East + West = Good Design


Here's a good-looking clutch bag with a an even better story behind it. The bag was made in India with the guidance of a group that works with artisans and small communities to develop well-designed and ethically-made products for the western market. Via design trains the producers in design and small business management so that they can have viable and sustainable businesses. They run workshops in production and quality control as part of the learning process. Profits are reinvested in training and helping out the suppliers.

In this case they worked with English designer Martha Evatt. The work celebrated the natural and organic by using simple objects like seeds and pods in the fabric. This vibrant series of bags and cushion covers is made of a silk and cotton blend, all fair trade. The fabric is also available by the metre. The designer spent four months working with a group of women in southern India to develop their skills. All members of the team had already had a year's training in hand and machine sewing and quality control before moving into the stitching team. :: Via design

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