Aravali

Aravali is a for-profit company supporting the work of close to 150 artisans in the Jaipur area, primarily men working in blockprinting workshops in and around Jaipur, as well as women in Rajasthan who produce embroidered items. Manager Rahul Duggal sees their greatest strength as their commitment to forming long-term relationships; Aravali has been working with many of the same workshops for 10 years or longer. Their target wages are slightly higher than the local market. The workshops are within a relatively close geographical range, which allows Aravali to maintain close contact with the artisans, despite their small administrative staff.


Aravali began in 1976 as a small clothing boutique. In the early 1980s, its focus shifted toward home decor. Aravali has maintained a relationship with fair trade over many years.


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Investing in Artisans

Ten Thousand Villages has established a new trading partnership in India—with Aravali, an artisan group producing textiles based in Jaipur, India. The first product from Aravali, a shoulder bag stitched with “gudri” embroidery, appears in stores this month (6846040).



Aravali began in 1976 as a small clothing boutique. In the early 1980s its focus shifted away from fashion and toward home decor. Manager Rahul Duggal sees their greatest strength as their commitment to forming long-term relationships; they have been working with many of the same workshops for 10 years or longer. Their target wages are slightly higher than the local market.



Most of the artisans with whom Aravali works are men working in blockprinting workshops in and around Jaipur. “The workshops are within a relatively close geographical range, which allows Aravali to maintain close contact with the artisans, despite their small administrative staff,” pointed out Renee Bowers, buyer for India. Aravali also works women in Rajasthan, such as those producing the embroidered bag being introduced this month (see sidebar).



“Duggal describes the initial process of working with new artisan groups as grueling,” said Bowers, “as he gently guides them towards higher quality standards and educates them on fair trade principles. Many artisans make the decision to go find work elsewhere, where quality standards are not as exacting. However, those who can look to the long term are rewarded, as Aravali makes a true effort to provide them with year-round work that is long-term and sustainable.”

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