Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy inspires both theory and practice of change at rangSutra.
The change we strive to bring about is creating a level playing field and putting in place an enabling eco system on the ground. This way, rural artisans especially women, have access to regular work, with fair wages and are able to create a better life for themselves and their families.
How do we achieve the above? As Gandhiji advised “ the means are as important as the ends..” We ensure that artisans are included and participate actively in all aspects of rangSutra’s work. We try to govern ourselves in a way that is empowering to the marginalized artisans, using non-violent means, which does not harm people or the environment.
Ownership: we have co-designed and co-created our company and governance structure at rangSutra, 2000 artisans are shareholders, 70% of whom are women. Artisans’ reps join the Board, bringing their expertise and their wisdom to the company.
Product development: co-creating new products together with our buyers and our artisans.
Management: enabling artisans who show leadership a chance to learn skills related to management of production and quality control.
Creating Infrastructure: setting up village production centres, where artisans come together to learn and earn right in their villages, so that they do not have to migrate to cities under difficult circumstances.
The challenges we face are many: the main ones being the long supply chain and the fact that our products are hand-made, take longer to make and cost more than the mill made, digitally printed and digitally embroidered fast fashion options available in the market.
We believe that the state should step up, do more to protect the handloom and handicraft sector and put in the resources needed to transform cottage and village industries into thriving enterprises, so that they are able to compete in a healthy manner and stay relevant in the market.
We continue to stay motivated and inspired by the many people, global citizens who continue to support us and the artisanal sector by buying products that are hand made by artisans, benefitting them in the process, and do minimum harm to the planet.