The artisan textiles, arts and crafts souvenirs you discover in developing countries are sometimes the most invaluable things you will ever find. They are unique and pretty, among those being bracelets, necklaces, little clutches to big tote bags. But behind the craftsmanship is a story. If we’re talking about a woven cotton clutch, this is how it would be processed: the cotton balls are hopefully harvested organically without any chemicals or pesticides, allowing cotton farmers to grow their cotton naturally, compete less against the industrial shifts, be reduced from chemical poisoning and provide income for their family. The cotton balls would be then sent to a weaver, who with many hours of hand labour hand weaves the cotton into fabric and this could possibly provide a women with her own income. It could be then sent to a textiles print screener where they would print original patterns with natural paints or an embroider who hand beads a pretty design. Lastly, it would go to a machinist who would use a handloom to sew the pieces together and sew on any finishing touches. These few jobs could provide a mother income to send her children to school. The process of making fashion and accessories is an integrated one but it’s a shame that not many companies are giving credit to the makers of the entire process. I sometimes ask the question: when will it all be fair-trade? Or sustainable at least?
There are a few social entrepreneurs though who have acknowledged this new business approach, like JOYN. “JOYN produces a line of block-printed textiles, handbags and accessories, creating jobs for 120 artisans in the foothills of the Himalayas, improving lives through meaningful work, educational opportunities and medical care.”
They have cute geometric designs. I love the pillow covers as they can easily spruce up your living space. Sit them either on your plain sheets on bed or on your couch. The exclusive tangerine paisley coasters are adorable too as they would sit nicely onto the coffee tables and under your tea cups! For a great Christmas present though for your sister, mum or aunty, go for the clutches. It’s handmade from 100% hand woven cotton and its hand block printed. It’s also beautiful in design. Any girl could fit her necessities in here: lipstick, phone, car keys – you name it.