copper interior accessories: meet the makers

makers home accessories copper interior

Our special collection of copper interior accessories is made in India. We’d like to tell you a little bit more about the makers and show you how these products are made. For the design an production of the collection consisting of copper bowls and tea light holders we work together with Studio Coppre from India.

They design and produce copper interior accessories. The artisans they work with are highly skilled in traditional copper work.

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The missing women of India & Bangladesh

missing women india bangladesh

Inspired by an article in The Guardian about missing women in India, I’d like to share some thoughts with you about the position of women in India & Bangladesh. If you’ve been following our journey, you’ve probably heard me talking about all kinds of abuse many women in these countries endure, such as trafficking and slavery. Today I would like to delve a little deeper. Why is abusive behaviour towards women so rife?

The article in The Guardian I mentioned is about more than 63 million women who are “missing” statistically across India,

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kantha quilts and scarves: meet the makers

Kantha quilts makers tulsi crafts india fair trade

Embroidery, it may sound like a bit of a boring hobby to some of us. But in India and Bangladesh it can be a skill of vital importance. In Bengal embroidering with the traditional kantha stitch is passed from mother to daughter. They traditionally make kantha quilts for their families using this technique. We use this skill together with a local NGO of keep women out of slavery.

Slavery is still a big problem,

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fair trade bags from handwoven jute: meet the makers

hand weaving jute tangail bangladesh

Our collection of fair trade bags from handwoven jute is growing, as is the group of artisans who make the bags in Bangladesh. They’re becoming more professional over time, and that’s a wonderful thing to see. We’d like to show you who makes our bags and how they are made.

Jute is a beautiful material, often called ‘the golden fibre’. At the same time it’s very strong and environmentally friendly. It grow as a rotation crop in the rice paddies of Bangladesh,

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indigo scarves shibori silk: meet the makers

indigo shibori silk scarves bangladesh_fairtrade

Indigo, for centuries the only pigment able to dye textiles blue. The blue from jeans and Japanese kimonos. Bengal was one of the biggest indigo producing areas, until the indigo revolt in 1859. Farmers rebelled against exploitation and the invention of synthetic indigo around 1890 led to a sharp decline in the use and cultivation of natural indigo.

The Living Blue cooperative brought the indigo tradition back to life and creates much needed economic activities in the poor Northwest of Bangladesh.

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A dilemma over labels from Bangladesh

tulsi label fair trade

A few weeks ago the TV program De slag om de Klerewereld (the battle for the clothing/monstrous world) aired. We saw the Dutch journalist Teun van de Keuken traveling to Dhaka, Bangladesh. He went undercover as a textile buyer to try and show us who pays the price for our cheap clothing. It was still shocking to see how things work in the textile industry, even though we know and have seen ourselves that that’s the way Bangladesh works.

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new collection: ethical design & crafts from India

handwoven ethical silk scarves India

collaboration
A collaboration between an Indian designer and an organisation for hand loom weavers. This creates a new collection of colourful and contemporary scarves.

craftsmanship
The scarves are woven by hand. The very fine weaving has been made with hand spun and hand dyed yarns from mulberry silk & khadi cotton.

 

unique
The scarves are woven especially for Tulsi Crafts.

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Problems in the Bangladesh textile industry

fair trade bangladesh tulsi crafts handicrafts

Large-scale problems

The other day I received an email from someone asking me why Tulsi Crafts works on a small-scale in Bangladesh, when the country has so many large-scale problems. Especially the textile industry of Bangladesh has huge problems, as we’ve seen when a factory collapsed last year causing many deaths and injuries.

It is most definitely important to make changes on this large scale. There is a lot of attention for these changes at the moment,

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kantha sari scarves in happinez magazine

tulsi crafts scarves in happinez magazine

Second life, that’s what Happinez Magazine named Tulsi Crafts’ kantha sari scarves. A second life for the saris, that’s for sure, because all scarves are made from upcycled saris from Bangladesh. But to me even more important; also a second life for the makers of these scarves.

The scarves are made in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. When I travelled there in 2012, I was specifically looking for kantha blankets,

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Meet Heshmia from Morocco

cooperative women silk vegan marokko artisan

This is Heshmia, she’s a member of a small women’s cooperative in Morocco. The cooperative is located in a small village in the Middle-Atlas.

In the photograph, Heshmia is holding a scarf she has woven for Tulsi Crafts. These scarves are made from vegetable sabra silk. Sabra silk is made of Aloe Vera fibres, it is a shiny fabric that doesn’t crease easily.

Heshmia made the scarves ‘burtu’

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