What does Fair Trade Practice mean?
- We partner only with organizations that provide low-income weavers with living wages
- Equal employment opportunities are provided to all people, particularly the most
- Within the local context, weavers get paid fair wages and work in healthy and safe
- Products are manufactured in an environmentally sustainable way
- No child labor is used in the production of any of the products
- Our partner organizations offer their employees opportunities for continuous advancement
Our partners in social entrepreneurship
Dreams On Looms designs and markets exclusive home furnishings, apparel and desktop products
handwoven on traditional bamboo looms by co-operatives of women belonging to the Bodo, Dimasa
and Karbee tribes of Assam, residing in the Brahmaputra valley and nestled in the foothills of the
Eastern Himalayas. Assam is a state of 26 million people in the northeast region of India. Its
international neighbors include Myanmar (Burma), Bhutan and southwest China.
Dreams On Looms conducts business under Fair Trade practices. It is a part of the Co-Op
America network of businesses (www.coopamerica.org) whose mission is to harness economic power
– the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace to create a socially just
and environmentally sustainable society. We help preserve and promote the rich weaving tradition
of the tribal communities of northeast India. By designing and marketing products suited to
modern lifestyle, highly skilled but low-income women weavers are earning living wages and being
encouraged to preserve a centuries-old, priceless but dying tradition.
Dreams On Looms is striving to create a "true global village" with products that enrich modern
life while preserving the unique weaving traditions of Northeast India . While the initial focus is
on the tribal weaving of Assam, the vision is to provide a mainstream market for unique
hand-woven textiles from across the globe - from the Aymara Indians on the shores of Lake
Titicaca (Bolivia) to the Lahu people in the mountains of Yunnan in southwest China. All this while
following fair trade practices that provide just wages to the weavers and crafts people ensuring
that these traditions live on.
- The Action Northeast Trust (the ant) is our leading partner in this social
entrepreneurship venture. The ANT works directly at the village level on issues of
health, women’s empowerment, information, livelihood and sensitizing people to press for
their entitlements from the government. Alternate income generating activities through
weaving, mushroom cultivation, banana plantation have been undertaken with Jagruti
(awakening) groups comprised of Bodo women. The weaving work has resulted in the
formation of a weavers co-operative called Aagor Daagra Afad. Dreams On Looms
interacts very closely with the co-operative in providing ideas, designs and color
schemes for contemporary products.
- Our newest engagement is with Mulberry, headed by Ashoka fellow, Rakhee Choudhury of
Guwahati (Assam). The weaving activity happens in Sonapur, which is about 25 miles
away. The weavers are women from the Karbee and Dimasa tribal communities.