A BIT LOST fair trade owl STUFFED TOY
with loop to hang as a mobile
(a hand puppet version of this design is also available)
Made from raw cotton. The fabric is hand-spun into yarn, dyed, hand-woven and sewn by the women at Mahaguthi. Every part including the packaging was hand made by Mahaguthi development group in Nepal.
More information and photos can be found here >
Mahaguthi is the oldest social enterprise in Nepal. It was started by the legendary social reformer Tulsi Mehar in 1923. In the early 20th century Nepal had a very rigid caste and social structure, only the high caste men were educated and literate. Mehar campaigned against this inequality and for this he was exiled by the Rana government to India. His interest in reform led him to Mahatma Gandhi and they worked together for many years. His time with Gandhi gave him an opportunity to gain insight to the liberation of the underprivileged. In a system where there are no opportunities for women to bring in money for themselves they must rely on their husbands and fathers. Without the means to improve their own lives women's situations can be very restrictive and this can be hugely problematic if there is domestic violence or abuse. Mehar and Gandhi's vision for reform was to empower women through education and income generation projects so that they can become economically self-reliant. Gandhi wrote to the Prime Minister of Nepal to ask him to let Mehar back into the country. Once back in Kathmandu in 1923 and with a donation from Gandhi, Mehar set up the spinning and weaving development project that became Mahaguthi. It was not only the first social development project in Nepal but was actually among the first ever manufacturing units in the economically closed feudal country.