Fair Trade Artisans Reuse Water in India

In most parts of the world, we take water for granted. We turn on the tap, and out it comes. However, in India, especially in rural regions, water is an incredibly scarce resource.

The artisans in Rajasthan are known for their block print fabric, which is turned into bags by Handmade Expressions (and many other fair trade businesses.)

The problem is that this technique requires a lot of water to dye and print the fabric. The artisans were faced with an incredibly tough choice: do they use this precious resource to support their art (which makes them far more money than they could possibly make farming or doing other traditional work.) Or, do they sacrifice economic gain in order to, well, survive?

There hasn’t been quite enough water to do both, at least not fully. Until now. Handmade Expressions, in partnership with a local NGO called SETU (Society for Empowerment & Trade Uplift of Artisans), sponsored and helped install a water treatment facility in the village of Barmer. This plant captures, filters, and reuses up to 2,000 liters each hour.  And each batch of water can be filtered and reused up to 15 times.

I can only imagine what a facility like this means to the entire region. The artisans now don’t have to choose between earning money, and having enough water for their village to survive.

I ran across this wonderful article on the Global Exchange blog and thought it was really inspiring. I love hearing about how other businesses are making a positive impact in the world! Global Exchange helps support Handmade Expressions, which now has helped make another positive impact in this village.

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