Sustainable Threads is committed to cultivating long-term fair trade relationships with low-income artisan communities. The artisans they work with are scattered across India and face diverse challenges and social concerns. They have a specific emphasis on artisan cooperatives and groups employing marginalized women and aspire to provide these artisans access to fair wages, larger markets and secure, sustainable livelihoods. They collaborate closely with these artisan cooperatives and groups in order to develop mutually beneficial and long-term trade relationships. These relationships allow us to offer customers beautiful and meaningful high-quality products.
About Sustainable Threads
Sustainable Threads was born from our collective professional experience and personal interest in rural development, entrepreneurship, and social justice. Among the various options, we chose to leverage our relationships in the development sector and start a fair trade wholesale enterprise. Our brief profiles are shared below. We currently work with over 10 artisan groups in India, with the goal of long term, deep partnerships. Our focus is on the people, not just the product. This model requires a significant investment in design and product development, factoring in the skill sets of each community.
In addition to working with the fair trade practices in production, we devote considerable time and resources to weave in ecologically friendly packaging for our products and our company. This is always a work in progress, a struggle, that we are persuaded to engage in.
Most, if not all, of our packaging (cartons, peanuts, bubble wrap etc.) are recycled from various individuals and stores in our community, as well as from family and friends. We are very grateful for their generosity, of time and more, to help us in our goal of recycling. We hope that next time you receive your package from Sustainable Threads; you’ll enjoy our products (of course), but also feel good about the recycled packaging!
We have been fortunate to have friends, family, and interns who have helped us start and stay on in our effort. It may not be possible to mention them here but do hope you will meet or communicate with some of them during the course of our partnership. Our brief profiles –
I am a trained social worker and have been associated with the development sector in India for about 15 years now. This period includes six years of work with Seva Mandir, a secular, voluntary organization working in rural and tribal villages of Udaipur district, in Rajasthan, India. In this capacity, I have hands-on experience of living and working with the village communities. I continue my association with Seva Mandir as the Executive Director of Friends of Seva Mandir, USA, established as an overseas support group. We also partner with the village groups by sourcing their products for Sustainable Threads. For me, Sustainable Threads is an extension of my interest and passion in social development.
Harish has two decades of experience in merchandising and marketing and has traveled globally in various capacities. He has a Masters in Business Administration. For Harish, Sustainable Threads provides a platform to learn about rural communities and explore ways to apply his experience to make a meaningful difference.
Fair Trade Matters!
At Yoga Geek we feel that the principles of Fair Trade mirror the finest principles of the various Yoga and Meditation traditions and practices that we respect. Fair Trade is a global movement that began in the 40’s and exists now as various parallel initiatives throughout the world. Driven by the efforts of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and socially motivated individuals, Fair Trade began by providing advice, assistance and support to disadvantaged producers. Fair Trade has come to be a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.
In keeping with the spirit of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, here are eight reasons we feel so strongly about, and are happy to be offering, Fair Trade products to our Yoga and Meditation communities:
- Fair Trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, where artisans receive a fair price and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
- Fair Trade embraces practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
- Artisans take pride in their work. Crafts are handmade, which translates into closer attention to detail and in the end higher-quality products
- By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare, and schools.
- Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
- Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than working for a middleman, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
- By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and/or the goods you use.
- Fair Trade prohibits child labor, ensures health and safety measures are established in order to avoid work-related injuries and follows International Labor Conventions (ILO). Workers are guaranteed access to healthcare and community development premiums can be used to provide greater access to /quality of healthcare and education.