Since 1989, my supplier has been purchasing handicrafts from Bali, where small-scale cottage industries dominate the market, and trading with developing countries is preferred over aid. Bali's handicraft industry has improved the living standards of the local population without exploiting them. Unlike other developing countries, Bali's handicraft industry does not involve large-scale factories, and wages paid to workers are based on the accepted "going rate" for the work. Child labor is not involved in the manufacturing process, and working conditions are always good. Balinese people have a courteous and placid nature, which is reflected in their treatment of workers. Workers work short hours in a workshop or open-air environment, with Sundays and numerous days off each year for religious ceremonies.

Importers of Balinese goods who claim to pay their workers more are unlikely to be telling the truth since such specialized skills require a workforce of over 1,000 workers, which is not feasible for a small importer with a product range of 500 lines. Furthermore, increasing overheads to pay higher wages would make an importer uncompetitive in the price-conscious Western market. However, by purchasing handmade goods made in Bali, no one is being exploited, and everyone wins.

As the goods are handmade, the impact on the environment is minimal. The wood used for handicrafts is typically sourced from sustainable sources, and the use of hard wood is rigorously controlled. In the past, large companies have imported wood from so-called "properly managed" rainforests at a time when such rainforests did not exist, exploiting consumers' ignorance to their advantage. Therefore, consumers should be cautious when purchasing goods made elsewhere and rely on independent sources for information on the country of manufacture to avoid fair-trade abuses.