Handmade items from five countries now available for purchase online and in Coke USA stores; Purchases directly benefit 5by20 women artisans and their communities

For the first time ever, handmade items made by women artisans participating in the Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative can be purchased online. The collection includes something for everyone with a range of 15 products including handbags, jewelry, belts, iPad covers, holiday ornaments, decorative items, and notebooks. Coca-Cola enthusiasts will love that all the items are made from repurposed aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles, Coca-Cola labels, can pull tabs and bottle caps.

The items are all uniquely handmade by women in Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Philippines, Guatemala, UK and Kenya, and every item purchased directly benefits the women artisan and her community.  You can now purchase the items online (www.Coca-ColaStore.com or www.ShopCoke.com) and they can ship worldwide. The items are also available at the Coca-Cola Stores located in Atlanta and Las Vegas.

5by20 is Coca-Cola’s commitment to empower five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. Since the initiative launched in 2010, 865,000 women have been empowered in 52 countries. While artisans represent a small percentage of the total number, they represent a unique and important element of the community and “value chain” through their efforts to recycle beverage packaging and repurpose these materials into hand-made items. To date, over 1,000 artisans in 15 countries have benefited from 5by20 through access to design or business skills training, finance or assets and mentorship.

“This availability of 5by20 artisan items on a mainstream retail site is a tremendous milestone in our journey to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs,” said Bea Perez, Coca-Cola’s chief sustainability officer. “Every item sold helps to provide women around the world with more income to send her child to a better school, provide a safe home for her family, obtain proper medical care, and pursue her own education and dreams. We are creating sustainable change.”

In a recent study, more than 1,000 5by20 artisans were surveyed and the results showed the tremendous power an artisan can have on her family and community. 5by20 artisans are leveraging new skills gained from the program to increase their incomes, empower other women, grow their businesses and as a result, deeply impact their communities.

Two out of every three women surveyed reported having more income for themselves and their families. This enables women artisans to buy essential items for their homes and better access education for their children. Jocelyn Pacrin, a single mother of four living in the squatter’s area of Manilla in the Philippines explains, “My biggest inspiration in my life is my kids and my mother. I am inspired to provide for their needs and to finish their studies...I was able to earn my own money and take care of my children on my own.”

In addition, eight out of 10 women surveyed said their business acumen has increased since getting involved with 5by20, resulting in growing businesses and additional income that improve the lives of their families and communities. Two thirds of 5by20 artisans surveyed are actively expanding their business and are investing money back into their operations.

For example, Lea de Almeida Rocha Serra is now actively managing 10 artisan women to keep up with her increasing demand. She says the 5by20 training “improves your knowledge as an artisan by introducing new possibilities to improve your work and your product. Today we work with bigger quantities. Everything changed because my income increased, my situation got better, not only mine but all my employees’. Before me they didn’t have an occupation and now they have one.”

The study also indicated there is a positive “ripple effect” in 5by20 participants’ local communities. Two thirds of women surveyed are reaching out, giving support to others and participating in training. Marlene Costa of Brazil is one of those female entrepreneurs who is inspiring and enriching the lives of her family, teammates, and people in her village. “When I see the group growing I feel very proud and happy to be coordinating a group like this one,” said Marlene.  

Important Links:

If you are shipping to North America and South America, you can now purchase 5by20 artisan products here: http://www.coca-colastore.com/5by20 (North America site)

If you are shipping to Europe, Africa, Asia you can now purchase 5by20 artisan products here: http://www.shopcoke.com/5by20-artisans (Europe site)