Winter is the time for curling up in comfy sweaters and warm socks, and the time for hot chocolate and rosy cheeks. And this winter in particular, it is the time for handwoven scarves, hand-knit hats, and shawls, specially made by mothers in the Himalayan Mountains in Northern India.
Himalayan Naari, one of our newest Shared Trade partners, is collective of women knitters and weavers in several remote Himalayan mountains villages. These groups began after years of working on education programs for kids through the Himalayan Education Foundation (HEF). Most of these working women moved from their agricultural villages – with no economic opportunity – to the city so that their children would have better educational opportunities.
The women have started collaborating with a designer for colors and patterns, sourcing their wool from the Dharma Valley. Currently, they are being trained in design and utilize natural wool and angora in their products. Shared Trade is Himalayan Naari’s first retailer in the United States, and we are excited to be the first online retailer in the country to offer these beautiful winter accessories.
One knitter and the co-op coordinator, Babita Mahara, joined Himalayan Naari in 2013 to increase her family’s income, improve her knitting skills, and spend her time productively. Babita says,
“I feel proud to be member of Himalayan Naari. I feel good by joining Himalayan Naari because I can help other members with knitting.”
Written by Tamar Alexian, guest blogger and Thistle Farmer.