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 the production processes.
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, a great master of Mexican folk art 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 the village of Xochistlahuaca is a tradition that 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 techniques and designs from their mothers, aunts and grandmothers. Historically, weavers made clothing for their families, but now, weaving has become an important source of income for many Amuzgo women and their families.
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. We believe that with the growing interest in handcrafted goods and social justice, handcraft systems will thrive again, and artisans will be liberated from poverty and marginalization.
India is already witnessing this change, as more and more people, seek unique and meaningful goods that are also ethical and sustainable. Kala Swaraj facilitates the interactions between buyers and producers that help both attain their business and social goals as part of being better global citizens.
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. Read more >
We have a few select sample textiles available for sale.
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 Brochure (PDF)
The Studio Xaquixe Collection is handblown from up-cycled glass collected from the local communities surrounding Oaxaca, Mexico. In an effort to reduce the studio's environmental footprint Studio Xaquixe has designed a heat recovery system to reuse waste heat and is pioneering the use of biofuels to fuel their furnaces and eliminate their dependance on propane. Each handblown glass piece varies slightly in color and form, lending itself to the unique story of the individual who crafted it.Studio Xaquixe 2017 Catalog (PDF)
Launched in 2010, The Color Caravan started by partnering with independent craftspeople, women's self-help groups and local non-profit organizations to help bridge the gap between artisans and the global market and revive craft as a means for local livelihood. The organization supplies ethically made, handcrafted products to stores and buyers in India as well as internationally. The Color Caravan's Wool Folk Project empowers women in northern India with new skills and employs 20 women in Himachal Pradesh to hand knit toys and apparel for buyers worldwide.
Tilonia, a small village in the desert regions of Rajasthan, India, is the home of the Barefoot College. Since 1972, the College has worked to improve the lives of the rural poor by addressing basic needs for water, electricity, housing, health, education and income.
Tilonia® helps these rural artisans to market their products in India and around the world. With new markets for their crafts, their livelihood is improved and the production of the traditional craft is continued.
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.
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 has helped to revive handloom in this centuries-old weaving center. WomenWeave also supports The Handloom School which trains young weavers from all regions of India.