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MATR BOOMIE is a fair trade collection from India that marries modern design sensibility with inspiring traditional art forms, bringing people and cultures closer together.

We began in 2006 (as Handmade Expressions) with the mission of creating opportunities for women and minorities to realize their creative, economic and leadership potential. Since then we have grown our network to empower 20,000 artisans in 40 partner communities throughout India. More than 1,500 retailers in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia sell our jewelry, gifts, journals, fashion and home accessories, and major brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Coldwater Creek, Disney, Home Goods, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Whole Foods turn to us for custom and private label designs.

Our passion has enabled us to build a credible force in the fair trade market while making critical differences in the lives of partner artisans, their families and communities. And our experience brings you the best of both worlds: the trust, reliability and professionalism of an established wholesale company, plus exclusive, modern, boho-chic styles that appeal to ethical consumers.


Kutch

It is the home of 3 artisan cooperatives: the Kala Raksha vocational school of art, Qasab and WAMA. Now, years later, the artisans have rebuilt their lives and dreams thanks to their traditional art: fine mirror-work embroidery, traditional weaving and leather work.Several northwestern regions of India were completely destroyed by a massive earthquake in January 2001. It was the most severe earthquake (out of more than 90 earthquakes) to hit Kutch in 185 years. The area affected is called the Rann of Kutch, a seasonally marshy saline clay desert located in the Thar Desert, in the state of Gujarat, India.

 


HSSS

HSSS is a non-profit organization that works for the uplifting and development of underprivileged artisans. It is composed mainly of male artisans, both Hindu and Muslim, who suffer educational, training and health related issues. The hardships that these people go through include physical handicaps, illiteracy, extreme poverty, entrapment in lower castes, lack of knowledge about trade and markets, among others. The artisans don’t have knowledge of marketing skills and have many barriers to access international trade. However, they are very skilled in making wooden products and are committed to quality, so production is not a problem for them. HSSS respects environmental values by only using Shesham wood from the forest quota given by the government of India (which sells the wood of dead trees). When it comes to the advancement of the people, the organization is taking several steps for the betterment of the artisans. They have created self help groups for the artisans and also organize several exhibitions for promoting their art to increase their market opportunities. 


Amar Jyoti

Recycled newspaper bags are made by an organization whose main purpose is to provide education and health care to underprivileged children. They also provide vocational education to help them become self-sustainable when they grow up. The school raises some income by making the newspaper bags, and we are glad we can help them sell these amazing, green products.

Many young boys and girls run away from their homes in villages to escape gender discrimination, abuse, poverty and many other problems. They dream of making it big in the city, and arrive at the train stations alone. However, their inexperience, their innocence and their lack of skills force them to live in slums, beg on the streets, or be victims of human trafficking.

Luckily, there are organizations that want to put a stop to this tragedy. Handmade Expressions is working with this one in particular, which focuses on getting youth off the streets and saving them from sexual and labor abuse. This organization works towards a just and equitable world.


Bell Craft 

Bell making is an ancient Indian craft with enchanting origins. Traditionally used by farmers to identify their livestock, each bell is tuned to produce a distinctive chime. Our bells are made by a Muslim community, where both men and women are involved in creating music from lifeless metal using craftsmanship passed down through generations. Made from recycled tin and iron, artisans in the desert Kutch region manually cut and hammer the metal to hand-shape the bells, then coat them in powdered brass and copper before firing in kilns. Each rustic bell is then tuned to reveal a rich, unique sound like no other bell.

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