Avani – Imparting livelihood skills to people living in the Rural Himalayan region

Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of Kumoan, Uttaranchal in India one organization has been working tirelessly to empower, educate and create opportunities for rural women and men to find viable employment through a self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable supply chain.

Avani, meaning earth in Hindi, was established in 1997.  Over the last decade and a half, it has progressed into an ideology where social enterprise meets social empowerment.

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For Avani, the method of production is equally important to the products themselves. They combine traditional knowledge and craft with a modern approach to production and distribution and use local resources to create contemporary products and services for a global market. Every business decision related to Avani products is guided by a strong responsibility toward environmental best practices and sensitivity to the cultural context of the villages where they work.

Today, Avani includes a network of nearly 800 artisans and farmers who work together to grow, process, design and create products that generate income for local residents. Products range from raw natural colorants for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to eco-friendly art supplies for children to textile printing and dyeing.

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It is interesting to see how they use a variety of natural fibers and materials to create their varied products. They use natural ingredients to dye their yarns, as well as natural soap (from the soapnut tree) to wash the textiles. The farmers who cultivate and collect these materials enter into sustainable livelihoods and become a part of a larger production cycle. Using these renewable materials also provides incentive to plant, grow and protect the plants and trees that yield them, thus preserving the local ecology.

Direct Create is proud to include their beautiful, hand woven stoles this week.

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