Aid Through Trade was founded in 1993 by former Peace Corps volunteer and teacher, Damian Jones. While in the Peace Corps, Damian became inspired by the artisans of the Kathmandu Valley and throughout the country. He also had always been intrigued by the use of glass beads in the Nepalese culture.
Upon his return to the United States, Damian began to conceive the idea of working with artisans in a fair, dignified manner as a way to improve their lives. In 1993 and 1994 he took three trips back to Nepal to actualize his vision of “fair trade” as a path to sustainable economic and personal development for artisans.
In 1993, he also began the U.S. marketing and in 1994 Aid Through Trade is proud to have become a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation.
In Nepal, Damian visited many artisans and artisan groups in various parts of the country. He observed that women’s lives changed dramatically when they had an income.
Shortly after starting Aid Through Trade, it became clear that the “sustainable” part of the equation would only come through design (continual design and re-design). Aid Through Trade shifted its emphasis to becoming a fashion design company with ethics!
Aid through Trade is recognized in the industry for its signature glass beaded Roll-On™ bracelet and incomparable color combinations. The artisans delight in coming to the exclusive studio and office in Nepal where they enjoy prestige, sisterhood, dignity, fair remuneration, a retirement account and other benefits.