I have two passions in my life: crafts and people. These are my big inspirations. With my business I found a way to combine the two: as a social entrepreneur I use the art of crafts for social economical development of underprivileged people. These people may not have a lot of money to spend, but they can be very rich in their skills. I want to inspire them, and show them that they can create beautiful handmade products and earn an income at the same time. Their incredible skills and knowledge of handicraft is my biggest drive to make sure their products end up on the market place.
I was part of the fair trade movement in India right from the very beginning. It was our dream to make fair trade mainstream. For me handicraft has always been and still is a very strong medium to contribute to this movement. Crafts don’t require big investments and can create jobs for large groups of people. In 27 years time we work with over 5000 people all over India without any donations or funding.
We are completely self-sufficient. But to get here, we had to work very hard. And when I say we, I mean the whole fair trade community around us. We can only achieve our fair trade dream if we work together. Developing and marketing beautiful products is one thing, but to make fair trade happen, we have to be ambassadors of change. I have traveled the world to promote ethical trade and built bridges between fair trade producers and consumers endlessly. Fair trade is who I am.
Irani Sen – Founder Craft Resource Center