Far & Wide Collective is an online shop selling handmade, fairly traded home décor, jewelry and fashion accessories. Far & Wide Collective was established in 2013 by Hedvig Alexander who named her company for the worlds she is connecting, artisans and consumers, reaching far and wide. Products are sourced in 15 countries, with a focus on Kenya and Afghanistan. Current best sellers are the sisal baskets, the Afghan trays, and jewelry. Far & Wide Collective customers tend to care about the world, having an interest in human rights, health, charity, and the arts. The brand recently started selling wholesale, and is available in shops in the US and Canada.
Hedvig Alexander spent a decade working in Afghanistan and other developing communities. During this time, she worked for the UN, NGO’s, and charities. She learnt that in developing economies the crafts sector is the second largest employer, after agriculture, and that it employs mainly women. Craft production allows women to participate in the economy, empower themselves, and lift their families out of poverty. Hedvig realized that the biggest obstacle to achieving economic success is lack of access to international markets and the global economy. She is changing that with Far & Wide Collective. The Danish native currently lives in Toronto, and has developed personal relationships with all the artisans she works with. Hedvig works with and advises her artisan partners, resulting in products that are high quality and have a contemporary look. Whenever possible her team also works to scale up the artisans’ businesses. She loves knowing Far & Wide Collective significantly improves the lives of their artisan partners. A mother to two young daughters she would love to take them on more of her trips so she could really show them the world.
On the Future of Retail
“I think ethical consumerism is growing rapidly. People are increasingly more concerned with the stories behind the products they purchase and the impact their purchases have on the artisans producing those goods. Consumers are asking more questions about what they are buying and how they are made, which I think is incredibly important for the future of retail. Not only is fair trade a growing demand, but I am also noticing trends towards eco-friendly and sustainable fashion. “