Styling Paradise

Trade not Aid

April 16, 2016

It was an aboslute pleasure to work with the lovely team at Cloth & Co. recently. Cloth & Co joined in our on second only Collaboration shoot day at the stunning Picadilly House, our collaboration shoots make stunning locations like this affordable for any size business by sharing the shoot day location hire with one or two other businesses. I’m very excited to bring you the first of our images from this days shoot, from the lovely Cloth & Co collection. Cloth & Co have a stunning and unique collection available, I was very excited to style. Let me introduce you to Cloth & Co and please enjoy the little bit of magic we created at Picadilly House.

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Cloth & Co. believes that while International aid has played a significant role in developing countries, no amount of money contributed to these communities will alleviate poverty in the long term, whereas having a strategy for poverty alleviation through capacity development and the skills to create high quality, marketable product for the local and international market is a much more sustainable solution.

Cloth & Co work with women’s Self Help Groups and cooperatives building long term partnerships to ensure a secure and sustainable income so they can plan their future. Cloth & Co partners in India work on the basis of (WFTO) Fair Trade Principles ensuring all of the women are not only paid fairly but are also provided with community support, skills development and a happy, healthy work environment. Cloth & Co’s aim is for the majority of our women to have the option to work from their homes with all the necessary support available if required.

Through Artisans of Fashion Cloth & Co are assisting in capacity and skills development where needed, especially for marginalised women which allows them to grow in confidence, empowering them to change their lives and the future of their children. Cloth & Co artisans are acknowledged and respected for their skills and contribution to the creation of the product, it goes beyond making money and becomes a matter of self worth and pride in the work they are doing.

 #madebypeoplenotfactories

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KHARAD RUG WEAVERS

The traditional Kharad weaving craft of Kachchh is diminishing. Out of the ten families practicing this craft, there are only two left. The other families have been forced to shift to other livelihoods. Originally Kharad carpets were made from goat and camel hair wool. The Maldharis and Rabaris (pastoral communities) would shear the hair from camels and goats, the wool was then given to the hand-spinners who specialized in spinning wool out of goat and camel hair. The Kharad artisans then use the wool to produce beautiful Kharad floor rugs. Their rugs used to be woven for the local market, with the weavers roaming between villages selling their products, but the demand for hand woven rugs has decreased dramatically. Today, the Kharad artisans are dependent on external markets. The Kharad rugs are extremely labour intensive with every part of the process done by hand, from the combing and spinning of the wool to the weaving and finishing. One month of weaving produces 3-5 rugs. Due to the care and skill required to produce these beautiful rugs, they are made to last unlike many of the cheaper, factory produced rugs the hand loomed Kharad rugs will last more than 100 years. Cloth & Co. aims to help expand the market so that more artisans who have left the craft will come back and this beautiful tradition can be preserved.

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TAMIL WOMEN WEAVERS

Tamil Women Weavers started their hand weaving activities in 1987, there are 32 women working in this weaving facility on a full time basis. Most are belonging to the Dalit community and would otherwise be living a very marginalized existence. The meaning of Dalit is “oppressed”, and it is the self-chosen political name for castes of which the Varna system considers “untouchable”.

Tamil Women Weavers provides on the job training to all the interested artisans. The women are taught new techniques to expand the offering of the business to the international market. These women are an extraordinary group who have built their lives and are helping to support their children through school with the traditional skills of handloom. Working with GOTS Certified organic cotton, the women are weaving beautiful quality hand loomed towels and table linen. Cloth & Co. works closely with this group of women, designing and producing products that will sustainably support their livelihoods as well as expand the training programs for other women in the local villages.

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