Alaffia: Beyond Fair Trade

Olympia, Wash.-based Alaffia has built a thriving business by relying upon — and empowering — its Togolese workforce.

In the West African nation of Togo, a young girl rides her new bike to school. In Washington state, production facility workers bottle shea butter. In New York City, a U.S. consumer shops for shampoo at Whole Foods.

The common link between these three events? Olympia, Wash.–based Alaffia. Since founding the company in 2003, Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Rose Hyde have perfected a remarkable business model, one that has seen their operation grow exponentially — and also make an impact on the lives of women and children 7,000 miles away.

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