“Like any piece of cloth, many threads came together to form Scarlet Threads. For two years, we’ve made our home in a poor Chinese village. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to reconcile the world we see around us with the one we know at home in the USA.
Here, we’ve watched families separated for months so that they can try to earn more money to pay back a loan they borrowed to pay for stitches to sew up a bad cut. We’ve heard stories of families in our village who couldn’t afford the medical care their children needed, and their children died. Families who go without meals so that they can save money for their child to attend the village school. In a heart-breaking succession, the stories go on.
When we moved to China in 2007, we came to work with special needs’ orphans. As we grew more involved in that work, we began to understand that in many cases, children become orphans due to poverty. As we learned more and talked to people, we began to understand that so many of the social problems we saw were fundamentally rooted in poverty. We believe that with knowledge comes responsibility, and we began to explore ways that we could help.
Before we moved to China, we learned about Fair Trade, a growing global economic movement that uses trading partnerships to alleviate poverty. Quite simply, in traditional trade models, the artisan responsible for crafting the vase on your desk might have worked in a sweat-shop and been paid a few pennies for their work. In Fair Trade, artisans are paid fair wages and provided safe working environments. It’s a revolutionary model that results in transformed communities and lives, and we’ve been looking for ways to launch a small-scale Fair Trade project to benefit our community.
In the summer of 2009, we met our first seamstress. After doing a few small projects for us, we grew more and more impressed with her skill and attention to detail. We learned that she wanted to do more work to help support her family, and our idea for Scarlet Threads was born. With the help of others on our team, we now have our first collection ofproducts, and the Scarlet Threads Boutique is now a reality.” – Carrie McKean
Do you want to know more about Scarlet Threads and how you can help the children above during this season of giving? Visit their blog to read about how they are partnering with Seven Hopes United to raise $10000 for New Day Foster Home, an organization that will help these children get the surgeries they need.