Hello! If you’re just getting here, through the month of October I am writing about companies, businesses and individuals that seek to produce ethically made clothing and support local artisans in their communities to build their own businesses and learn new skills. Why am I telling this? So we can support them by changing the way we shop and make purchases. You can check out Day 1 here for more information!
Today is Day 8 of the 31 days writing challenge, and we are really on a roll here! Every day I am researching and finding more and more businesses that are seeking to change the way we do our shopping and helping artisans and locals from around the world to make changes in their lives, learn to run businesses and support their families. It’s so exciting that we can partner with them!
Our feature company for today is
Behind the Vision
Eternal Threads began as a tote-making project to provide industrious and hardworking women, living in extreme poverty in rural South India, earn an income where otherwise they would be limited to helping in the fields a couple of times during harvest. The full vision of the project was to develop into a model to be used as a way to help women worldwide. They have been doing just that – as of 2014 there are now products available from 15 different countries. The skills and products are varied as they have learned to work with many different textiles – wool, silk, cotton, raffia, plastic twine, cording for jewelry and others.
“Part of this vision was the desire to connect women in the developed world to women struggling to survive in underdeveloped nations. By selling their handiwork, Eternal Threads is able to tell the story of these women, and by purchasing their work you can be a part of providing them with hope and a future.”
Check out this video for more on the Eternal Threads story.
Get acquainted with the artisans
Eternal Threads’ artisan section of their site introduces you to the companies they support in countries such as Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Peru, Philippines and Uganda. Meet Onoroo, who has been working in Mongolia with a jewelry making company called Streams in the Desert –
“My character has changed so much since my old life. It has been almost 3 years since I first came to Streams. I have been working with jewelry for a year and 5 months. I can now make things with my hands. I am so thankful to be here. My life has changed. I really have peace and satisfaction in this work. When I am here, I am fed spiritually.”
In some villages in Nepal, husbands and fathers are forced to leave home to look for work because of poor soil conditions for growing more than enough to provide for a couple of months in a year. This leaves many young women and mothers at home, vulnerable to the sex traffikers who lead them into believing they are giving them a good job.
Eternal Threads is providing vocational training in tailoring to “at risk” girls in villages giving them the skills to earn an income that will protect them from exploitation and give them hope for a better life.
In partnership with KINepal, Eternal Threads and the Red Thread Movement are able to help save over 2,000 girls a year from traffickers. Rescued girls, who live in the safe houses from six months to a year, are not only given counseling, but also receive vocational tailoring and beautician training.
In Ghana, Rafiatu Adams is working on setting up a business for underprivileged and “street girls” to teach them the art of beading and weaving. Eternal Threads is involved by providing her and the girls with their first bulk order.
Rafiatu is also working to create markets for her jewelry in Ghana, but connecting with women in the U.S. will greatly expand her capacity to serve the young women in her country. She is now building a place where the girls can live and work. Rafiatu’s dedication has her making a 14-hour journey from the village to the capital city of Accra to ship her goods and buy more raw materials.
There are so many of these amazing stories of women being helped, rescued, provided for in the area of jobs, skills and training. And the products they make are just lovely!
Our main focus this week is on children’s products, so I’ll highlight a few of what Eternal Threads has to offer for kids. But don’t stop there! They also have a lot of beautiful products for home and jewelry!
If you have little girls, there are plenty of accessories, including these beautiful crocheted purses made by women in India.
For boys, hacky sacks are the way to go!
My kids LOVE playing with plastic animals, but I would much rather a beautiful set of these raffia animals. They’re bright, colorful, and well-made toys!
Girls and boys alike will also enjoy the finger puppets hand-knitted in Peru.
And don’t forget these adorable crocheted animals! More than just your average sock monkey :0)
My favourite, and the most unique idea for kids, has to be the Birthday in a Box. Handmade fair trade products from Madagascar provide a fun and unique party for ages. What a fantastic idea!
As I mentioned before, Eternal Threads has so much more to offer above and beyond products for kids. Be sure to check out these categories as well!
And so much more!
You can also check out the Red Thread Movement on Eternal Threads – purchases from this section include a sewing machine and goats in Nepal, sponsoring a rescued girl, and an Anti-Trafficking Unit.
They have so many great stories of women who are being rescued, saved, taught, trained and providing for their families, bettering their futures, and ultimately, changing the world.