Shopping with Purpose
Joli Motif has partnered with Prokritee, an inspiring non-profit fair trade organization in Bangladesh, whose mission is to develop the social and economic capacity of poor, rural disadvantaged women throughout Bangladesh. Prokritee supports over 1,500 artisans in rural areas, providing these incredibly talented individuals with skill development training and sustainable links to the world market. This affords the artisans the opportunity to use their craft to build independence to support themselves and their families, many of which have suffered from severe poverty and other injustices.
All of the Prokritee (meaning "nature" in Bengali) products are handmade using renewable sources of materials such as recycled sari, waste jute, silk, handmade paper, natural fibers and leaves.
Part of our mission at Joli Motif is to help support this amazing organization and its community of artisans by bringing their beautiful products to our audience.
Meet Trisna Roy
Trisna Roy came from a poor family and was married at 15 years old to a local tailor through an arranged marriage. Due to her husbands low wages, he incurred a large debt to a local loan shark, which he was unable to pay and fled the country leaving behind Trisna and their two children to deal with the repercussions. Trisna was left with nowhere to turn, including her own family, due to the reality that in Bangladesh it is difficult for a woman to go back to her parent’s house after her marriage, as it is seen as obscene by the local communities.
Over the next few years, Trisna took temporary jobs working as a housemade, but was still unable to support herself and her two children, until finally in 2000 she was introduced Jobarpar Enterprise, one of many that Prokritee supports, and was able to obtain a job as an artisan within their organization and is now one of the most respected senior producers. To the younger women in the project, she is a great example of self-reliance and perseverance.
Meet Joyanti Halder
Joyanti Halder came from a poor family and was married at 16 years old through an arranged marriage to an individual whose financial situation was worse than her own and was unable to support her and their two beautiful children, constantly struggling to bear the family expenses of daily living. Eventually extreme fatigue overcame Joyanti's husband and after falling incredibly ill was unable to work.
Feeling overwhelmingly desperate with a family to support, yet limited means to do so, Joyanti was forced to take loans from local NGOs to bear the family expenses. Over time, the NGOs soon figured out that she was in no condition to pay back their loans, let alone bear the ever-growing interests generated by the credits. It’s uncommon for a woman to be the breadwinner in a Bangladeshi family, but Joyanti had no choice as the main source for her family's survival and took on odd jobs to try and support the family until in 1999 she stumbled upon Jobarpar Enterprise where her new journey would begin as an amazingly talented artisan.
Meet Shila Kirtunia
Like many artisans of Biborton Handmade Paper Project, Shila Kirtunia comes from a very poor family. She grew up in a village near Agailjhara in a hardworking, yet poverty stricken farming family. Due to their circumstances, Shila was never afforded the opportunity to go to school and was married at 18 to farmer in a nearby village as is common, yet her new life as a married woman did not improve her situation. Within a few years into her marriage, she became a mother of two sons and a daughter and although struggling to survive, they were a happy family until tragedy struck with her husband’s unfortunate death during the fourth year of her marriage. After that, Shila became helpless and couldn’t afford to provide the basic needs for her family. It was a very dire time for Shila and her three children.
Fortunately, soon after Shila’s husband’s death Biborton Handmade Paper, one of the production units of Prokritee, started its operation in a nearby village. Shila, who was at that time in desperate need of work to support her family was able to secure a job as a producer at Biborton and is still there today, which has afforded her the ability to provide and care for her family.