How We Got Started

In 2005, together with their five boys, Brigitte & Robert McKinnon embarked on a humanitarian trip to Amazonian frontier city of Pucallpa, Peru to connect with two young girls they had sponsored to attend school. An eye-opening experience, the family recognized a community in dire need of help, limited by a lack of access to education, housing, & healthcare. Returning home conscious of what felt like a forgotten community, the McKinnons & their five boys decided there had to be more they could do to help. Their solution came through the creation of the Pure Art Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, that would work to empower this community through health, shelter & education programs.

We acted on a simple principle of compassion – I felt that we could do small things with great love.

– Brigitte McKinnon

Partnering with Fair Trade & the 100% model

After a few years, in search of a sustainable business model that would help reduce the poverty throughout this community and bring dignity to other marginalized communities around the world, Brigitte & Robert turned to Fair Trade & its 9 principles as a solution to the struggles the Foundation sought to alleviate. Today, Pure Art, a not for profit Boutique & recognized Fair Trade Federation member in Canada, has become a hub for the Foundation’s initiatives & a place where consumers can connect to Fair Trade products from all around the world. The Art of Shopping with a Purpose™ is a model beyond charity, that brings fair trade & sustainable development into a partnership that seeks to empower communities from around the world through the healing power of art.