In Nepalese, Samunnat means “flourish”, and that is what this grassroots Nepali NGO aims to achieve. Est. in 2006 when a group of Nepali friends realised that many Nepali women were and still are extremely vulnerable to domestic violence and exploitation. Helping these women escape the situations or giving them financial assistance was a short-term and ultimately short-sighted solution. So, they decided to provide free or affordable legal advice, advocacy and human rights training, income-generating skills training, counselling and also a safe house for them and their children. The skills training involved the women learning the art of making beads from polymer clay. The end results speak for themselves in the intricate designs that the ladies create. We fell in love with the story, the ladies and the beads or “wearable art” that the ladies create, and feel proud to support these women on their journey.
Ethik is proud to support "Seven Women", a grassroots NGO based in Nepal. Est in 2006 by Australian “Stephanie Wollard”, her passion and drive to help marginalised women in Nepal is inspiring. The driving force behind the Kathmandu based organization is an equally passionate Nepali lady, ‘Anita Kerr” who is passionate about justice and equality for women in Nepal. Anita and her team work to empower dis-advantaged Nepali women through education, skills training, and income generation. At any one time, seven women are living in the Seven Women Centre, learning how to sew and also to read and write. We have a close working relationship with Anita and the ladies and they make special orders for us using recycled sari fabrics.
COLOURS FELTING GROUP
The 'Colours' felting group is aptly named after the brilliant array of colors you will see in our designs. A small family business based in the Kathmandu Valley, we have been working together since 2011. Most of the 70 women who are employed by Colours are from the Mithila region in south-east Nepal, who are skilled in craft and who come to Kathmandu seeking employment. Approx a third of the women felters have the option to work from home, giving them not only flexibility to continue with expected domestic chores and looking after children, but empowerment to earn a living and make their own decisions economically. The women are paid "fair wages" and we pay "fair prices" for our products, thus supporting ethical trade.
BOTTLES TO BEADS
Bottles to Beads is an ethical business that trains and employs village women to produce beautiful glass beads and small glass items in Nepal. Items are made from discarded glass bottles that litter cities and mountains tracks of Nepal and become a hazard to people and animals. Each item is individually painted in the unique style of the artist. All the tools needed to create these products are made by women using everyday objects. It is not only about recycling. It is about a transformation: From a polluted to a cleaner environment, from unskilled and unpaid women to empowered income earners, from broken glass to jewellery and from trash to cash.
MUSKAN - bringing back smiles
In Nepalese, Muskan means “smile”, and so the vision of putting back smiles onto the faces of women was one of the group’s main focuses. Est in 2016, Muskan is the brainchild of 3 uni students, Anisha and Ursha Shakya and Sneha Shrestha, who were studying "social entrepreneurship" for their master's degree. From a small idea to empower a few women in Kathmandu, to design and make and sell authentic handmade items such as earrings, keyrings, and necklaces, grew very quickly into a thriving social enterprise which now employs more than 80 women. We love the ethos of Muskan, that they “don't operate factories” rather the women work from home while tending to household chores. We have a direct relationship with the Muskan team and we carefully choose each product to showcase in our store. We hope these colourful pieces but smiles on your face as well as the women in Nepal!
JEEVANKALA - cash for trash
In Nepalese, Jeevankala means “art for life”.
All our Jeevankala products are handcrafted by artisans from the remote Himalayan mountain villages of Lapa, Tipling and Sertung. They are made using discarded plastic wrappers from popular manufactured food products brought in from cities. Recycling programs have been started in the villages to encourage the collection of the non-biodegradable trash and to bring awareness to the importance of protecting the natural ecology. We are proud to support JeevanKala as they are a member of the fairtrade association and 100% profit from the sales of JeevanKala products support the artisans and their families.
WSDO - Women's Skill Development Organisation
Ethik has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Women's Skills Development Organisation which was est in 1975 by founder "Ram Kali Khadka". WSDO is a non-profit and income generating program for economically disadvantaged, disabled, abused, widowed, divorced, single and outcast women from rural Nepal. WSDO supports and empowers them to achieve social and economic self-reliance by providing free vocational training, along with essential life skills. WSDO'S programs have empowered thousands of women to build a better future. For Ethik, that means providing you with beautiful handwoven cotton bags, accessories, and toys that we are proud to showcase.
Kenana Knitters is a grassroots organisation set up to help rural women in Kenya to find some much-needed form of income using their spinning and knitting skills. Est in 1998, and founded on the premise of “changing lives stitch by stitch", KK supports over 300 knitters as well as over 200 spinners who hand spin the wool into yarn using recycled bicycle wheels made into spinning wheels. Knitting is ideal within the local community as it requires minimal equipment and can be done in snatches of times within the context of their daily lives. Each distinctive design is a hand-crafted Kenyan creation and bears the signature of the woman who made it. We love the fact that Kenana Knitters are committed to paying fair wages and to creating high quality, organic products which are environmentally friendly.
Afribeads story began in 2009 when a group of Australian families travelled to Kampala, Uganda to build a house for an orphanage. During their stay they saw the poverty and meagre living standards of many people and saw that people were unable to support their families or realise their own potential. They also enjoyed the Ugandan’s warmth and friendliness and felt their genuine gratitude. They fell in love with their beadwork and thought other people would too. We did, and we are proud to showcase some of the beautiful jewellery and baskets that are made with skill and love. Afribeads are a certified fair-trade, social enterprise that creates sustainable income for the artisans and their families and enables them to send their children to school.
LOVE STORIES UBUD
Meet Tess, the founder of “Love Stories" Bali, born in the summer of 2016, her story began when she decided to make a shift from a corporate career in New York to community service in Jakarta. A stop in Bali changed that idea and through some chance meetings, Tess embarked on a journey that would ultimately see her working with local artisans and their traditional methods of cloth making, which is slowly disappearing with the modern world’s fast fashion. Specialising in pyjamas, profits from the sale of the pyjamas are donated to children's education. Tess's success has meant she can exhibit more artisan’s work, like the recycled plastic baskets we lovingly stock!