We promised we would keep you up to date on the things we are working on. For this post we wanted to share a little bit about one of the organizations we have been working with in Kathmandu, Nepal. We are developing and co-designing some products from a fair trade organization called Mahaguthi.Mahaguthi is an amazing organization that works with and coordinates efforts of over a thousand individual producers throughout Nepal. 50% of these producers live in remote and mountainous regions who would not have access to the infrastructure that Mahaguthi can provide. This allows micro-enterprises to better promote themselves as well as increase their capacities and the quality of their products. Many of these producers are woman who can use traditional skills in their own homes generating extra income for their families and communities.We had a chance to tour many of Mahaguthi’s establishments and see first hand how great this organization is. 40% of this organizations income goes to funding the Tulsi Mahila Ashram. This Ashram houses, trains and educates woman valuable skills and also educates and provides health care for their kids. We watched women sewing, hand looming and dying fabrics, knitting and more. It’s amazing all the quality products this organization can produce. This is a full scale business that has done great things to help people and communities, hence their slogan “craft with a conscious.”Businesses like this are truly inspirational for us as well influential on how a business can be operated. Not only is Mahaguthi doing great things for people, they are incredible to work with. We really cannot think of a nicer more gracious staff to work with. They were so helpful and accommodating to us. We are looking forward to a long lasting business relationship with them.
One thing about fair trade is that it’s a tight knit community. Everyone supports each other. Technically, a fair trade business in India could be competition for them, but when they heard that that was our next stop, they gave us names of people to talk to and even called them to let us know we were coming. We plan to do the same, our goal is to promote fair trade to everyone including to other businesses. The more people involved the better for all of us.