How We Can Help India Right Now
The situation is dire. India is battling a second wave of COVID-19 that is unlike anything seen elsewhere in the world. Videos uploaded to social media show doctors pleading for oxygen deliveries to their hospitals, a healthcare system completely overwhelmed, parks turned into open-air morgues, and images of patients forced to share beds with others infected by the disease. Each day we continue to ask ourselves what we can do to help.
Made Trade’s connection to India runs deep. Artisans across India, from big cities to very small villages, make hundreds of the beautiful garments and gorgeous home decor products we carry, and we have long-established relationships and life-long friendships with many of the brands and artisans we partner with. 2020 was devastating for artisans and skilled laborers, as orders for higher-end goods vanished, and 2021 could be even worse for an industry all but halted by COVID-19.
To help provide immediate support, Made Trade is donating to Sewa International and CARE India to directly fund relief efforts to India’s most vulnerable populations during the pandemic, and we invite you to do the same.
We’ve also curated the India Collection and encourage our customers to shop India-made brands and products to support the artisans behind the products during this challenging time.
Read below to see Sewa and CARE India’s responses to COVID-19 and where your donation will go as we support India together.
Sewa International’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund
A severe second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping across India and the country’s healthcare system is overwhelmed. The number of new cases are crossing 300,000 every day and the death toll is increasing (which touched 2,761 on Saturday, April 24, 2021). With more than 2.6 million active cases in the country, hospitals are struggling to accommodate new patients and an acute shortage of hospital beds, ventilators, and oxygen is causing serious stress all over the nation.
India needs immediate assistance and many people around the world are asking how they can help! Hundreds of volunteers from Sewa International and Sewa’s partner organizations are serving across India in different ways. Right now, our top priority is to quickly acquire oxygen concentrators and ship them to India as it can save lives. We are also providing support to hospitals run by Sewa’s partner organizations to extend their capacity to treat more Coronavirus-infected patients.
Sewa volunteers are working on building a digital Helpdesk to provide critical information such as ambulance services, hospital bed availability, and blood and medicinal supply availability. As the pandemic is causing economic hardships by forcing partial lockdowns, we are planning to distribute over 10,000 essential item kits to families and assist more than 1,000 orphanages and senior care centers. Working closely with our partner organizations, we are also distributing food and medicine to the needy in multiple places.
You can donate:
- $51.00 for each family essential items kit (grocery, basic medicines, masks, soaps and sanitizers, etc).
- $201.00 to support about 20–30 people in a community home, such as orphanages and senior centers (essential items and oximeter).
- $501.00 for oxygen concentrator.
This is a collective effort that can save lives, defeat hunger, assure distressed people, and help India in its decisive fight against COVID-19. Please join us in this fight by donating generously to Sewa for this cause and spreading the word among your friends and relatives.
Together, We Can Serve Better!
CARE India’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund
India has been struck by a deadly second wave of COVID-19. Bihar, one of India’s poorest and highest population areas, is surging with new cases and deaths. More than 2 million people over the past two weeks have been diagnosed.
The health system is overwhelmed. Donate today to help provide essential hospital services, more health workers, additional beds, oxygen supply, and much more.
Please help India avoid a catastrophic human tragedy.
Brands Employing Artisans in India
Studio Variously is based in Detroit, Michigan and works directly with master artisans across India and Nepal to create one custom piece at a time. They employ master artisans who are third- and fourth-generation weavers, dyers, and printers, who use ethically sourced and sustainable materials. Personally touched by the crisis happening in India, Studio Variously is currently donating 20% of sales to Sewa International to help combat the COVID crisis in India.
No Nasties is a fashion line out of Goa, India producing vegan and fair trade garments with 100% Certified Organic cotton. The Indian farmers who grow the organic cotton are paid a premium for their harvest, which is then processed, dyed, and stitched in a factory where all employees are paid a fair wage and enjoy excellent working conditions.
Leah Singh is working to rejuvenate the age-old, traditional crafts of India by transforming them into modern objects. Leah and her team design each piece in her studio in New Delhi, India and work directly with artisans in villages across India using embroidery, weaving, and printing techniques that are native to various regions where the artisans live, to create beautifully bold, handcrafted pieces for your home that are made with natural materials and AZO-free dyes.
Ichcha doesn’t just create a line of beautiful home products; they also work to greatly improve the lives of their women artisan partners in India and to promote the heritage crafts of block-printing, hand weaving, and hand embroidery. Ichcha is committed to having a minimal impact on the planet by only working with natural vegetable dyes made from flowers, leaves, minerals, trees, and bark, ensuring their products are safe for their artisans, consumers, and the earth.
