We love real stories that revolve around empowering artisans, improving livelihoods and keeping the handcrafts alive. So, when we heard about Indra Cox and Paces Crafts, we had to share it with our lovely readers!
Indra Cox at Paces Crafts believes that artisans are the real agents of change and, we agree. If you are a part of the handwork economy, supporting handcrafted products, then you will appreciate that behind every product there is an artisan, who is the centre of the entire handcrafted universe.
Why is the Artisan the agent of change?
Indra Cox explained to us why this is so:
- The artisans are much more than just being knitters or weavers
- They are keeping the local traditions alive
- These artisans are re-designing the role of women in their community
- They are improving the livelihood of their families, investing in learning and betterment of their future generations
These artisans not only preserve the crafts that they have inherited but also address larger issues, that reach way beyond their own community, such as eco-consciousness, equal gender opportunities, child labour, human trafficking, and so on…. all this, by just bringing their stories into this world. Paces Crafts honours these artisans and plays a huge role in taking their work across the globe.
Who are Paces Crafts?
Paces Crafts was founded in a beautiful village, Rampur (just outside Ranchi) by SOLID (to read more about them, click here) , a Belgian NGO. SOLID Crafts (a subsidiary of SOLID) funds and manages workshops collaborating with local NGOs. They set up sustainable handicrafts workplaces where disadvantaged people are employed in an honest way and the focus is on highly qualitative materials and authentic skills. The profits from these activities are invested in local social projects. SOLID Crafts is running such workshops and creating work in Peru, Kenya and more recently in India. Paces Crafts is empowering artisans and giving them dignity and financial independence in these countries and making their work available worldwide.
Paces Crafts – SOLID’s Indian Chapter
Two years back, after the success of the Kenyan and Peruvian Joint ventures, SOLID looked towards India. Impressed by the efforts of the Jaan Foundation, and inspired by the rich handicrafts heritage of India, SOLID decided to set up a new handicrafts workshop in India.
Through an Indian trust, called the Jaan Foundation (read more about them, here), Sister Jeanne Davos and her colleagues offered and continue to offer protection and relief for children who have become victims of slavery and abuse. These factors led to a new handicrafts workshop being setup in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Thus Paces Crafts was born, financially supported by SOILD to in turn support the social projects of Sr. Jeanne Devos.
How can you buy products created by Paces Crafts?
Paces Crafts’ sales partner is SOLID. With a sales office in Belgium, anyone interested is welcome to make a visit there to see the work. So far, their focus has been on creating custom-made products for specific orders placed by clients in the Western world. Also, ‘BOMBYX tales of …” is the private wholesale label of SOLID. Have a look at what they have in store, right here.
Currently, none of the products are available in India. But, speak to them or have a browse on their website, and see what they can create for you or your clients.
Paces Crafts’ Contact Details
Artisans & the Consumer work together to Manifest Change
Indra Cox shared a beautiful article with us about the ever-changing role of the artisans in the fast-moving fashion industry. Click here to read the article. It states that empowering hand-workers can address environmental issues as well as economic, social, and gender-equality issues. However, to manifest real change, the consumer has no option but to be involved. This quote from Andrew Morgan (Director of The True Cost), is perfect for closing this post:
“We’re the first generation that can measure the impact our lives are having on the world in real-time, That’s tremendous and overwhelming. The role of storytelling is vital to help us understand where we are. I think the handwork economy is still one of the greatest untold stories in the fashion industry, [and] the role of women, more broadly. These aren’t just aesthetic decisions—they’re political and evocative of the world we live in.”
Be the change you want to see in the world; Be Notjustashopper!
All Pictures: Courtesy: Paces Crafts