For the past 25 years, Others has been dedicated to making a positive impact on communities through fair trade practices to achieve job creation, empowerment and poverty alleviation.
The exhibition, first shown at Gallery 101 in April 2023, showcases that journey and the meaningful impact it has had on the lives of countless artisans and their families.
Where we are
Others first contact with Kenya was in 1999, with formal connections to producer groups starting in 2004.
Well known for its products made from sisal, banana fibres, beads and other recycled materials, Kenya has nearly 350 artisans and eight production groups. Most artisans are linked to savings and loans groups affiliated with the local Salvation Army. Starting in 2020, we’ve expanded to work with small scale coffee farmers in Matungulu.
Others began as a local initiative in Bangladesh in 1997, under the name Sally Anne.
Known for embroidery, jute and products made from the handloom, we partner with 618 producers (men and women) from 15 groups. Some artisans are recruited through artisan groups and Salvation Army community development programmes such as the rehabilitation centre in Dhaka for victims of human trafficking and exploitation.
Others products are available for purchase in:
Norway | Bangladesh | USA | Canada | Iceland | New Zealand … and coming soon to the UK!
The 'Heart Village'
There’s a story of dignity and hope behind every product. Shankarpur, a small remote village in Bangladesh, is a beautiful example of what social enterprise can do, not only for individuals, but for a community.
If you were to visit today, you’d never know that just a few short years ago Shankarpur was a place of extreme division and poverty. Hindus, Muslims and Christians did not associate with each other, families were struggling to have one or two meals per day, and there were many cases of domestic violence.
Today, you’ll see people of each religion gathered as one community, families who are able to save and invest, and the village’s first generation of female breadwinners.
This is a transformation that began with Others.
How did it happen?
Salvation Army officers (ministers) Lieutenants Tushar and Shipra Biswas arrived in the Shankarpur community in 2014 to lead the corps (church). They knew this community had many skilled tailors and proposed a partnership.
As you can imagine, it was a tough journey getting people onboard who weren’t already part of the corps, but the women began secretly sharing the production of orders with their Hindu and Muslim friends. After months of ‘bumping into’ husbands in the market and inviting women to outings, people eventually saw the earnings and life improvements of their neighbours and perceptions changed.
During a visit to one of the production groups, one of the women was asked: ‘What do these hearts mean to you?’ She simply responded: ‘Hope.’
When you purchase from Others, you are connected to these stories of transformation.
Basket weaving is an age-old tradition in Kenya, passed down through generations. Utilising natural and locally available fibres such as sisal and banana leaf, traditional basket weaving remains an important part of the country's cultural heritage, varying in unique and intricate designs.
Handloom is an ancient tradition in Bangladesh that has been practiced for centuries and was inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The art of weaving has been passed down from generation togeneration, and it remains an important part of the country’s cultural heritage and the country’s economy, especially for rural areas.
The United Nations has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a call to action in protecting people and the planet. Here’s how we’re contributing.
Watch the Exhibition launch
Watch as General Brian Peddle launches the exhibition at Gallery 101:
Discover more from Others
Behind every Others product is a unique story of dignity, independence and hope.
Learn more about the story of Others and find your local web shop at www.tradeforhope.com.