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Sales Partner Profile: Raj Madhavan (USA)

Posted by: comms
Oct 10, 2014

I decided that I wanted to sell fair trade bags, I wanted to guarantee that the people making the bags were being paid a living wage... I feel like I am making a real difference in people’s lives

Fair Trade or not?

I have been importing Freeset bags for the last 10 years, but before that, I was importing jute bags from another supplier in India. During a meeting with Whole Foods Market, the buyer asked me if the bags I was importing were "Fair Trade". I had to reply, that I honestly had no idea what she was talking about. She said Fair Trade in the sense the bags are not made by child labor, prison labor or forced labor. At that time I didn’t know what Fair Trade was and felt really embarrassed. I went away determined to learn more about fair trade and eventually decided that I wanted to sell fair trade bags. I wanted to guarantee that the people making the bags were being paid a living wage and all because Whole Foods asked me one question.

Stumbling upon Freeset

My brother received a jute bag made by Freeset from a client and then he gave it to me. I was very touched and inspired about the story of Freeset after reading the swing tag. I contacted Freeset and spoke with Kerry (Hilton- Freeset co-founder). After speaking with Kerry, I was very impressed with the product line, the sustainable nature of jute, the quality of the bags and the Fair Trade business model. After that, I stopped importing from my former non-Fair Trade supplier and have been working exclusively with Freeset bags, importing and distributing their bags into the US marketplace.

I have visited Freeset a few times and every time, I am amazed at the resilience, and strength of the women. From being trapped in sex slavery, they took the chance (with the help of Freeset) to start a better life for themselves and their families. It’s inspirational.

Freeset is very professional, they are well organized, prompt, make a quality product and help their distributors to market the products. My favorite Freeset bag is the Freedom bag, it is great value and my most popular bag for trade shows. I also really like the Hope and Box bags too.

In another life...

In another life I would have liked to be a Latin music DJ! I love Latin music, Latin dancing and the Latin culture in general.

Thanks Freeset. I look forward to working with you for years to come and continue to promote the story of Freeset.

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