When we launched our business almost 19 years ago, we could never have imagined how it would evolve or how many lives we would positively impact. Many things have changed, but one thing has always remained the same - our wholehearted commitment to Fair Trade. Each and every item in our collection continues to make an important and meaningful difference to the lives of the women who made them. Living in some of the poorest and remote communities in Bangladesh, our partnership allows them the chance to do things they never dreamt of before, like sending their children to school; rebuilding their homes; plan for their futures; medical care for themselves or loved ones; or something as simple as being able to buy new clothing.
If you have purchased something from us this year, please know that you have contributed to making a genuine difference to the life of a woman who truly appreciates it. Thank you for contributing to this positive cycle.
We’re looking forward to seeing all of our artisan partners again in 2023. There is nothing quite like the all-immersive experience of visiting them in their villages, spending quality time together while they craft our designs from their homes or community workspaces. These trips help us to better understand the skills and raw materials they use, which greatly contributes to our design and creative process. They also enable us to see first-hand the direct impact of our Fair Trade partnership on the artisans, their families and their whole communities.
The resilience and strength of the artisans in the face of adversity continues to amaze us. While we don’t want to be too doom and gloom, we’d like to share the realities of what our artisan partners have faced in 2022 as these challenges directly impact the production times and costs of our products. Monsoonal rains and cyclones in the middle of the year caused major disruptions in transportation, production of our orders, living circumstances and food crops due to flooding. The Ukrainian crisis has brought increased food and gas prices, making it difficult to maintain living and production costs and due to the price of fuel doubling, there are electricity restrictions of 5-6 hours in artisan’s villages everyday. And yet, despite it all, they continue to produce beautiful work for us.
This year we have donated to several different causes both in our artisan communities and closer to home. After the devastating floods in our northern NSW community, we donated our time and financially to various local community organisations. With women’s empowerment at the heart of our values, the important work of Women Up North Housing (WUNH) resonated deeply with us. We were honoured to donate a percentage of our proceeds to this worthy organisation which supports local vulnerable women in need.
We were very sad to lose a key team member of one of our NGO partners who was responsible for overseeing production of our jute rugs. Eila was young, vibrant and dedicated to supporting the women who she worked with. We contributed towards Eila’s medical treatment however sadly she passed after a short illness. We were very fond of Eila and she is greatly missed by many.
Our goal has always been to work towards improving the lives of our artisan partners through functional design, regular orders and paying fair prices. Each time you order a piece from us, you are playing an important part in helping to achieve this goal. Together we are all making a huge difference to the lives of the talented women who make our products. Thank you for your continued support - we and the artisans greatly appreciate it!
Warmest wishes, Shannon, Mick and The Dharma Door team xx
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