May 9th is World Fair Trade Day, a day to celebrate and raise awareness of Fair Trade practices. Your partnership increases the visibility of this movement. A sincere thanks for it.
Using this time to give you an update about the artisans we collectively support. We’ve been in frequent contact with as many artisan representatives as possible. India is under lockdown, although the numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases reported are still quite low as compared to many other countries around the world. The key strategy seems to be to prevent spread of the disease. Families are confined in small spaces and their incomes have been gravely affected.
A couple of home-based groups continued to work until the raw materials ran out, while a couple of groups are able to create masks for sale as they are based closer to the cities. But of course, the casual migrant workers are affected most adversely, with no ability to afford to live in cities without income and unable to return to their villages because of the surprise lockdown that began in the last week of March (citizens did not receive prior notice of the nationwide mass quarantine.) Some state governments have been delivering much-needed emergency food relief to low-income families. There is no one story, no simple answers but a patchwork of responses, some hopeful, some not.
At Sustainable Threads, we are working to pay the groups as able, for the orders we have placed for, whenever they are ready. We hope this helps them endure at least some uncertainties.
A friend shared the following with us and I think it’s a great reminder for why we are all doing this…