Go green and save green! Enjoy 10% off our Earth-friendly products to celebrate Earth Day!

Go green and save green! Enjoy 10% off our Earth-friendly products to celebrate Earth Day!

Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Stories of Hope in India – Trades of Hope

by | Artisans, Stories of Hope

Discover Stories of Hope in India! Trades of Hope Partners with women  in India who do so much more than just create beautiful products.

(Read Time: 6 min.)

Our Mission of Hope in India

Trades of Hope Founder, Elisabeth (center) with Artisans in India.

With every purchase, another woman is empowered out of poverty to be self-reliant! When you purchase their handcrafted designs, you’re providing these women with opportunities to earn an income, attend financial management classes, and receive education and healthcare.

Ethically Sourced Artisanal Leather

Safe Jobs with Fair Wages for Women

These Artisans are committed to preserving India’s time-honored leather crafting traditions while advocating for women’s equality and supporting education for children in rural villages. Every purchase of their ethically sourced genuine leather designs helps provide fair-trade jobs and build schools in areas of extreme poverty.

Ruby’s Story of Hope

Ruby, Artisan in India

“The lowest point of my life was when I lost my husband. I was afraid and wondered if I would ever be able to earn enough to support my family. I knew about a leather bag workshop where a lot of women worked. I was able to secure a full-time job and started to work for the first time in my life.

Now, I’m the sole earning member of my family. I’m able to send all three of my kids to school, take them on holidays, and buy things for them. I also take care of my mother-in-law. 

Coming to the workshop and working on Trades of Hope products really makes my day! I just hope there is something to do for Trades of Hope every day.” – Ruby

“Now I know there is a company far, far away, who cares for the people who create their product. We wish all our customers were like this!” – Ruby, Artisan in India

Handcrafted Block Printed Leather

Preserving Artisan Traditions Through Job Training

Using ancient leather crafting and block printing techniques, Artisans in India create beautiful traditional designs with modern function. Every purchase supports women and families in areas of extreme poverty by providing safe jobs and fair wages in communities where vulnerable women are often exploited in sweatshops.

Shama’s Story of Hope

“I became an Artisan when my husband left me. I didn’t want to be a burden on my family. Before the pandemic, I was working for a different company. But due to Covid, I lost my job. My cousin’s sister, Rafiqan, referred me to this workshop. Imagining my life without work is scary now.

Having job security is the biggest peace of mind I have here. We always get paid on time, and as women Artisans, we have the freedom to leave an hour early, which is good for me because I have a child to take care of.

I want my child to have a secure future. I don’t want my daughter to end up like me.” – Shama, Artisan in India

“I wish that I’m able to afford to give my daughter an education. That’s my only dream.”

– Shama, Artisan in India

Traditional Block Print Scarves

Sustainable Income for Women in Rural Villages

Block Print Scarf Artisan Babli and her family in India

These Artisans are committed to preserving India’s time-honored leather crafting traditions while advocating for women’s equality and supporting education for children in rural villages. Every purchase of their ethically sourced genuine leather designs helps provide fair-trade jobs and build schools in areas of extreme poverty.

Babli’s Story of Hope

Babli creates traditional Bagru block-printed scarves in a quaint family workshop in India.

Her family takes great pride in being one of only a few workshops in their village who are able to create these unique designs without the use of machines.

Babli’s husband learned these skills after his income as a manual laborer wasn’t enough to provide for their essential needs.

As their family grew, Babli wanted their children to be able to enjoy a good education.

So Babli and her mother studied and practiced until they became master craftswomen.

Your purchase helps empower Babli to send her children to school and save toward her family’s dream of owning their own home.

Sewing – Totes

Empowering Abused & Differently Abled Artisans

Differently Abled Artisans in India

This Artisan community is committed to empowering widowed, abused, vulnerable, and differently-abled persons in India. Along with an income, these women are receiving education, job training, and are actively fighting for women’s rights. They have established a community in which all women, despite their past, have a haven where they become self-sufficient. Your purchase empowers these women to be the heroes of their own stories!

