Artisan Impact: Leather Craft, India


Most of our leather artisan partners belong to a social class called Chamar, which excludes them from other classes of society and severely limits their resources. About 30 families formed a development group to empower artisans, beginning with advanced tooling techniques. As a result, the caste stigma is gradually diminishing as artisans make economic and social progress. Housing, sanitation, and health care access have improved, and children are attending school. Through access to trade, the village was able to realize its dream of opening its first school for girls.

In a vegetarian region of Rajasthan, India, the cultural art of leather craft and tooling is inherited through the generations. Cows are revered here, and hides are obtained only after an animal dies of old age or natural causes. Our leather is tanned using a vegetable tanning method, which protects the environment and tannery workers from toxic chemicals. Artisans then use water-based dyes or oils to color the leather. With a set of hand tools, each artisan applies love and skill to cutting, stitching, embossing and embroidering our leather journals, bags, and accessories.