A singing bowl from Nepal sold at Ten Thousand Villages.
Fair trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages will close two Massachusetts locations, in Cambridge and Brookline, for good in the coming days. The closings come after more than 15 years of selling handcrafted home decor and jewelry.
Ten Thousand Villages is a global network that allows artisans in 31 developing countries the opportunity to sell their work at more than 50 retail stores across the US. The Cambridge store, located in Central Square, is scheduled to close this Saturday; the Brookline store in Coolidge Corner will close the following week.
The closing of the two Massachusetts locations, as well as 10 other Ten Thousand Villages locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and South, is due to a difficult retail environment, said Becca Stamp, market communications manager for Ten Thousand Villages.
“As a nonprofit organization, we need to make sure Ten Thousand Villages can be sustainable in the long term,” she said.
Stamp added that closing stores is an extremely difficult decision, especially because of how tight-knit the various store communities are. The Cambridge and Brookline locations were “an extension of our family,” she said.
Three other Ten Thousand Villages retail locations will remain in Massachusetts — in Boston, Northampton, and Lee.
“We encourage people who want to support the mission and love the products, and support fair trade to continue shopping at our other locations in Massachusetts and around the country.”
The announcements of both stores were shared on Facebook in February.