Human trafficking is a growing criminal industry primarily across Asia and the Middle East. Nepal is mainly a source country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Many things factor into the reasoning for making the Nepali people vulnerable to forced labor or sex trafficking including but not limited to; lack of immigration control, economic limitations, gender inequality and the recent humanitarian crisis.
The trafficking of girls from Nepal into India for forced prostitution is one of the busiest slave trafficking routes anywhere in the world, with estimated 5,000-10,000 Nepali women and girls trafficked to India each year. . Young women and children are often convinced to cross into neighboring countries because of the promise of a good job, a marriage proposal or even offered as a means for an indebted family to sell to pay off their debts.
The economically disadvantaged are most susceptible to being trafficked because they are the most in need of a job. When the Nepali PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) identifies that 38% of its population lives on or below the poverty line , there is a clear depiction of how and why there are so many people being exploited in Nepal. Factor in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake and the open border policy due to the Peace and Friendship Treaty between India and Nepal, the alarming statistics start to make sense. We knew we wanted to help bring dignified jobs to Nepal to hopefully help bring about some systemic change in the economy. We may be a small part of this change, but we believe every job counts!
Nepali Dhaka is a cotton fabric hand woven in numerous colors with variations in design, color and size. This traditional weaving is done on wood and bamboo treadle looms with every piece being unique however the weaver chooses to interprets it.
Although the stories about its origin vary, this textile symbolizes Nepali culture and tradition. Originally, Dhaka was used primarily for men's hats, otherwise known as "Topi's". These are still worn and purchased by Nepali men for special occasions, festivals and even signify a government official position in society. However, as fashion evolved, so did the use of the dhaka fabric.
The traditional craft of hand-looming requires incredible skill and ongoing training. Every dhaka is woven with thousands of very thin threads, averaging 50 longitudinal threads per inch. With math and forethought required, the process requires detailed calculations and planning to achieve accurate thread counts and properly executed design elements.
Once the Dhaka is created, it goes to our sewing Partner, Elegantees, to be created into a piece of apparel that has a style and size to accommodate our Western market. They are amongst the kindest and hardworking people we’ve had the privilege of working with. It is an honor to collaborate with them on the designs we get to bring to market and would love the opportunity to provide them with more work.