Meet the Wereldwinkel: original FairTrade and Handmade gifts

The non-profit organization has been committed to fair trade since 1969. The Wereldwinkel sells original gift items and fair food from different cultures. The products are made with respect for people and the environment. World shops can be found throughout the Netherlands. We visited the Wereldwinkel on the Ceintuurbaan in Amsterdam, which has been selling FairTrade and Handmade products here for over 40 years. Want to know more about this inspiring retailer? You read it in this blog!

Meet The Retailer is a series of interviews with retailers who buy from Orderchamp. In this edition we spoke with Lida van der Voorst, Purchasing Coordinator at the World shop in Amsterdam.

Since when have you been working at the Wereldwinkel?

“I have been working at the Wereldwinkel with great pleasure since 2013, which is now more than 7 years. I originally started as a PR employee. At some point after the launch of the website, Facebook and Instagram, I became a Purchasing Coordinator. I also coordinate the style of the store and I am also responsible for the Marketing and Communication of the Wereldwinkel together with my team. ” 

How would you describe the concept of the Wereldwinkel?

“We are originally a FairTrade store. Previously, the concept was mainly focused on food. But then I'm really talking about the 80's. We are now mainly a shop that sells sustainable products, so not necessarily from developing countries, but also simply from Dutch soil. We also sell the well-known brand Return To Sender, which is available through Orderchamp. Today we are mainly a shop with modern, contemporary gift items. Which are mostly organic, sustainable, ecological, fair trade, or made from recycled material. We got to know a lot of brands and we know that they travel to Nepal, for example, to get the best products. Then I know that we offer our customers a unique product. There is no better way, because there is no extra step in between. We look beyond just what is offered FairTrade. We want to distinguish ourselves and keep up to date by constantly offering new, interesting brands. ” 

Which product categories do you sell?

“We sell in the categories food, home accessories, fashion accessories, (silver) jewelry, skin care and natural cosmetics, (cook) books and children's gifts. In terms of food, we sell coffee beans, tea, chocolate and some honey and olive oil in this store. The focus is mainly on our gift items. Think for example of handmade baskets, vases, dishes, pottery and olive wood. Statuettes of bronze and other decorations also do well with our customers. ”

Your staff works on a voluntary basis. How do you recruit them?

World shops are professional shops run by enthusiastic volunteers. Normally 4 volunteers work in the store per day. The more volunteers are added the more we can open the shops! We recently updated our vacancy page on our website. We first had extensive texts with job requirements. We have made this more accessible. People just have to be enthusiastic about FairTrade and Sustainable products and the story, and be able to submit an open application. This works and now we are getting more and more young volunteers. We also work together with the Amsterdam Volunteer Center. ”

Lida van der Voorst, Coordinator Purchasing at the Wereldwinkel

Who is your target group and how do you maintain contact with these customers?

“A very diverse audience is coming to the Wereldwinkel. We have a permanent community, who have been shopping and getting coffee here for years. Normally many tourists come. But also certainly young people. Especially the modern contemporary gifts appeal to them, such as teas with nice texts on them. The diverse target group makes it very interesting for us. We maintain contact via social media channels and regularly send newsletters. When the customers come by, we also tell the story behind the products as much as possible. The idea is to add a QR code to our products at some point, so that customers can scan for themselves to read the stories. These stories are all beautiful. We are also thinking of opening a webshop to tell more about the product specifications. ”

How did you end up at Orderchamp?

“I signed up on Orderchamp because I was looking for an extra channel to buy unique products. I soon came across a number of well-known brands, but also unknown, interesting new brands. We find the conveniences of the low minimum order amounts very advantageous. Filtering on the platform makes it easy for us to discover Sustainable and Socially Responsible products. ”

Also Socially Responsible, Durable or Handmade discover products for your (web) store at Orderchamp? Then go to a desired product category and filter on values that you find important. Then we will show you suitable brands and products.

Next time in Meet The Retailer: NØRD Conceptstore, a shop & coffee bar in the historic center of the Frisian capital Leeuwarden.

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