Known for its rapidly growing service sector, radical resourcefulness, and sheer size in population, India is a country that the entire world is watching.

India’s manufacturing sector has the potential to touch US$ 1 trillion by 2025. India's cotton farms, fiber and textile industry provides employment to 45 million people.  While this is an incredible source of job provision within the country, it isn’t without its cost. This industry specifically is notorious for enslaving people desperate for work, but also children.    Women and men termed as 'recruiters' go to impoverished rural areas in India and convince parents to send their children to the bigger cities with the promise of a well-paid job in the apparel industry with the promise of a lump sum payment at the end of a few years.  In actuality, some of these children end up working in inhumane conditions classified as modern-day slavery. 

Artisan America is one of India’s biggest importers of cotton, clothing, and textiles. Just take a look at some of the tags in your closet.  With such large amounts of clothing coming out of India, we wanted to offer options that we knew were being made within the principles of Fair Trade. There’s a responsibility on us as the manufacturer and on you as the consumer to do our part in helping ensure dignified treatment to those employed within the apparel industry.

 

From meeting the pattern-maker who has been with the company for 17 years, to the men who press each piece just before fulfillment, we have had the privilege of seeing this group’s entire supply chain in action.

The process starts with their one and only beloved pattern maker, Ashok, who creates a sewing pattern for the tailers to follow. The tailors cut the fabric according to Ashok’s pattern and sew it together with machinery, creating each unique piece that commences the supply chain.

The garment goes to the “embellishments” department next where detail oriented women with world class sewing prowess add additional features like embroidery, buttons, sequins or trim. Every single embroidered stitch on our pieces are hand stitched! Depending on the skill level and how elaborate the design is, the embroidery process can take days to finish.

The garment then travels to the “finishings” department where women scrupulously inspect each piece, searching for any final detailing that is wrong so they can send it back to their teammates for correction. Once approved of by a quality control supervisor, the garment is pressed and folded to be placed in packaging for fulfillment.

You know what the best part about your new piece is though? That each afternoon the entire team stops for about thirty minutes to have tea together. There isn’t any separation of roles or castes during this time together, either just a sense of togetherness and family that is comfortable relaxing and enjoying each other.