Hemp is a naturally thrifty crop, which flourishes without the need for expensive and environmentally damaging fertilisers or pesticides. Our Community Fair Trade Hemp Mitts are hand-knitted from hemp thread, spun from the outer part of the plant stem.
Prokritee is an alternative trade organisation that helps support 8 rural co-operative groups of artisans. Prokritee aims to create employment opportunities among disadvantaged people, particularly women; to promote rural handcrafts; and to improve the livelihoods of people in the area.
Based in Barisal, South Bangladesh, the women of Prokritee live in isolated rural locations, with limited work opportunities. Many of Prokritee’s female handcrafters are the only wage earners in their family, so the co-operative’s work has greatly improved the status of these women, many of whom are widows, in a culture where women face gender discrimination.
Since The Body Shop began to trade with Prokritee, the group has grown from 50 to 100 knitters plus an additional 100 seasonal workers who can be called on when order levels are high.
Prokritee ensures all wages are fair and are paid on time, and also supports each group in their development. Thanks to their help, many women have attended adult education lessons and learnt literacy and numeracy skills.
SEWING FOR SUCCESS
Prokritee has helped establish effective social development programmes, including rebuilding and improving community roads, constructing deep wells and building a community hall where the women can meet and work together.