About Us

Rising Tide Fair Trade works with ethical businesses and directly with artisans who earn a fair wage, enabling them to support their families and achieve a sustainable business operation. The fair trade artisans we work with earn roughly 60 percent more than they would for comparable factory jobs. Since most of the artisans have the choice to work from home, they can tend to their children while contributing to the family income.

Increasingly, we strive to offer designs that add value for our customers and partners, provide consistent, higher paid work for artisans, and improve women's participation and mobility. 
When you shop with Rising Tide Fair Trade, you can be sure you are lifting up the artisan who crafted your design as you enjoy the benefits of a vibrant, soulful product. We like to say our business practices float everyone’s boat. We hope you’ll hop on board.


Rising Tide Fair Trade offers a business model with people and planet in mind. In creating our original designs: 

When possible, materials for our bags are purchased from local markets by independent business women or created from upcycled textiles and finished in cruelty free leather (from naturally deceased animals).

Rather than using a system of mass production, our products are produced in a fair trade cooperative, which has a lower impact on the environment. Our first priority in shipping is ensuring your bag arrives on time and without any damage. When possible, we ship with gently used or recycled materials and request that our customers continue the cycle.

Our bags are made one at a time by artisans paid a fair wage and treated with dignity and respect. Our designs use traditional, local techniques of production adding a modern twist to encompass block printing and handloom woven patterns.


The Founders
Virginia Dooley and Nicole Jones traveled independently throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America before becoming friends at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London in 2003, while pursuing their Master of Science in International Development Studies. The two bonded over many things from the start: obsession with travel and exotic textiles, New Jersey roots, and a belief that they could give back to the global community by uniting fashion and sustainability. Inspired by the prevalence of fair trade goods in the U.K. and the lack of such products in the U.S., the friends started Rising Tide Fair Trade in 2004 to fill a hole they saw in the American market and to disseminate fair trade labor practices to mainstream shoppers. All Rising Tide Fair Trade bags are made with the highest quality craftsmanship and most eye-catching textiles from across the globe.


In March 2014, Rising Tide Fair Trade welcomed Samantha Eittreim as Director. Sam joins the team having been part of the fair trade community for the past 10 years. She started her career in marketing and production before eventually taking those skills to Ten Thousand Villages and the broader fair trade world.  While at Ten Thousand Villages, Sam and her colleagues worked to make Red Bank, New Jersey America’s 15th Fair Trade Town, promoting conscious consumerism through local events.  She also has co-chaired multiple fair trade conferences, and traveled broadly to better understand the economics of global fair trade.