The clothing you see here nade by a worker's co-operative in Southern India. Designed in the UK and made of organic materials where the workers receive a fair deal.
The patterned clothes you see here are made in the village of K.V.Kuppam, about 120 miles from Madras in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has long been a centre for cotton handloom weaving.
Our supplier sees Fair Trade as a partnership between producers, traders and consumers and has been working with the tailors and weavers in K.V.Kuppam for more than 18 years. Their aim has been to encourage sustainable development in the village by creating fairly-paid jobs. To do this, the clothing was designed in the UK and K.V.Kuppam provided the necessary weaving and tailoring skills as well as the raw materials.
As ethical traders, they believed that putting all their resources into supporting the producers in India was the right thing to do. Our supplier re-invests its profits to benefit the people of K.V.Kuppam through their own UK-registered charity in addition to an Indian trust in Chennai.
The K.V.Kuppam Tailoring Societies currently employ 168 tailors, cutters and hand-finishers to turn the cotton into clothes. This is in addition to over 300 local handweavers who produce the organic cotton that is used by the tailors.
The tailors are paid above average wages, but more importantly are provided with full and secure employment all year round. The Society members have a provident fund based on gross salary, a retirement gratuity based on length of service. In addition there are entitlements for festival holidays, casual leave and medical leave. Medical help is also provided as well as a monthly allowance for refreshments.
The materials used in these garments is as important to us as the quality.
It is estimated that 50% of pesticides used in India are used in the cotton fields. In 2000, a reliable source of organic cotton was found, grown by Agrocel in the Kutch area of Gujerat in Northern India. If you?d like to know more about the organic cotton used in these garments, visit www.agrocel-cotton.com.