Helping artisans and the Earth

Web sites promote unique products with global benefits

Neide Ambrosio used to sell her amazing accessories made from recycled material, specifically aluminum-can tabs, on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. But these days, she’s taken her craft to the Internet, selling the intricate pocketbooks, handbags and belts globally to consumers looking to purchase unique, sustainable goods crafted by fair-trade practices.

She began crocheting the items several years ago to help supplement her husband’s modest income, but her business has grown tremendously since her move to the Web. In fact, she now employs 10 young women from the favelas, Rio’s most impoverished regions.

Ambrosio’s products are available at, a Web site promoting a variety of crafts from artisans from around the world. The satchels are also found at, a new site developed by eBay through which shoppers can make purchases based on their values.