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Our Story

"Here at Kushti we feel strongly about building a genuine sustainable brand. When the idea of Kusthi started out it was with a strong focus on supporting skilled artisans around the world, especially those in developing countries. A big part of the Kushti dream was travel. The aim was to meet the artisans in person and experience the products being made so we can then share our experiences with you, our customers. Unfortunately in this current climate this isn't possible but we are very hopeful that soon we will be able to meet the people that have helped bring Kushti to life. 

We want you to know that it is of the utmost importance to us that our products are responsibly made and the people making them are getting a fair wage as well as comfortable working conditions. It is vital that our suppliers share the same core values, artisnal, sustainable, fair & social. 

Every product we sell was chosen with consideration and made with love. We believe every home should be filled with colour and personality and we think our products have that, by the bucket load! We hope you think so too.

Transparency is very important to us. If you have any questions about our products we will be happy to answer them as best we can. We hope you enjoy our products as much as we do. We promise that the Kushti brand will be built on honesty and integrity and we are sincerely grateful for your support."

Owner Deirdre 0'Sullivan

 

Fairtrade

At Kushti we believe that everyone deserves a fair wage to support themselves and those around them and our suppliers feel the same way. Both Kushti and our suppliers believe in equal opportunities and a safe working environment for its artisans, along with healthy working conditions. Protecting the health, safety and fundamental rights of the skilled artisans that create our products is of the utmost importance to us.

Our cushion supplier lays great emphasis on gender equality and fair wages. It is backed by an ISO 14001 certification that is synonymous with environmental compliance and a SEDEX certificate for its ethical and transparent practices. It has also applied for a Goodweave certification, an international tag that prohibits child labor or bonded labour.

Our basket supplier is currently one of only five companies to carry the Nest Seal of Ethical Handcraft on our Rwanda and Uganda products—the highest standards for assessing artisan homeworker production and supply chains. When you purchase these products, you can feel good knowing everything is made ethically in a home or small workshop. 

Nest is a non-profit organization that creates more opportunities for brands to connect consumers with ethically produced handcrafted items.

 

Global artisan work is notoriously unregulated, underserved, and unprotected. Nest ensures the production provides safe and empowering employment for all workers.

 

Nest Compliance for Homes and Small Workshops from Nest on Vimeo.

 

We pay a fair price to the skilled artisans that make our products and that in turn is reflected in our pricing. You are not just buying a product you are supporting a community. 

 

Handmade

Everything we sell at Kushti has been handcrafted by skilled artisans around the world. From picking and processing crops such as Sisal and cotton, to hand dying the fibers with natural dyes. We are very proud that we are able to contribute in our own little way to the longevity of ancient traditions passed down within families and communities. Along with a fair wage this ensures that communities in remote regions can continue to practice their crafts and support their communities keeping their cultures alive.

The skills that create our products..

Block printing, an art which calls for steady movement and meticulous hand and eye coordination. The craft has been practised in Rajasthan for around 500 years. The process starts with the block design, first drawn on paper and then carved by hand onto wooden blocks which are approximately 18-24cm. The block is dipped in natural dye and carefully stamped on fabric. The process is repeated multiple times by skilled hands. Block carving in itself is a precise art requiring years of apprenticeship and done entirely by hand. Each color pattern is stamped individually onto the fabric. The process takes time and skill, as the pattern must be stamped repeatedly across the fabric, color by color. The subtle gaps and overlaps are a beautiful reminder of beauty of handmade crafts and give block printing its iconic look. Rajasthan’s block printing villages echo the rhythmic ‘knocking’ sounds that are created when the block printer stamps the wooden block on fabric.

Handweaving in India is over 2000 years old! The craft has stayed true to its roots even in the face of severe competition from power looms. This eco-friendly, non-mechanized process employs more than 43 million people in India, contributing to 95% of the world's handwoven fabrics! Our cushion supplier is renowned for its focus on creating sustainable lifestyle products. Every offering by the brand is a 100% artisanal.

Embroidered needlework done by hand. While embroidery may seem like a hobby for many, for the rural women of Rajasthan, it is an integral part of their everyday life and often also their bread and butter. It is a skill lovingly passed down from a mother to her daughter.

Basket weaving.The process of weaving is intricate. Sisal fibers are wound around thin bundles of sweet grass, and secured stitch by stitch into a tiny coil. The coil grows as the process continues, and the weaver incorporates differently colored sisal threads into careful patterns or designs. Eventually the basket takes shape, and the completed basket- with its brilliant hues vibrantly dyed, neat coils carefully bound, and intricate design expertly stitched- is a labor of love, a testament to skill, and a piece of art.

When you purchase artisan-made goods,you aren't simply purchasing a woven product - you're investing in a high-quality, handcrafted, naturally sourced work of art created by an experienced weaver.

 

The Completed Rwandan Basket is Breathtaking (AAA) from KAZI by All Across Africa on Vimeo.

 

Sustainable

Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Sustainability is not just environmentalism. Embedded in most definitions of sustainability we also find concerns for social equity and economic development.

Sustainability is more important now than ever. We believe in living sustainable lifestyles here at Kushti and that has spurred us on to create a sustainable brand. Since all of our products are made by hand and not in massive factories or by power looms we have reduced the amount of waste as well as water and fossil fuels needed to produce our products. Our products are made from sustainably grown crops and hand dyed with natural dyes. Along with our fairtrade ethos we are working to permanently improve family incomes and living standards across developing countries. It is all linked you see, social, environmental and economical growth. You cannot have sustainability without all three.

The Bruntdland Commission

In 1983, the United Nations tapped former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland to run the new World Commission on Environment and Development. After decades of effort to raise living standards through industrialization, many countries were still dealing with extreme poverty. It seemed that economic development at the cost of ecological health and social equity did not lead to long-lasting prosperity. It was clear that the world needed to find a way to harmonize ecology with prosperity. After four years, the “Brundtland Commission” released its final report, Our Common Future. It famously defines sustainable development as:

development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Commission successfully unified environmentalism with social and economic concerns on the world’s development agenda. Sustainability is a holistic approach that considers ecological, social and economic dimensions, recognizing that all must be considered together to find lasting prosperity.

 

Carbon Neutral

In this day and age it is impossible to avoid emissions but we can off set them. Striving for a sustainable brand our biggest bummer was the emissions created by shipping and air miles but thanks to the great work of so many companies and organisations out there fighting climate change we found a solution. Basically we work out how much CO2 our business generates and then we off set it by planting trees or funding a climate change project. We don't just want to be carbon neutral, we aim to be carbon negative. Every month we will choose an organization to sponsor and we will share it with you on our social media platforms.
 

Rest assured, when you buy from Kushti you are doing the world of good.

 THANK YOU!