All photos provided by Mela Artisans
Here at THR3EFOLD, our team is very passionate about creating opportunity for people in the developing world. We are convinced, through our personal travel experience, that providing stable, good jobs is the best way to change lives, communities, and nations for the future. We sat down with Rebecca Travis, Assistant Designer at Mela Artisans to learn why they too have put all their eggs in this basket and how they're doing it. Learn about their economic development through artisan jobs here.
Tell Us About Mela Artisans
Mela Artisans blends traditional handcrafting techniques with contemporary design to promote social uplift
in artisan communities. Artisans around the world struggle to preserve age-old traditions and techniques
in a fast paced, mechanized world. By helping them access new markets we can ensure their livelihoods
while keeping their heritage alive, and allow them to succeed as entrepreneurs and artisans. Our vision is
to provide a sustainable goal market for artisans while fostering entrepreneurship within their
Why A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out?
What we encounter time and time again is the want to work, not just the need for money. In order to
create a sustainable financial situation, we forge relationships with artisan groups and look long term to
provide them with consistent orders and reorders. We are working within communities to ensure that their
traditions are viable against modern manufacturing - which is where the ability to work becomes more
important than just a donation. Their craft traditions are imbibed with their culture, so to keep these
communities alive, we need to invest in the abilities of their artisans.
How Do You Do This?
Mela and its partners are helping to increase financial capacity by providing a 25-50% advance to
producers against each order. As orders increase and more capital is required, we help producer groups
forge banking relationships that help them connect to the appropriate financing to scale up, while enabling
our artisans to avoid incurring unnecessarily high debt burdens from local moneylenders. This sustainable
model helps ensure the financial stability for our artisans and their families, which is of particular
importance in Uttar Pradesh - one of India’s poorest states where we have our deepest impact.
What Results Do You See?
Our artisans contribute over 50% of their household income to supporting their families, with women
contributing 80% of their income to the wellbeing of their children. Women make up more than half of the
artisans Mela provides full-time work yearly for, meaning that the impact of financial stability creates the
potential for a greater quality of life for a whole generation of new artisans. By revitalizing these artisan
groups and local economies, we create a vibrant future built upon generations of preserved craft
Shop Mela Artisans for beautiful handmade home and accessories today.
Looking for a factory to produce your collection?
THR3EFOLD connects brands with ethical factories around the world, saving you time and putting your mind at ease about your supply chain. It's that easy. Apply now to get the conversation started today.