marginalized workforce to come to market. The vision of Thistle Farms was to see justice distributed through the value chain for women artisans. We help partners bring their goods to market at a reduced cost by sharing a higher percentage of profits with producers. 

Can you describe your organization in three words?

Female-First Progressive Economic Model

What sets your marketplace apart from other retailers?
We are a community of women survivors of trafficking, violence, addiction and extreme poverty. In addition, for over half our partners we are the main retail outlet to reach the U.S. market. 

How were your first introduced to Anchal Project?

During the planning and launch of Thistle Farms, we came across the Anchal Project and invited them to be one of the initial partners in the global community.

What Anchal piece is your favorite?

Last month, we were excited to partner with Anchal to create 100 custom quilts made from 100% certified organic cotton. The vibrant lilac color of the dyed fabric and delicate hand-stitches compliment our brand aesthetic perfectly.  Keep your eyes on our online store for your chance to purchase one of your own soon!

What is next for Thistle Farms or are there any exciting projects you would like to talk about?

Thistle Farms is experiencing a period of great growth. Recently, we expanded our manufacturing and distribution center to meet the growing demand for products and sustain large orders from wholesale partners. The new 12,000 square foot manufacturing center enables four times the production output and will offer more jobs for survivors.

In March 2017, Thistle Farms Global launched The Welcome Project: an initiative of Thistle Farms that supports the healing and employment of women living in a refugee camp. Women refugees have come together with Thistle Farms to start the first social enterprise in Ritsona, Greece were women are weaving welcome mats that include the fabric from life vests worn by refugees on their journey to Greece. 

In April 2017, Thistle Farms rebranded all products and containers to focus on simplicity and cleanliness. The new products utilize top of the line essential oils and natural ingredients that aid in healing our bodies.

This Spring, The Café at Thistle Farms has also undergone a complete remodel. The Cafe is set for a grand reopening in July 2017. The increased space and industrial kitchen allows for increased opportunities for events and catering, allowing Thistle Farms to train residents and graduates in a variety of new skills. 

Part of our current renovations will also include an expanded Education Center, where individuals and groups from around the country will continue to come learn about our model in order to begin their own communities dedicated to healing.

The expansion and reach of the Thistle Farms mission continues to impact girls and women while maintaining the focus on holistic healing through the love of a supportive community.

What advice would you give to someone seeking to design change in the world?

People might think you are crazy for your idea, gather your energy and fight for it. 

 

To learn more about Thistle Farms, follow along with their blog!

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