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Sustainable Fair Trade Fashion

Sevya’s fair trade scarves and embroidered tunics are handmade and eco-friendly. We work directly with artisan cooperatives throughout India to help preserve the endangered art forms and provide much needed marketing avenues for these artisan communities. Sevya conducts workshops with each cooperative to develop designs that showcase these rich artistic traditions of hand weaving, block printing, tie-dye, batik, and embroidery through contemporary and fashionable designs in vibrant and fresh colors.

Fair Trade Silk Infinity Scarf in Magenta

Hand Woven Kalinda Silk Infinity Scarf

Sevya, a fair trade wholesale company, is committed to nourishing the traditional techniques used in each art form, which makes both the products and our relationships with the artisan cooperatives both sustainable and long lasting. Each scarf and tunic is truly a work of art, and each stage of production-from dyeing the yarn, spinning the yarn, setting the looms, weaving and hand tasseling-is done by different artisans. This provides a reliable and steady source of income for all cooperative members in each village. By maintaining the traditional hand techniques in each art form, Sevya employs thousands of artisans throughout India and ensures there is the least amount of impact on the environment.

For our handloom scarves, no electricity is used in any stage of the production. Fixing the dye to yarn is done on wood fires. Ironing is done with coal irons, and washing is all by hand. Our herbal medicinal options use grapefruit extract instead of bleach for whitening and cleaning of the yarn. Bicycle pedal power is employed for spinning the yarn prior to weaving. Weaving is done on pit looms, with foot and hand operated pedal power. Finally, tasseling is also done entirely by hand.

Sevya’s commitment to sustainability does not stop with zero electricity use. Our herbal dyed and organic cotton options offer the ultimate in eco-friendly materials and process, with significant advantages for both producers and consumers alike. The highest standards of weaving excellence are met in an impressive line of handmade, fair trade organic cotton scarves with Ayurvedic, herbal medicinal dyes. Our Ayurveda Indigo Scarf features a light and lovely weave pattern with natural organic cotton stripes offsetting the soft indigo hues. Indigo is an herbal remedy for stress, anxiety and depression and these medicinal benefits are transmitted through the skin pores when one wears this beautiful scarf. Combined with the aesthetic qualities and softness against the skin, the medicinal effects of indigo complete a perfect package for yourself and the world. Other dye options such as sandalwood, galangal, neem and haritaki cover a wider range of medicinal effects and these scarves also include silk and a variety of hand weave patterns.

Artisan in India Preparing Loom for Fair Trade Hand-Woven Scarves

Artisan Setting Yarn Spindles for Hand Woven Scarves

The fact that these wholesale scarves employ organic cotton and herbal dyes creates very positive benefits for artisan communities who produce the items. Sustainable production in villages means that artisans are not forced to move to cities where low paid factory jobs are available. Numerous studies in India have shown severe effects to the health of textile workers who are constantly exposed to toxic dyes.

There is a clear, night and day comparison between sustainable, cooperative artisan communities and urban, factory-based realities. Sevya seeks to empower communities to create healthy, thriving cooperatives where all workers and their families can create lasting, sustainable income with no debt to anyone. In contrast, without such options workers are forced to migrate to densely populated cities to work in desperate, poverty-creating situations. Workers who migrate to cities find atrocious living conditions in slums. Basic public services are extremely haphazard if existent at all. Slums lack clean water, garbage removal and health care options—a terrifying combination. In addition, numerous studies have pointed out the severe effects of exposing workers and their families to the toxicity of the dyes and poor environmental practices in factories. Clearly, healthier options should be nurtured, and fair trade practices ensure such alternatives can thrive.

To these clear and powerful benefits we can add the many benefits to communities of artisans who can realize a sustainable future. The weaving cooperatives allow entire communities a stability and prosperity unheard of in factory models. Consumers who purchase high quality, fair trade scarves and fair trade clothing are choosing sustainability over the notion that relationships and products can and should be disposable. Consider this: when you make something of high quality that will be cherished, not abused and thrown away quickly, you have made a practical item that deserves respect, earns its keep and is not replaced. We need to nurture this concept with the material world we create as well as in our relationships.

Fair Trade Organic Cotton Scarf with Ayurvedic Dyes

Organic Cotton Scarf with Medicinal Ayurvedic Dyes

We at Sevya are inspired by many who do good work in the world; in turn, we hope to also inspire and support effective efforts throughout the world. We invite all who are curious about our work to join us in support of these worthy efforts.

Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Art forms such as hand weaving, hand embroidery, block printing, and tie-dye have unique designs and techniques in each region, and the Fair Trade products reflect the people, their culture, and their local environment.

Hand Embroidery in India for Fair Trade Cotton Bedspread

Artisan Doing Hand Embroidery for Bedspread