Synergy creates beautiful women’s clothing from GOTS-Certified organic cotton that is grown and loomed in India, and cut and sewn in a Fair Trade Certified factory in Nepal. Their mission is to create clothing with natural fibers, low-impact dyes, and to adhere to a manufacturing process that puts people and the planet first.
Anchal was created by two sisters after they visited Ajmer, India, learned about the extreme oppression some women in the region faced as commercial sex workers, and saw the economic opportunity presented by the region’s rich textiles. Anchal creates contemporary geometric designs using sophisticated patchwork and aggregated stitch patterns, modernizing the traditional Kantha quilting techniques from Northern India to create beautiful, heirloom-quality quilts, pillows, and accessories.
Dushyant Asthana designs their textiles and garments in their Los Angeles studio and makes them all in small batches across local communities in India. Everything is made from ethically sourced, fully sustainable fabrics and produced responsibly with hand-loomed, hand-printed, and hand-dyed fabrics.
Soil to Studio
Soil to Studio uses time-honored techniques like handloom weaving, block-printing, natural dyeing, and hand embroidering to slow-make table linens, pillows, and scarves in intentional, small batches. Each piece is made by artisans in rural villages and communities in India from natural fibers like wool, organic cotton, Indian linen, and silk.
Amara works with artisans in three states of India — West Bengal, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh — where the craft of weaving rattan has been passed down for generations, to create handwoven rattan furniture and home decor pieces. Through the production of their intricate and durable furniture, baskets, and mirrors, Amara is investing in artisans to provide long-term, sustainable income while preserving this heritage craft tradition.
Mata Traders is on a mission to create beautiful, slow-made, and exceptionally designed clothes for the modern woman. Each piece of Mata Traders clothing is made by a co-op of women artisans in India and Nepal who use heritage art forms to craft beautiful dresses, jewelry, and accessories.
Soluna Collective creates beautiful staples for the capsule wardrobe — all produced in small batches by hand with ethical and fair trade standards by women in India. All products are made with natural fibers and eco friendly or low-impact dyes.
Valani designs each garment with a mission of lighter living, creating pieces that are versatile enough to wear throughout the year, using unique, plant-based fibers such as hemp, Tencel eucalyptus, and banana fiber that lighten their impact on the earth. Their USA-based design team and seamstresses work with their production partner in Tamil Nadu, India to design sustainable clothing for women who want a playfully chic wardrobe without harming the planet.
Passion Lilie is a women-run, fair trade, and sustainable clothing line with a mission to create dignified job opportunities for artisans in India and around the world. Their designs are made with artisanal block-printed and handwoven Ikat fabrics in modern, streamlined silhouettes.
Coyuchi creates beautiful, sustainable linens for the bedroom, bathroom, and closet. They work exclusively with fair trade and earth-first manufacturers in India, and across the world, that are using sustainable practices throughout their manufacturing process — from sourcing and weaving natural fibers to sewing the final products.
Creative Women employs women artisans in Burundi, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Zambia to produce baskets, blankets, table linens, towels, scarves, textiles, and pieces of home decor with locally grown natural fibers. Each piece is made using traditional heritage art forms and sustainably sourced materials.
Mirasa employs artisans specializing in heritage textile techniques in India to create adorable, functional, and soft unisex cotton basics for infants, babies, and toddlers in intentionally small batches. Each onesie, dress, tunic, and pair of pants are made with natural dyes and, wherever possible, GOTS-Certified organic cotton that is grown and produced in India.
Looma uses GOTS-Certified, 100% organic cotton that is harvested in the Himalayan basin of Northern India to create incredibly soft, heirloom-quality sateen weave sheet sets, duvet covers, and pillowcases. Their bedding is made in safe and healthy, Fair Trade Certified factories in West Bengal, India, where workers are paid a fair, living wage.
Takasa makes high quality sheet sets, duvets, and bath towels that are the pinnacle of sustainability and fair trade production practices. They use organic cotton that is grown, spun, cut, and sewn in Fair Trade Certified conditions in India.
Ma Wovens creates the incredibly light and durable Ritual Rug that can function as your favorite yoga mat or a bath or kitchen runner for your home. Each rug is hand-woven on looms in Northern India by artisans partners who work in factories that are Good Weave Certified.
Salt + Umber
Salt + Umber’s artisans hand-make their shoes and accessories in ethical factories, and they integrate micro-loan initiatives into their production process that benefit the rural Indian women who hand-weave their unique shoes and bags. They use vegetable-tanned leathers, scrap leather, and other sustainable materials to create beautiful, low-impact products.