COLOURS FELTING GROUP Nepal
We have been working with this wonderfully talented group of felters in Nepal since 2012. All our felt products are handmade with 100% Australian and New Zealand wool, which is sourced in Kathmandu. Most of the 120 women come from the "Mithila" region of Nepal, which is near the Indian boarder - these people are known for their handicraft skills and come to Kathmandu looking for employment. At "Colours", they are given a chance to earn a "fair wage" and have the choice to work at the factory or from home.
HELPING HANDS Nepal
"Helping Hands " provides practical training and employment opportunities for people living with disabilities in Nepal. The group aims to challenge the discrimination they face in mainstream society and help them enjoy an independent life. Established in 2011 in Pokhara with 2 trainees, "Helping Hands" has grown to currently employ more than 50 people. All employees learn how to operate the hand/pedal operated looms that are used to make the beautiful scarves and throws that we showcase to you!
JEEVANKALA "art for life" Nepal
Jeevankala is a non profit group that is a sustainable environment initiative which helps Kathmandu be a little less littered by turning "trash into cash". All the products are made from recycled chip and noodle packets, string and grass. Keeping traditional weaving skills alive, using non bio-degradeable product and turning it into something sutainable and usuable like bowls and baskets! The artisans get paid fairly for their product which empowers them and their families.
SEVEN WOMEN Nepal
The "Seven Women" centre is based in Kathmandu where at any one time there are "seven women" learning how to sew and make products that will enable them to eventually start their own micro businesses. But it is more than just sewing, the women attend literacy classes or are enrolled in school, they are provided with shelter if it's required and work together in a team environment. The group adheres to fairtrade principles by providing good working conditions, being paid a fair wage and much more! All the products that are made for us are done so out of "upcycled silk saris", which are sourced from the local market.
WOMEN'S SKILLS DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (WSDO) Pokhara Nepal
Meet Ram Kali Khadka, the founder of WSDO, a Fair Trade organization, which she founded in 1975 as a non-profit and income-generating program supporting women that face difficult and significant social and economic hardships—being differently abled, abused, widowed, divorced, single, orphaned or of marginalized castes. These women are provided with free training and employment opportunities related to the many different steps of making WSDO’s handwoven and handmade products that you will see in store and online.
ETHIK ORGANIC COTTON LABEL
Born in Jervis Bay and produced in Nepal, our aim is to produce unique, quality certified organic cotton clothing at affordable prices. We have a close working relationship with our producers in Kathmandu where we can trace every step of the production process. Meet "Subash", a cutting master in our producer factory in Kathmandu. After the pattern has been traced, it is his role to layer the correct colour fabric and cut to size. Many "happy" hands go into making our "ethik" organic cotton range, and each worker whether it is the pattern designer, pattern master or machinist has a job which is integral to the result of the end garment. We support fair living wages and good working conditions and tranparency in the production process.
Samunnat Nepal is a homegrown, grassroots organisation based in Jhapa, eastern Nepal. It exists to empower women who are vulnerable to violence and poverty. Samunnat providies legal support, income generation training, counselling and mentoring to women from vulnerable situations. Samunnat means to flourish and this is the hope for the women who come to the group for support. The ladies are introduced to "polymer clay" and the art of jewellery making, and we are proud to showcase their amazing pices of "wearable art" in our shop and online.
BOOMSHANKAR CLOTHING AUSTRALIA
Meet Dui Cameron , the designer and driving force behind Boom Shankar, an indian word that means "to bless". From a childhood obsession with drawing and dress-ups, her love of colour and design has morphed into the creative talent that produces Boom Shankar’s fabulous creations. Always a free spirit, Boom Shankar’s first pieces were born out of Dui’s time spent in India in 1996 and continue to this day. Drawing inspiration from the colour and joyful spirit of India, her designs also reflect traditional sewing techniques and fabrics that are indigenous to India. A prominent Australian fashion label we love to support!
PAST IS FUTURE Australia
Meet Aaron Curtis, brainchild and creator of "past is future", a Sydney based candle producer who's business philosophy is simple; reuse, recycle and repurpose what others discard; transforming them into new, unique creations. He upcycles beer bottles, and skillfully cuts them to size to create a truelly unique candle. The wicks are pure cotton and the wax is premium soy wax sourced from eco friendly plantations. Each candle has a burn time of approx 55 hours!!
KENANA KNITTERS Kenya
Kenana Knitters is a grassroots organisation situated near Njoro (Rift Valley area of Kenya) and was founded in 1998 by local Kenyan, Patricia Nightingale. Patricia wanted to assist local ladies who were lacking a market for their homespun wool. Over time with clever designs, she and the knitters transformed the yarn into unique creations.With a vision to further impact the community, Kenana Knitters taught women in the area to knit beautiful, organic cotton products using local, sustainable resources. By providing a safe, family-friendly working environment, Kenana Knitters empowers women, offering them a chance to work and take charge of their lives, with pride and dignity. Today, Kenana Knitters has 580 registered knitters on their books and currently 430 are active. There are at least 200 spinners looking after the provision of homespun wool.
LOVE STORIES Ubud
PALI baskets MYANMAR
HAPPILY MADE MONKEYS Cambodia
An idea to make monkeys, born in Melbourne, and developed in Cambodia by Veronica Sherman, "Happily Made Monkeys" is just as the name suggests - "a social enterprise teaching marginalised Cambodian women to knit and crochet to empower them by earning an income which in turn can support their children through school.
SPINIFEX CREATIONS Australia
In 2001 'Nathan and Marj" embarked on a two year journey living in their handcrafted mobile home, travelling around our wondrous country, exploring, learning and supporting ourselves by creating jewellery and selling at markets Australia wide. Going on many walks and discovering the array of seeds and organic materials that lay about they started to play with these materials and the evolution began. Foraged Seeds, Reclaimed timbers , Driftwood and Gemstone were transformed into wearable works of art. With a strong belief that organic jewellery builds bridges between environment and adornment , 'Spinifex Creations" manage to bring an ' Eco ' awareness to the wearer.
COCONUT MILK CLOTHING Bali
Meet 'Cristina", Spanish designer behind the Bali based fashion label "Coconut Milk Clothing". After leaving an established career in marketing in Spain for island life, Cristina followed her passion for fashion and developed an ethical brand that produces quality and timeless pieces. Working with local producers, Cristina's is involved in every step of production, each garment made with attention to detail and lots of love!!