Cover Founder of Earth Heir, Sasibai Kimis and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik. (Photo: Earth Heir / Yaeber Neo)

Sasibai Kimis shares her excitement about Earth Heir getting recognition from the World Fair Trade Organisation

Last week, Earth Heir reached a new milestone when its ethical business practices received the biggest validation yet from the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO).

"We’ve always been transparent about how we manage Earth Heir," says founder Sasibai Kimis. "From day one, we have been providing traditional artisans with a source of income. Having this certification from WFTO validates our mission and vision, and keeps us on track as a fair trade company."

Earth Heir also has the distinction of being the first Malaysian boutique selling artisanal goods to be certified by WFTO. This certification confirms that Earth Heir abides by these 10 principles: 

  • Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Fair trade practices
  • Fair payment
  • No child labour and no forced labour
  • Gender equity, freedom of association and no discrimination
  • Good working conditions
  • Capacity building
  • Promote fair trade
  • Respect for the environment

Read also: Sasibai Kimis Of Earth Heir: The Bigger Cause Behind Her Ethical Fashion Business

"We practise these values as we support fair payment for our artisans which can be observed in our pricing transparency guide on Earth Heir's website – for example, for our Nelly range,  31% of the price is allocated to labour and materials," Kimis notes. "We don’t allow child and forced labour, and we also respect the environment by prioritising biodegradable materials." 

She adds that Earth Heir provides opportunities for disadvantaged artisans to ensure a sustainable growth for them and train the next generation in traditional craftsmanship. 

Kimis stresses that the relationship between Earth Heir and the craftspeople of its embroidered wallets and mengkuang (screwpine leaves) bags is not merely a business transaction but a friendship. She interacts with every artisan herself, something she has been doing since her encounter with craftspeople in rural Cambodia that catalysed the idea for Earth Heir. The company now works with craftspeople from Malaysia as well as refugee artisans in Malaysia.

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