"Jacquard" tablet Cover, "Broccato Clutch, "Brocade" Bag, "Draw Loom" Journals and "Bast" Journal - Made by a Group of Underprivileged Women in India
The “Jacquard” Tablet Cover, “Broccato” Clutch, “Brocade” Bag, “Draw Loom” Journal and “Bast” Journal in our Moral Fibre Collection are made by a group of underprivileged women artisans in India who have and continue to face many hardships in their lives. Faced with physical disability, the caste system, abusive family members and poverty, these women looked to their inner strength and dedication to try to gain more independence and lift their families out of these hardships, giving them a reason to smile.
Sudha has a congenital defect in her leg, which denied her the ability to be able to walk her entire life. She has lived through a broken marriage, desertion and extreme poverty but she still has the courage to dream and to fight. Thrown out of her home nine years into her marriage, she wandered in search of work but was turned away because of her disability. At times, she used to beg for food. Meenakshi, a mother of three, comes from one of the lower castes and her family struggled to make ends meet. In a country with rampant casteism, it was impossible for her to get some work. Rajbala, a stay at home woman realized that her husband’s earnings as a driver were not enough to sustain the family. Frustration crept in and turned him into an alcoholic. Rajbala struggled to make ends meet and was often beaten up by her husband; she didn’t lose her hope and turned her life for good.
Lata Yadav also has a similar story of poverty and suffering. Not only did she decide to take up tailoring, but today with that training and support she has been offered, she is teaching multiple batches, with as many as 40 women at a time and inspires them to stand on their own feet. For Poonam, life has also not always been fair to her. Although she was married into a wealthy family, she was widowed at a tender age and her relatives usurped her husband’s savings. Left with no money, she was forced to work to fend for herself and her two children. Through sewing and tailoring, today she is happily supporting her children.
In The Making - The "Jacquard" Tablet Cover, "Broccato" Clutch, and "Brocade" Bag
To support these artisans in training, production and marketing their creations in the global market, we are working with an organization in India who is also dedicated to empowering and improving the income status of these artisans through production support and vocational training in sewing, tailoring, block-printing, and in making recycled and handmade paper. With this collaboration, we are ensuring that these artisans have access to regular work/employment, fair wages, safe working environment, education for their children, and future stability for themselves, their families and communities.
In The Making - "Draw Loom" Journal and "Bast" Journal
"Gladiator" Cuffs - Made by Mohammad Meeraj and his Group of Artisans
The silver and dull-gold finish “Gladiator” cuffs in our Moral Fibre Collection are made by an artisan named Mohammad Meeraj and his group of artisans in India. Mohammad Meeraj is based in a region that has a rich history of metal crafts and trade. This trade has been passed down from one generation to another as an important part of the culture of the region. However the trade has long been plagued with injustice: artisans are paid low wages, forced to pay commissions to exporters, and must self-finance raw materials needed to complete orders. The heritage and tradition of this metal trade is increasingly threatened as insufficient profits force marginalized artisans to seek other professions.
Mohammad Meeraj used to work in different workshops before owning his own. With the support of a Non-Government Organization in India (NGO), whose objective is to empower low income artisans to break the cycle of poverty and to preserve the cultural traditions of the region, he was able to establish his own workshop with his three brothers. The workshop is located on the ground floor of his family home. He has also employed six other artisans to work with him in his workshop.
Mohammed is an active supporter and promoter of fair trade practices and wants to make his workshop a model for fair trade metal handicraft products in India. To support these artisans in training, production and marketing their creations in the global market, we are working with an organization in India who is also dedicated to empowering low income artisans to break the cycle of poverty and to preserve the cultural traditions of their region through fair trade practices. With this collaboration, we are ensuring that these artisans have access to regular work/employment, fair wages, education for their children, and future stability for themselves, their families and communities.
In The Making - "Gladiator" Cuffs