Of late, terms such as renewable products, biodegradable material, sustainability, circular economy and decreased carbon footprint, are common-place. The whole cycle of production and consumption is moving from being linear(use and throw) to circular (resource regeneration).
In India, craft traditions have always been produced in a sustainable manner. Having evolved within local communities, traditional knowledge has been passed on for generations, making them resource-efficient and in-sync with local ecosystems. For example, the Ajrakh technique of hand block printing with natural dyes, the moonj baskets woven from moonj grass in the villages of Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand and kala cotton production in Kutch, Gujarat, where cotton is cultivated using minimum water and pesticides free.
Today, consumers are also making a conscious shift to sustainable living by opting for ecologically conscious products and aligning themselves with brands that reflect these values. How has the product been manufactured? Where was it manufactured? What materials were used? in addition to production cost, what is the social and environmental cost?
At Mon Ami Foundation, we are committed to setting up the largest Crochet movement in the country. Our vision is to help build a socially responsible ecosystem by creating sustainable opportunities that will improve the quality of life for women in marginalised communities. Two questions we ask ourselves:
Are we doing the right thing?
Are we doing the thing right?
Our products resonate with customers who want products produced sustainably. Our core drivers are:
Linking sustainability to craft design: Philosophies such as up-cycling, waste minimisation and material optimisation lie at the heart of traditional craft. These aspects, which define sustainability, are intrinsic to the continuity of womens craft.
Supporting vocal for local: The clarion call is for India to become atmanirbhar. Along with promoting traditional crochet craft, we are focussed on the well-being of the craftspeople.
Creating local ecosystems, reducing carbon footprint: We skill migrant women to earn a sustainable livelihood through online skill building sessions ensuring that our products have a negligible carbon footprint. We endeavour to link products to markets by encouraging self-sustaining mechanisms.
Creating customised products: As opposed to mass manufacturing, every single one of our products is handmade and hence, tells a unique story. With the purchase of every product, an inexplicable emotional connect is formed between the maker and the user
At Mon Ami Foundation, we are driven by our passion to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth amongst communities by maximising the social impact of corporate investment. Our efforts are in sync with the CSR Act for social responsibility in India, and we work with corporates to maximise impact on-ground. Committed to setting up the largest Crochet movement in the country, through extensive skill building efforts, Mon Ami Foundation, in partnership with HCL Foundations Craft Hub, creates new products for the domestic and international markets, keeping the tastes and preferences of customers in mind.
MAFs 75-Day Skills Enhancement Program: Providing a holistic framework
Mon Ami Foundation has recently introduced a 75-day skilling program that includes:
Basic Training (30 days): women are taught essential skills of the crochet craft technique. Training is conducted over 15-20 remote sessions of 2 hours per day.
Advanced Skilling (30 days): women are taught complex design and production processes. Training is conducted through 15-20 remote sessions of 3-4 hours every day. Emphasis is laid on quality checks that need to be maintained during work submission and on understanding market requirements.
Capacity Building (15 days): May be conducted upon completion of the 60 days Basic and Advanced Skilling or in conjunction with the same. Women are trained in the following areas:
Forming Self Help Groups (SHGs) – for focused customer segments (pop up stores at schools, physical retail stores, online stores, corporate aggregators, bulk online retailers, participating in fairs & events and direct corporate gifting).
Computer know-how – keeping with the governments objective of atmanirbhar bharat, candidates are trained in communication and social media
Mental and physical well-being – through weekly online yoga sessions
Financial inclusion – from opening up bank accounts to informative sessions on investment and spending, helping them become financially independent.
On completion of this 75-day virtual skilling program, select candidates are mentored by Sharada University .
At Mon Ami Foundation, we believe that women are key agents to drive change and achieve social & economic transformation. Alongside gender responsive policies, initiatives such as Make in India, focus on sustainability and handmade products, it is imperative that all stakeholders come together in a concerted manner to build a robust framework that empowers women through skilling.
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