Our Story

1988:  Global Village Store began when 7 people with an interest in fair trade products came together in Victoria. They were asking, “What can we do that will help people in the Third World get a fair return for their work?”

The group had contacts with a small number of suppliers in Canada who supported their efforts. They also knew people who travelled frequently to some regions and would search out craft cooperatives.

Each member of the group contributed $500 to rent a tiny store on Broughton Street and purchase a small amount of inventory. The shop was an immediate success!

1992:  When the building was to be re-developed, a half-size store was rented on Pandora Avenue in Market Square. There was more room for inventory, and sales became bigger. Later they moved to a full-size store in Market Square.

fair trade Global Village Store wooden utensils spoons

Before the internet and email were available, communication was difficult. But volunteers persevered.

When the project began in 1988, the concept of ‘fair trade’ – selling products made by cooperatives ensuring fair pay and fair working conditions – was little known. Over the past 20 years, the word has spread. We now see fair trade coffee and other items in grocery stores.

2020: Located in convenient Hillside Mall since 2020, Global Village Store features a range of beautiful handmade products ranging from jewelry to household items, clothing accessories to musical instruments and toys.

The store has an informal group buying relationship with smaller independent fair trade shops in Whitehorse, Salt Spring Island, Nanaimo and Savary Island.

2023:  Global Village Store celebrated its 35th anniversary. Quite an accomplishment for a volunteer organization!

Over 35 years, the income sent to partner producing groups has totalled over $2.5 million. Grants have been over $300,000, to assist groups with scholarships, training, sewing machines, and wells.