We are proud of our collaboration with Made51 and french luxury brand Chloé’s ‘22 Spring/Summer collection. Chloé is known for ethical craftsmanship and free-spirited femininity, which recently became a certified B Corporation.
When Chloé incorporates beautifully embroidered pieces made by refugee women in their products, they demonstrate how a private sector company can act in solidarity with refugees in a tangible and impactful way. Through the collaboration, 606 Afghan refugee women living in Pakistan as well as 30 Afghan women living in the border region in Afghanistan have been able earn reliable income according to Fair Trade principles.
Together with UNHCR, we carried out an extensive artisan identification and training project in order to expand the number of artisans able to work on this order. Artisan Links trained over 800 women in order to select the 636 women who possessed the skills necessary to work on this project.
The hero pieces of the collaboration, the Marcie bags, feature a strap of intricate embroidery made by women of the Hazara ethnic group, a Persian-speaking population that is native to the mountainous region of Hazarajat in central Afghanistan. The embroidery for the straps takes up to three weeks of full-time work to create.
This style of embroidery is called Tarshumar, which is a reflection of the technique: ‘Tar’ means thread, and ‘shumar’ means counting. This needlework relies on thread counting, rather than free-hand work, resulting in very fine, precise stitching. Artisans use silk thread to make brick stitches or short satin stitches on a cotton or silk base fabric.
- The embroidery present in the straps of each bag was meticulously handcrafted, supporting the livelihoods of these women, and positively impacting their families.