Fair Trade Producer Spotlight: Sadhna

Fair Trade Producer Spotlight: Sadhna

If you love our hand embroidery, you have Sadhna to thank for much of it. 

Though our partnership began in 2007, Sadhna has been around since 1988, and its member count has grown to include over 600 women. Sadhna, a WFTO member, began as part of the income generation branch of Seva Mandir, a decades-old NGO aid organization that continues to support Sadhna’s local development activities, like food kit and medical supply distribution, training on financial literacy, reproductive health, and more. 

Sadhna is a fair trade cooperative in India

An interesting note about how Sadhna is structured: as a membership organization, the General Body is made up of many small clusters with regularly elected representatives. These 40 members of the Management Committee meet quarterly, while the entire General Body comes together for the Annual General Assembly as well as other periodic social gatherings. 

One of Sadhna’s two factories occupies an old 1.5 story school complex, a u-shaped building surrounding a courtyard, in the vibrant, historic, and picturesque “City of Lakes,” Udaipur, Rajasthan. The courtyard in the middle is perfect for cross breezes, drying fabrics, gathering as a group, embroidering garments in natural light, and looking up at the peacocks and monkeys that occasionally rattle along the roof. Sadhna’s other factory unit was established in the rural farming village of Delwara, to both expand their production capacity and to also serve as a base for their vast network of appliqué and embroidery artisan members who work from home or in neighborhood clusters. The neighborhood clusters allow for some flexibility in both schedule and location, as artisan members are able to bring work home with them. A major goal of Sadhna’s is to expand the force of artisans able to practice hand embroidery and appliqué for meaningful income.

sadhna utilizes hand screen printed fabrics and cuts pattern pieces by hand

We were particularly drawn to Sadhna’s focus on hand embroidery and handcrafted fabrics, sourced largely from within their state of Rajasthan. The dyeing and printing vendors they work with are primarily small businesses with an owner and small team of craftspeople - the block printed fabrics actually come from a group of businesses started by 3 brothers!

Our pieces developed for Sadhna, designed with their strengths and capabilities in mind, have seen countless hours of hand embroidery and often block or screen printing. When we say we’re in awe of their talent, we truly mean it.