Our newly arrived table linens come with touching stories from India. Throughout 10 artisan groups, social enterprise Sustainable Threads matches product development efforts with the skill sets of each community. Their goal is to build long-term, fair-trade partnerships with artisans from the most disadvantaged communities.
In the past, people with disabilities faced extreme discrimination in India. The prejudice continues till today, and as a result, this community keeps facing steep challenges to finding employment. In Haryana, a small eight-person weaving unit offers employment and life skill training to people with physical disabilities, allowing them to use traditional weaving skills to create modern, functional pieces. As an avenue for greater financial independence and social acceptance, this non-profit social enterprise also provides scholarships for the children of their artisans, as well as a revolving loan fund for young adults to pursue higher education.
Photo: Sustainable Threads
In Assam, indigenous Bodo women are masters of bamboo hand looms. They string silk threads vertically upon the looms, then weave horizontal interlacing threads in decorative patterns. Unlike in the production of most commercial silks that kills the silk worms in the process, silkworm cocoons here are collected only after the moths have emerged. Artisans wait patiently for silk worms to live out their life cycles, metamorphose into moths and vacate their cocoons. Therefore, the silk they use is known as ahimsa, or peace silk.
Photo: Cox and Kings
Our favorites are these raw silk table runners dyed with natural indigo and turmeric - a locally-grown yellow spice. No pesticide or chemicals were used during any of the production processes.
View the entire collection of Sustainable Threads.
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With wool sourced directly from the nearby mountains and whimsical design from Brooklyn, New York, women artisans in Kyrgyzstan are crafting gifts and decorations with their traditional technique of wet felting. This generations-old technique creates a textile that is strong and incredibly soft to the touch, making it a beautiful medium to connect the heritage of Kyrgyz nomadic culture with our modern urban lifestyle.
Consisting of pillows, rugs, and baskets, Ximena's home collection is entirely handcrafted at artisan cooperatives throughout Colombia, using only natural materials native each region - wool, fique, and palm leaves. "This collection is about empowerment," says Ximena. "I strive to empower artisans in my homeland, and these designs are the way to bring their skill set, my vision, and creativity to life."