Hand woven - to produce on a hand-operated loom.
We have partnered with a group of Bhutanese and Nepali weavers in Akron, Ohio. They use traditional back strap looms and create beautiful handwoven bags and other items. Their creations, which interlace strands of thread to create fabric and design, are a metaphor for how their lives are being brought together in a new culture. Once forced from their homes to live in a refugee camp, they were exploited, frightened and had no hope. Now they are thriving! We no longer call them refugees - a label that was forced on them. They are our business partners and talented master weavers.
Hand knitted - to knit garments by hand and not on a machine.
We have worked with our local Nepali artisans to create hand knitted sweaters and accessories that will launch this fall. We are especially excited to announce that we will be launching our first kids knitwear collection. We are still determining which sizes we will carry in this exclusive holiday collection. We are also in conversation with another group of artisans from Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS) based in Kathmandu, Nepal, the same location our other artisan group in Nepal. We are excited to collaborate with them on designs and learn about their sourcing. These artisans are mostly women and need to look after their young children at the same time they're working. They come from a caste of untouchables and have been denied education and employment opportunities. The rest of society shunned them and it was virtually impossible to break free. Girl Set Free can provide meaningful opportunities to this group.
We currently are working with survivors of human trafficking in a local safe house and providing opportunities to enrich their lives and help them in their healing process. We have a very special hand-stamped key necklace program we will be launching this August. We can't wait to share more about this program and how the funds will help build a second safe house for minors who have been rescued from human trafficking.