At Swajan, the centuries-old craft of papermaking is combined with another of Bangladesh’s famous traditions, embroidery, to create beautifully decorated, handmade paper cards.
Swajan is a private business, started in the late 1990s, to provide work for women’s groups. Now, about 850 women do embroidery in both rural and urban areas. The paper comes from Prokritee, another fair trade organisation giving work to disadvantaged women.
Smrity lives in Dhaka and works for Swajan, making beautifully embroidered cards and purses for Traidcraft. Around 850 women like her rely on sales of Swajan products to provide for their families – so each product you buy makes a difference.
As well as educating her seven-year-old daughter, Mimy and son, Mamun (10), Smrity is able to save 1,000 taka a month from her earnings, so the family’s future is now more secure.