Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec 14-16, 2012 Awaz Trunk Show at Yoga Shala of Portland offering natural fiber clothing and yoga accessories from artisans in India and Nepal.

 Preserving craft and traditions. Handcrafted block printed fabrics.

 Stitched by women with joy. Empowering women through fair wages, economic empowerment, dignity and respect.
Use your purchasing power to create positive change.

Create the natural home you've always wanted. Fair Trade Cotton Napkins, Aprons, Table Linens and more from Awaz at Tropical Salvage until Dec. 31st

Check out what these weavers make at our online shop. And come on by and pick one up!
Discover a showroom of all natural, handcrafted hardwood furniture made by artisans in Indonesia from salvaged wood - and bring the presence of beauty to your home.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Self Employed Women's Assocation (SEWA) creates 10 minute film about empowering women through income generation and cooperative assocations

Everyone who has read books on social change in India or even globally, has heard about SEWA. They are an amazing trade union for the unorganized sector and have helped thousands of people throughout India self-organize, secure livelihoods and have rights. I had the opportunity to visit them in 2010 and appreciate the work from their craft program and experience the great history of their work.
This short video is a depiction of the success of their work empowering women through income generation and cooperative assocations doing:
  • selling plant seedlings
  • food processing and package of spices and pulses
  • crafts
  • salt collection
  • cleaning and sanitation cooperative for maintaining waste in villages
  • production of vermi-compost
  • business technology centers

Self Employed Women’s Association

SEWA is a trade union registered in 1972. It is an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers. These are women who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses. They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organised sector. They are the unprotected labour force of our country. Constituting 93% of the labour force, these are workers of the unorganised sector. Of the female labour force in India, more than 94% are in the unorganised sector. However their work is not counted and hence remains invisible. SEWA’s main goals are to organise women workers for full employment. Full employment means employment whereby workers obtain work security, income security, food security and social security (at least health care, child care and shelter). SEWA organises women to ensure that every family obtains full employment. By self-reliance we mean that women should be autonomous and self-reliant, individually and collectively, both economically and in terms of their decision-making ability.SEWA is both an organisation and a movement. The SEWA movement is enhanced by its being a sangam or confluence of three movements : the labour movement, the cooperative movement and the women’s movement. But it is also a movement of self-employed workers : their own, home-grown movement with women as the leaders. Through their own movement women become strong and visible.       Self Employed Women’s Association

Friday, December 7, 2012

Offering an expanded collection of all Natural Fiber Clothing for the Sustainable Lifestyle

At Awaz we continue to offer new products to encourage sustainable living by fostering our existing long term relationships with artisans and developing new ones. Utilizing these good relations and sustainable supply chains allow us to source the highest quality fibers that are mindful of the environment in which they are produced as well as where they end up.

We are excited to announce an expanded offering of natural fiber clothing for both Men and Women featuring Organic Cotton from India, Cotton, Hemp and Wool blends from Nepal, Block Printed Plant Dyes from India and 100% Alpaca Wool from Bolivia.

All our fabrics and garments are woven, printed, embroidered and/or stitched by hand.
Our wide range of casual to dressy styles gives you a great selection, from button up shirts to everyday cotton leggings. We use traditional designs such as wood block printing and hand-woven fabrics adapting them to western tastes and styles for producing the highest quality natural fiber clothing.

Made for your active lifestyle, these pieces take you from running around town to an evening out.  Certified organic and fair trade fashions from a women's co-op in Mumbai, India providing employment and economic independence for over 200 women.
The cotton in our line of organic clothing comes from an organization of 6,000 cotton farmers in Maharashtra, a state that has been plagued by high debts and farmer suicide.

Cotton farmers in India often do not receive a fair enough price to cover production costs. Many farmers have been forced to borrow money at extortionate rates from predatory lenders. Unable to repay debts or support their families, suicide is common. In the Amravati district of Maharashtra, 5,000 farmers commit suicide every year. Your purchase of organic and fair trade clothing grows the organic movement and helps farmers regain their self-dignity.

Light weight handwoven cotton long-sleeve kurta style shirt, perfect for the cultured soul. This traditional Indian and Nepali shirt is our favorite top and features beautiful cotton threads.

Hemp comes in various weights for making our bags, hats, belts, wallets and vests. The heavier Hemp yarns are hand spun and hand woven in the villages providing a steady source of employment and income.  Our hemp yarns originate from natural wild hemp that grows sustainably in western Nepal.  Hemp is the perfect crop for the Himalayas. It requires no cultivation or pesticides, is native, and has long been an economic asset for the rural mountain villages. 

Our wool is a soft, high quality blend with long fibers for strength, warmth and durability.  In some cases we blend two fibers for our knitwear creating a 50/50 hemp/wool blend.
Like these great warm winter hats and socks.

This blend creates soft heathery tones that compliment the brighter tones of all our wool knitwear.

Our products are carefully considered to create unique collections for mindful living.   Now you can enjoy a clothing wardrobe that feels good and you can feel good about.  we stand behind our goods quality, commitment and consistency is truly is a way of life. 

Our commitment to natural fibers and sustainability is in all our products so you can fuel and wear change, everyday.