The Story Behind the Stitch
- Carly Gerber
- 09 Jan, 2019
One of our producer partners is a fair trade cooperative located in Rajasthan, a state in Northern India that is known for its colorful desert culture and rich history of majestic forts. Rajasthan is also one of India's poorest states with a low per capita income and a low literacy rate, especially in women. Our partner org was established in the 1980s to provide alternative avenues of employment for women in rural, tribal, and urban slum areas within the state and currently employs over 700 women!
One of the unique aspects of the group's product line with Mata is that each piece we create together must have some element of hand embroidery. The garments themselves are cut and sewn in a workshop in the city, and then are bundled up and sent to remote villages, where women members apply the embroidered elements by hand. The work can be done from home and integrated into the other daily tasks the women have to accomplish, like raising their kids and doing agricultural and domestic work. And there are more transformative effects than just economic advancements for the women- they become active members of their communities, finding their voice within their family structure and a traditionally conservative culture. They also receive literacy and health education training, as well as support around finance management. Plus the women members gain health and life insurance policies through the co-op, and access to loans and educational resources.
Here are examples of the women’s hand-stitching on our upcoming AW19 collection. It’s a time intensive process that requires a lot of care and attention to detail.
You can shop our one-of kind, hand-stitched selection now - each piece is truly unique!