Local Women’s Handicrafts was founded with a big goal: To lift artisans up who have been exploited in fashion industry; to provide them dignified jobs that give them opportunity, skills, and a sense of independence; Nasreen Sheikh founded LWH as a small shop in Kathmandu when she was still a teenager. As a survivor of Modern Slavery, she opened LWH to take control of her own destiny and give herself the kind of hope she’d previously never thought possible. Nasreen soon began supporting artisans who made handcrafted textiles they could sell at her shop and receive living wage. As she saw the artisans gain confidence and light return to their eyes, she realized she had the opportunity to support disadvantaged artisans. With your support we have touched 100's of artisans life. Our goal is to support all artisans and create a textile industry that honors sustainability, human rights and dignity.
Our Empowerment Center
Our focus is on responsible & Transparent fashion, we model sustainability by collaborating with local farmers and small businesses. The artisan design, sew, embroider and weave, creating hemp backpacks, yoga mats, home decor, unique clothing, jewelry and shawls. With the support of a dedicated and passionate team, we have established a safe community that’s changed hundreds of lives. We are determined to continue building resilient and self-sustaining communities of smart, empowered women.
Empowering artisans involves providing them with the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to thrive in their craft and improve their livelihoods. Which includes fair wages, access to support for sustainable practices. By empowering artisans, we not only celebrate their skills and cultural heritage but also contribute to economic growth and social well-being in their communities.
Protecting handicrafts sustainability involves various approaches and practices to ensure that traditional craftsmanship can thrive while minimizing negative impacts on the environment and local communities. LWH protect the sustainability of handicrafts by sourcing sustainable materials, fair wages, using traditional techniques, and educating consumers about the value of handmade and the positive impact of their purchase, By implementing these practices, we contribute to the long-term sustainability of handicrafts, supporting both the artisans and the environment.
Environmentally friendly is our movement within the fashion industry that we aims to reduce its negative impact on the environment. Here are few ways we do it by sourcing sustainable materials, reducing waste, up-cycling and recycling, slowin the production, providing transpaerncy to supply chain and adopting these practices we are contributing to a more sustainable and responsible fashion industry.
Preserving local handicrafts
Preserving local handicrafts is crucial for cultural heritage and economic sustainability, by supporting local techniques, design and stories behind our craft, partnering with different types of artisans to incorporate traditioanl and modern designs. Fostering a sense of pride in the community for its unique handicraft traditions. Preserving local handicrafts which requires a combination of community involvement, education, economic support, and a commitment to honoring cultural traditions.
7 Keys For Global Human Rights
Providing basic human rights to artisans, including access to clean water, nutritious food, safe shelter, quality education, healthcare, and access to technology can be ensure when artisans are paid fair wages for their work, Recognize and support the cultural significance of artisan work, which contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage.
Empowering artisans with these basic rights requires a holistic approach that considers their unique circumstances and needs, with a focus on sustainable, community-driven solutions.
Protecting the safety of artisans is essential to ensure their well-being while they practice their craft. Ensuring artisans have access to safe and well-maintained working spaces with proper lighting, equipment, protective gear, environmental safety and fair wages.
Ensuring the safety of artisans is not only a moral obligation but also contributes to the sustainability of their craft and the preservation of cultural heritage.
At the centers, our staff holds activities that help build bonds within the community and support mental and physical well-being. They have daily greetings of hugs, group yoga and meditation sessions, and all the women grow and cook food together. Our centers also provide support for women to participate in local fairs and festivals.
LWH also connects our women with mentors from other countries. Our mentors are women who have a sense of personal and professional purpose and support the women in the centers. By connecting with mentors, our women have the opportunity to form personal bonds outside of the centers that will last beyond their time in training.
In communities in Nepal, men dominate traditional societies. As a result, there are many human rights abuses and atrocities against women and children that go unpublished and even unnoticed. All of the women that come to LWH have experienced some sort of trauma or societal oppression by their husbands, families, or communities.
At our centers we seek to help heal trauma through a safe, supportive community and use techniques such as yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breath work). We also help traumatised women and children cultivate a sense of hope and let them discover their own identity as individuals through education, skills development, and economic empowerment.
Pathway to Income
Women in Nepal are largely involved in subsistence farming — unpaid labor which rarely provides substantial income. Through offering skills development in handicraft production and literacy education, LWH empowers women to generate their own income and support their children in a healthy and sustainable way. Women receive a stipend during their time at the center to cover their costs, as well as food from the garden to reduce their need for outside income.
After going through the training, LWH continues to support women as they create a sustainable income for themselves. Some women continue to work for LWH as trainers and managers. Everyone is eligible for micro-finance loans to open their own small businesses in their communities.
In many countries, including Nepal, women are not educated. In fact, they’re often kept from school for most or all of their lives. This is a huge barrier that keeps them from being empowered as business owners and social changemakers. LWH addresses this by connecting women with education in literacy, feminine hygiene, environmental sustainability, and more. We also work directly with young girls to help them understand and express themselves in relationship to social issues that affect them using drama and art.
Poverty is a by-product of modern slavery. We are changing that by providing our artisan a living wage.
Take A Tour
Have you ever wondered whose hands made those souvenirs in Kathmandu tourist shops? Do you want to buy responsibly and empower local artisans? Come take a tour of our production facility or take a craft class at our workshop!
Learn how to make unique, local crafts with local artisans women who will teach you first hand and leave Nepal with a unique souvenir while empowering local women!