Dilshad’s Story of Hope

“After my marriage, my family tortured me many times for over a year. One day, when I was cooking, my mother-in-law poured kerosene over me and burned me.

Dilshad's Story of Hope in India Blog

When I came to this workshop, my wounds on my hands were still raw. I couldn’t lift or hold anything. It took me four to five years to learn everything. Whatever samples I get, I’m capable of making now. There is immense joy in working with everyone.” – Dilshad, Artisan in India

Sewing Job Skills Training

Empowering Vulnerable & Abused Women

In areas of extreme poverty, vulnerable women are often exploited by sweatshops. These Artisans are committed to providing vulnerable women in areas of extreme poverty with opportunities to receive job skills training, childcare, and life-skills counseling. Your purchase provides women with safe jobs, fair wages, health care, and more!

Rinku’s Story of Hope

All of her life, Rinku was told she was nothing without a man. When her hopes of finding safety and security through marriage turned into a life of fear and violent abuse, she fled back to her parents’ home.

Four times, she was told she was a burden to them and sent back with her baby girl to her abusive marriage.

Finally, the fifth time Rinku fled, someone told her about a local community of Artisans who train women how to become financially independent through handcrafting fair-trade products. This Artisan community taught her sewing skills and helped her learn how to support her family.

Rinku’s parents now view her as an asset to their home, instead of a burden.

Dyeing, Hand-Stitching, & Fringe

Empowering Women in Rural Villages

India is home to one-fourth of the world’s poor. As fair-trade Artisans, women have a safe way to provide food and shelter for their families without having to leave them. Many of these scarves are crafted by mothers while their children play by their side.

Susoma’s Story of Hope

“Though my husband works, his income is insufficient to support a family.

My work is helping me earn money and achieve my goals.

This has resulted in providing a good education, food, lifestyle to my children in India.”

– Susoma, Artisan in India

Sustainably Sourced Wood

Eco-Friendly Ethical Solutions to Poverty

We partner with Artisan communities in India to create wooden home decor that empowers this generation of Artisans to lead their families out of poverty and human trafficking in ways that also protect and enhance the environment, so our mission can continue into the next generation. When it comes to creating products made from wood, eco-friendly sustainability means choosing wood that is responsibly grown, fast-growing, easily renewable, and local whenever possible to support other industries in an Artisan’s local community.

Ekra’s Story of Hope

Ekra's Story of Hope in India

Growing up in India, Ekra dreamed of graduating, but financial challenges forced her to drop out of school in the 8th grade. Without an education, her job opportunities were severely limited.

As Ekra watched her older brothers follow in their father’s footsteps and become woodworkers, she became interested in their family’s business. She started helping with finishing and packaging.

Now she works alongside her brothers as an equal Artisan partner with the support of their Artisan community who recently made improvements to their family’s workshop by adding safety equipment and better lighting. Ekra is grateful for her work and for the financial support of her Artisan community.

Artisanal Metal Home Decor

Supporting Local Family Workshops

The poverty cycle in India continues primarily because of the lack of education and resources. Many essential resources are not free or affordable for children in India’s slums. These children never learn to read or write and grow up with limited opportunities. Many families in India’s slums have limited or no access to health care or clean water. Your purchase helps provide Artisans in areas of extreme poverty and their children with access to education, health care, and clean water programs. Every purchase gives hope to families in India’s slums.

Meenal’s Story of Hope

Meenal, Artisan in India

This Artisan community provides safe jobs with fair wages for women in areas of extreme poverty in India, like Meenal.

Meenal is married with three daughters.

She has worked as an Artisan in her small village in northern India for the past two years.

Her family is very supportive of her, as she continues to inspire more women in her area to begin working as Artisans and help their families overcome poverty.

During holidays, she often teaches weaving classes.

Share this story!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.