MarketPlace: Handwork of India is a non-profit fair trade organization working to empower women in the poor areas of Mumbai through the sales of their hand printed and embroidered textiles.
Earning a living and supporting their families have given the women who are part of MarketPlace the independence and self-confidence to develop their own opinions, values and dreams. The 480 artisans who work with MarketPlace are part of 14 member cooperatives near Mumbai. They each have a background of economic hardship and limited access to employment opportunities in the general community but share the desire to become strong and independent. The women not only produce the textiles (block print, cut patterns, embroider), but are also active in many areas of the organization.
They shoot photos and write for the catalog, participate in planning designs and catalog layout, have representatives who participate on a social action committee, and engage in a global dialogue with U.S. customers. Running their own businesses empowers the women, and working together gives them support and encouragement. With offices in Illinois and India, MarketPlace offers beautiful and unique textiles infused with stories of the women who helped create them.