Artisan Impact: Alabi Recycling - El Salvador

The people of El Salvador are among the most generous and determined you'll find anywhere. Emerging from a civil war, they are striving to improve their daily lives and rebuild their ravaged country. Working with individuals and co-ops helps them earn a living wage and provide a brighter future for themselves and their children.

Located in Santa Ana less than an hour from the capital, Alabi Recycling works with found scrap materials. Mario Alabi designs our popular inner-tube belts, wallets, and bags. The inner-tubes are found tossed aside in abundance, the by-product of El Salvador’s common "taxi" trucks that navigate the very rough mountain roads and whose inner-tubes need regular patching -- until they can’t be patched. Mario drives around in his motorcycle with sidecar and gathers them up, bringing them back to his workshop: an industrial washing machine and sewing machines. Once working solo, he now employs a small crew to convert the found rubber scrap into functional and durable accessories. This project both helps the environment and provides needed jobs for people in the most need in the community. 

Founder's Story:

Do Good Shop's founder, Jenni, first met Ron and Mary at the annual Fair Trade Federation Conference.  Their dedication to coming alongside people in need no matter their age inspired her!  Here is their story.

Revy was founded in 2009 after a chance encounter between our founder, Ron Ober, and a non-profit organization seeking a way into the American market. Ron was a recently retired entrepreneur, working as a human rights volunteer in Cleveland, Ohio when he connected with CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador) and caught wind of their dilemma: craftspeople in El Salvador wanted to sell their wares in the U.S., but weren’t sure how or where to start. Ron stepped up, offering his unique skill set as a way to get things rolling, and was quickly captivated by the inspiring stories of people striving against adversity to improve their circumstances and elevate their communities. Ron founded Revy Fair Trade shortly thereafter to act as a reliable partner in their endeavors.

ron and mary ober fair trade el salvador for do good shop

For more than a decade, Ron and Mary Ober have worked closely with artisans in El Salvador to bring their creations to fair-minded shoppers. When Ron passed away in November 2019 following a battle with cancer, Mary felt compelled to continue his legacy with Revy.

We Believe...

All workers have the right of association to form their own co-op, receive a living wage, and work without fear of abuse or their own safety. Economic justice and social justice cannot be separated.

Revy provides each co-op with:

  • A fair price with cash advances and prompt payments
  • Collaboration on designs and production methods
  • Transparency by sharing costs and pricing
  • Long term relationships with job security