Avani is a voluntary organization based in the Kumaon region of the Himalayan mountain ranges in northern India. Avani began in 1997 as a branch of the Social Work and Research Centre, known as the Barefoot College of Tilonia, and follows the Barefoot approach of community-based, sustainable development. Today, Avani is a successful cooperative enterprise managed by the artisans themselves. The enterprise provides employment to the people living in the region’s remote villages by developing and marketing the Avani collection of wild silk textiles.
The Oaxaca artisans of Colectivo 1050° come from San Bartolo Coyotepec, known for its enigmatic black clay; San Marcos Tlapazola, where Zapotec women create smooth shapes in red clay; and Santa María Atzompa, well-known masters of glazed pottery with a millenary tradition. Colectivo 1050° emulates conscious sustainable design, using lead-free materials and strives to minimize the environmental impact in all of its production processes. Colectivo 1050° is the brand and marketing arm of Innovando la Tradición.
El Camino de los Altos collection offers a range of colorful striped shawls hand woven by women from Chiapas in southern Mexico which are perfect to wear, throw on a sofa or use as a table runner. Also offered are striped cushions in vivid colors inspired by the traditional dress of women in Pantleho and Oxchuc and the wrap around skirt worn by women in Zinacantan.
Our brocade cushions are hand woven by master weavers from Larrainzar who use traditional designs drawn from local history and stories. These textiles are woven on pre-Hispanic backstrap looms with mercerized cotton in accordance with fair trade principles. When you purchase these products you are helping improve the living conditions of the Mayan weavers and the preservation of their ancestral heritage.
In the remote, forest regions of northeast India, poachers kill elephants and rhinos for their ivory and horns threatening the survival of these critically-endangered animals. Based in Assam, Elrhino Paper provides a way for indigenous people to make a living from the poo of elephants and rhinos by making high quality, handcrafted paper from dung and recyclable forest waste. With preservation of habitat and elimination of poaching, the Indian rhinosceros may have a chance for survival in part because of its poo.
La Flor de Xochistlahuaca is a weaving cooperative of 25 indigenous women founded in 1969 by Florentina Lopez de Jesus, in Xochistlahuaca in Guerrero in southern Mexico. Using traditional back-strap looms, these women weave beautiful brocade designs using spindle-spun natural white, brown and green cotton yarns. Handweaving and spindle spinning in Xochistlahuaca pre-dates Hispanic times. Amuzgo girls begin to learn the weaving process with simple tasks such as cleaning and carding cotton. Later, they learn weaving from their mothers, aunts and grandmothers.
From the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, Itza Wood hand crafts quality furnishings and wooden wares. Using ethically sourced, certified and responsibly harvested exotic woods, Itza Wood crafts with attention to detail, and design caring always for the environment and the lives of those involved. Itza Wood is partnered with a jungle school and committed to furthering education and enterprise.
Kala Swaraj believes in the sustainability of craft and its importance to our future. With the growing interest in handcrafted goods and social justice, Kala Swaraj facilitates the connection of buyers with producers helping both achieve their business and social goals as part of being better global citizens. Kala Swaraj weavers work with fine cotton and amber-colored, tussar silk.
With seed funding from Sprout Enterprise®, Rabha women weavers are getting training and support for design development and marketing. The 16 Rabha women are from Garo Basti in Rajabhathkhawa, and Mendabari and Andu forest villages in Chilapata forest division in Alipurduar district of West Bengal. A local production coordinator for the association manages purchase of raw material, production schedules, quality control and arranges collection and transport of finished goods. The group is now marketing the women's handwoven textiles in local markets in India.
ROPE holds environmental and social responsibility at the core of its operating philosophy. Based in Tharamani, Chennai, India, ROPE makes hand crafted and environmentally friendly products to enhance contemporary lifestyles while supporting initiatives that elevate the standard of living of its artisans. ROPE trains rural men and women with employable artisan skills and has pioneered the use of local agricultural waste - banana fiber - as a core material in its designs. ROPE is also a distributor for artisan enterprises, like Eco Tasar, selling handmade products to international markets.ROPE Brochure (PDF)
The Xaquixe glass collection is handblown from up-cycled glass collected by the local communities surrounding Oaxaca, Mexico. As part of its ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, the studio has designed a heat recovery system to reuse waste heat and is pioneering the use of biofuels to fuel the furnaces and eliminate dependance on propane. Each handblown glass piece varies slightly in color and form, telling the unique story of the individual who crafted it.
The artisan enterprise, Hatheli Sansthan, based in the village of Tilonia in rural Rajasthan, markets the Tilonia® product line of handcrafted home textiles, womenʼs accessories and gifts in India and around the world. With new markets for their crafts, the artisans' livelihood is improved and the production of the traditional craft is continued. Nearly 400 artisans earn supplemental income through through their crafts. Designs and production methods draw on Indian craft traditions that are centuries old – and now create modern opportunities for these rural artisans.
tonlé's Takeo range is made from tonlé’s exclusively designed fabrics handwoven by the Cambodian weaving village in Takeo province. These fabrics are a result of Tonlé's commitment to zero-waste design and production. Using remnant fabric culled from the waste material of Cambodia's fashion industry, tonlé designers incorporate even the tiniest scraps into original looks. Excess fabric strips are hand cut and sewn into yarn. The yarn is knit and woven into new pieces for clothing and home goods made from twice-recycled fabric.This Fashion Company Turns Toxic Waste into Trendy Textiles.
Preservation of indigenous textile techniques and the natural colours of cotton were the inspiration behind the establishment of Algodones Mayas. The company's brand name, Wayil, means native in the indigenous language, referring to the native origin of the raw materials that are used to craft each piece. More than 300 Guatemalan artisans handspin and handweave Wayil by Algodones Mayas textiles. Each textile is handwoven of natural cotton and upcycled denim. Weaving identity.
WomenWeave has supported the role of women in handloom weaving since its inception in 2002, working toward making handloom a profitable, fulfilling, sustainable and dignified income-earning activity particularly for women in rural areas of India. Based in Maheshwar, WomenWeave works to revive handloom in this centuries-old weaving center. WomenWeave also supports The Handloom School which trains young weavers from all regions of India.