Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talks on Ethical Textiles were given at Reggio Emilia, Parma & Florence in Italy, on 25th, 26th and 27th March. The first one, in Reggio, was held at the Maki Pub, which serves simple meals and drinks. Maki Pub has bought all its furniture and most of its accessories from Ravinala, one of the Fair Trade organizations in Italy. David Cambioli of Altra Qualita, Deborah Lucchetti of the Clean Clothes Campaign, Michele Fantoni of INvestiRE & Uzramma of Malkha Marketing Trust spoke.

Altra Qualita imports artisan made goods - not just textiles - from the less industrialized countries. They buy khadi and malkha from Weavers´Wheel and make it into garments which they sell through their catalogue. The Clean Clothes Campaign looks into issues of exploited labour in the production/market chains of big clothing companies, shares such information with the public and attempts to influence the companies to mend their ways. INvestiRE is just at the early stages of setting up ethical clothing chain, from fabrics produced in India and Brazil, tailored in Italy by social businesses.

The audience on each occasion was drawn from the network of supporters of Ravinala and G.A.S, the Italian Ethical Consumer Group.

My Italian being limited to 'grazie' & 'buon giorno' I needed a translator. Deborah did it at the Maki Pub, Michele in Parma and Massimo, a professional translator but one who specializes in sport, in Florence. Massimo had prepared for the event by going through our website and did an excellent job.

It is tempting to see these efforts as larger and more significant than they are, nevertheless, they do represent a growing interest in promotion of local and ethical manufacture and trade.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thanks for your comment A, glad you enjoy the blog...

Yes our site has become very static and needs to have more information, pics of fabrics from our range, prices and the details of different processes of khadi, handloom & malkha...

Here's a short version of the difference:

KHADI uses yarn spun on charkhas [ring-frames] turned by hand
HANDLOOM uses mill-spun yarn
MALKHA uses special pre-spinning processes, cutting out baling/unbaling/blowroom which the other two use

All three are woven on handlooms.

The DESI sale is meant to introduce malkha to the regular DESI customers, who are used to handloom fabrics at a lower price. We hope that once people wear malkha they will realize that it is good value!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Kala Ghoda exposure in Mumbai is bearing fruit... Jayashree & Anita from the Maati store in Powai have been in touch, saying that customers have been saying good things about malkha. Maati is planning to try retailing malkha on the basis of these reports, and we hope to get into a long-term partnership. It would be the first retail partnership... oops, typed 'partnershop' by mistake, though that might be a good term to use for this arrangement.

Arti of OMO in Bandra has also been spreading the word, and we had an excited call from another potential customer who's planning to come to Hyderabad to look at the stuff.

Two small shows coming up this month in Bangalore, here is the invite... oops again, no copy-paste facility. The 1st is at DESI Basanavnagudi, tel 26725514 from 11th to 14th, & the 2nd at Julie Kagti's, Hatworks Boulevard tel 41327515 from 19th to 22nd.