Meet the Shakti.ism upcycled sari + organic cotton shoulder bag!
These vibrant one-of-a-kind repurposed sari shoulder bags are meticulously handcrafted by empowered artisan makers in Pondicherry, India. Each bag features a traditional stamp, made from recycled materials by the local tribal community. The makers earn fair wages for making these bags, so your purchase directly impacts the lives of disadvantaged women!
Our saris are from all over India and beyond, which means we have a wide variety of patterns and traditions represented. Many were generously donated especially for this social initiative. Because every sari is unique, each product has its own story and is truly one-of-a-kind. Most saris are comprised of multiple colours and patterns intended to compliment each other when draped, which is why no two items made from the same sari are the same. Colours and patterns may vary from the photographs, depending on which part of the sari was used. Some finished items have minor imperfections, which makes them even more charming and distinctive.
Meet the artisans. The Pondicherry Shakti.ism tailoring team members are from the semi-nomadic Narikuravar “gypsy” tribal community in Southern India. This indigenous group of people has faced discrimination against them since ancient times, primarily because of their nomadic lifestyle and consumption of animals, considered taboo by Hindus and upper-caste communities within India. The gypsy communities of India sit at the absolute bottom of society, even below the caste system. Poverty, illiteracy, diseases and discrimination are the major issues that confront the Narikuravars. Girls within the community are often married off once they begin to menstruate and many of them become mothers when they are as young as 14 years old.
The institutionalised social stigma faced by indigenous and tribal communities across India continues to be the force of oppression that keeps them trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.
By purchasing this item, you are helping to empower and provide ongoing employment income for the women who make these handmade products. The demand for Shakti.ism’s products provides these women with dignified employment, a living wage, hope and opportunities for their children. Together we can provide alternative options for disadvantaged women with the aim to lift them out of poverty and help them to become self-sustaining and independent.
Handmade by empowered women in Pondicherry, India.
Dimensions and features. 20 cm diameter with 68 cm handle drop (8 inches diameter with 27 inch handle drop), bag width is 3.5 inches (9 cm) and has an inner pocket
Care. Gently hand wash in cold water. Hang or lay flat to air dry.
Shakti.ism is a British brand that gives Indian Sarees a second life by reusing them into beautiful new items in social workshops in India and Bangladesh.
Fair trade: Shakti.ism is a social enterprise operating in India and Bangladesh. Employees are paid a fair wage as well as additional health and wellness benefits. Shakti.ism regularly visits the locations and consults with their employees.
Environmentally friendly: The items are made from old Indian Sarees that are given a second life by Shakti.ism. For example, many sarees are donated. Local donations are generally from poorer people who donate sarees in exchange for other necessities of life. Or they sell it to Shakti.ism at a low price so that they can use this money to buy basic necessities. Shakti.ism can then save the second-hand fabric from being thrown away and reuse it. Saris can also be donated in Europe so that they can be reused.
Good cause: Shakti.ism works with women who are at risk of being affected by gender-based violence. At Shaktiism these women are given the opportunity to earn their own money fairly in a pleasant environment.
Shipping fee: Free in the UK and £4 for the rest of Europe.
Delivery time: 2-4 business days in the UK.
Address: No physical store.