Artisans of Fashion is a social enterprise founded with a mission to make a difference in the lives of some of the world’s poorest people - India’s rural artisans; with the intent of helping alleviate poverty through the utilisation of existing skills as well as providing capacity and skills development to those in need.
These groups are comprised mostly of women and the elderly – many of whom are landless, illiterate, scheduled castes and tribes and religious minorities living at the bottom of the social and economic pyramid. Due to the lack of sustainable employment opportunities in their local communities, many of them have been forced to abandon their skilled legacy trades and migrate to urban areas in search of consistent employment – often living in slums and taking any work they can reasonably obtain to support themselves and their families.
Artisans of Fashion provides support through opportunity identification, grant proposals and fundraising for capacity development projects as well as connection to market opportunities. Artisans of Fashion works with a number of Women’s Self Help Groups and artisan communities across different regions in India, integrating traditional techniques with contemporary design to create marketable products.
Artisans of Fashion showcases the rich and extraordinary craftsmanship from across the many regions highlighting the unique and indigenous skills that have been handed down through generations through events, social media and exhibitions. We strive to help people develop an understanding and appreciation of these ancient skills and the beauty of unique hand craft techniques in the hope that they will survive the economic pressures of mass manufacturing, fast fashion and seasonal trends and the influx of cheap synthetic imports.
Supporting the slow fashion movement and use of locally grown, native natural fibres and chemical free processing combined with employing traditional crafts people is not only socially responsible, it plays a key role in the prevention of the long term environmental impact of cheap, disposable fashion and factory pollutants.