The Association of Craft Producers (ACP) believes in helping producers by supporting them to improve and develop their overall standard of living. The ACP provides assistance and training for nearly 1200 low income, primarily female, craft producers in Nepal.
Nepal is a mountainous, developing country that despite its lure as a hiking and trekking capital is constantly striving to develop other industries and income opportunities for its population. Craft skills, such as jewellery making, metal and wood work are ancient arts, which could be lost without investment and skill transfer – and which, carefully developed, offer women who would otherwise be unemployed to support their families.
By investing in primarily women headed households, ACP is ensuring that the support to its craftspeople is saved, reinvested and transferred as best as possible within the communities. In Nepal in 2008 less than 60% of the female population participated in any employment or income generation of any kind.
Sabahar creates sustainable work opportunities in Ethiopia with a focus on women. All products are made by hand: from spinning cotton and silk, to weaving, dying, and finishing products. Sabahar encourages high-quality traditional skills as a means to increase reliable income.
Sabahar has been striving, since its creation, to merge the positive development impact of the employment and skill transfer with the regeneration of a whole industry. The silk industry in Ethiopia was once a traditional, vibrant industry, which had all but disappeared before Sabahar began sourcing, growing, weaving, and finishing silk products.
Despite working in the 10th poorest country (World Bank) in the world, Sabahar seeks to produce high-quality, luxury products, whilst prioritising the use and development of long lasting, continuous skill transfer to all of its staff. 40% of women in Ethiopia aged between 16 and 25 are unemployed in Ethiopia. Despite numerous charities and NGOs working in the country over 30% of all women still lack access to employment and skills.
One Fine Thread aims for something beyond just beautiful jewellry. The goal is to create awareness of the San Bushmen’s plight through the storytelling traditions connected to their arts and crafts, whilst creating a sustainable business for the tribe.
The San Bushmen are hunter gather tribe from southern Africa. Many bushmen, despite numerous modernisation efforts live in poverty, and struggle to access basic social-services and employment.
The collection of ostrich egg-shell jewellery encompasses a holistic, creative livelihood. The ostrich eggs are eaten, providing key proteins to the family, with the egg shell being used firstly as a water carrier and then to create the jewellery.
Rosa Abyssinica creates individually designed, hand-cut and carefully assembled products to reflect the beauty of natural 100% Ethiopian resources. It specifically aims to employ and empower female artisans and offers authentic products that feed directly into the local and national economy.
40% of women in Ethiopia aged between 16 and 25 are unemployed in Ethiopia. Despite numerous charities and NGOs working in the country over 30% of all women still lack access to employment and skills. By creating skills, employment and economic opportunities for women in Ethiopia, Rosa Abyssinica is benefiting whole family units.
The leather, which is so important to Rosa Abyssinica’s creations, is a by-product of small scale farmers producing goats, sheep and cows for consumption. There is no animal breeding in Ethiopia purely for the leather. So Rosa Abyssinica is allowing women to supplement traditional livelihoods and improve the economy for the whole community.
Barefoot products are handmade using natural yarns that have been dyed and woven by hand. The craft skills at Barefoot are timeless. Drawing on an ancient tradition and a desire to achieve perfection using natural inputs, their quality is remarkable.
Only 38% of women in Sri Lanka participate in the workforce, and encouraging more women to become engaged in skilled labour is crucial to improving the sustainable economic development of the island. Barefoot creates long term relationships with low-income women and men craftsmen and promotes eco-friendly production.
Cantaloup works with the women of Thunukkai - a livelhoods project working in the North of Sri Lanka to develop long lasting skills within the communities. Together they produce and market beautiful beaded jewellery that is 100% Sri Lankan.
The north of Sri Lanka was one of the areas worst affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and has been at the centre of the civil war affecting the island for nearly 30 years. Women and communities in the area have taken a large toll from the war and tsunami, and rebuilding livelihoods and opportunities there is very important.
By focusing on high quality skills for women in Thunukkai, Cantaloup is hoping to have a lasting impact on the community, and ensure that livelihoods improve for the community.
Salem Design mixes beads, pendants, crosses and stories from throughout Africa to create unique, luxury jewellery. It aims to illustrate how a merging of Ethiopia’s diverse cultures, put together lovingly by hand in Addis Ababa, can deliver African Chic.
Every piece of Salem Design Jewellery holds an African story, weaving together the craftspeople with the significance of the regional designs and individual beads. It provides a positive, inspirational experience for young women craftsmen in Ethiopia.
Salem trains jewellery makers, weavers, and basket makers to ensure sustainable incomes, for highly trained women, offering them continuous and long-term employment. This supports development since women in Ethiopia tend to redistribute, save and manage incomes better than men, ensuring more benefit for families and communities.
Sal Art mixes traditional Ethiopian skills with contemporary design and locally sourced innovative materials. Design drives what Sal Art produces and there is serious thought given to the practicality, comfort and sustainability of the household accessories it produces.
Taya Maxey uses a mixture of contemporary design, bold, 100% locally sourced inputs and the indigenous skills from cooperatives of craftsmen from throughout Rwanda to make beautiful creations, which are unique and fabulous.
By focusing on cooperatives Taya Maxey ensures that incomes are spread equitably within craftsmen, leaving as much value within economies as possible. From sourcing inputs, to the craftsmanship of finishing, Taya Maxey utilises skill and expertise that is uniquely Rwandan and drawn from across the country.
Rwanda is still trying to develop out of the tragedy of the 1994 genocide. Whilst the government has promoted development through pushing higher technology development, there is still a need to continue to improve livelihoods, income levels and skills throughout the population – and craftspeople rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to showcase their goods on a world stage.
Mela merges a unique understanding of the local materials available with the passion of craftswomen, committed to modern design. Mela works with the best craftsmen, with high quality, Ethiopian inputs to create beautiful products.
The leather, which is so important to Mela’s creations, is a by-product of small scale farmers producing goats, sheep and cows for consumption. Mela combines this leather with jewellery pieces sourced sustainably from tribes people supplementing their income through the creation and sale of jewellery. This allows them to invest in their communities and access micro-finance so that they can sustainably grow their businesses.
Mela products deal directly with the negative reputation that a history of famine and drought appeal has built for Ethiopia, by producing high quality, beautiful, highly skilled products.