From our coverage of the Earthquake in Nepal in April, you know that members of our partner cooperative in Kathmandu were safe, although many suffered family losses and damage to their homes. Now relief efforts are underway and are slowly providing assistance in rebuilding communities. Life goes on, and despite the setbacks that the earthquake caused, we are happy to report that our Nepali cooperative has had many successful accomplishments this year.

The earthquake did cause a drop in local sales, but overall the cooperative’s sales have increased in 2015. This is due, in large part, to you! That’s right – you, our Mata customer. The stability of orders from the co-op’s international buyers like Mata Traders was a boon to the artisans, and they managed to fulfill those orders with only a slight delay. In addition to this, the organization moved into their own building since the earthquake, allowing production processes such as printmaking, dyeing, washing, and stitching to happen in one place. The new building has been in the works for several years, and everyone is elated to finally be in the new space. They have also acquired some new equipment, including sewing machines and irons, and will continue to make equipment improvements for efficiency, quality, and safety.

Last time the Mata team visited, the building was almost finished and they had started to bring in equipment like these floor looms.

We snapped a photo on the rooftop of the new building – what a view!

Last month the artisans celebrated the festival of Teej on that very same rooftop. Traditionally, Teej has been observed by fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva. Now-a-days, however, women recognize it as a day for women’s empowerment, freedom, and womanhood and celebrate by singing, dancing, and eating together.

The Mata design team is visiting again next month, and we look forward to creating even more beautiful, handcrafted clothing with this inspiring and resilient artisan cooperative.