Meet Your Maker: ACP, Kathmandu4 years ago
The Here Today Here Tomorrow label was set up in 2011 and knowing we would have to outsource production we were resolved to do this in an ethical manner. Having previously travelled in Nepal and worked for other companies that sourced fair trade production from there, two of the HTHT team travelled to Kathmandu in April 2011 to find a producer group to work with and create our initial range of fair trade knitwear.
Understanding the importance of knowing how products are made and who made them, Emma and Anna spent a month working with the Association of Craft Producers (ACP) in Kathmandu. Since then our relationship with ACP has gone from strength to strength. We believe it is important to work collaboratively with the producers, teaching them new designs and techniques whilst also learning their traditional production methods. This collaborative process gives the makers exposure to new approaches to design, through their contact with our experiences and methods, while we in turn benefit from their expertise and skills as artisans.
ACP is a local, not for profit, fair trade organization and are part of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). They provide design, marketing, management, and technical services to low-income Nepalese craft producers. ACP is a resource to advance and globally distribute their work, for which they receive fair wages and generous benefits. As well as knitwear ACP produces a wide range of product types including felt, textiles, ceramics, woodwork, copper and many more. They are committed to providing their workers with a safe working environment and in many cases the artisans can work from home enabling them to support and care for their families.
ACP has made the following statement in response to Fashion Revolution Day,
“Fashion revolution day has been initiated by one of the WFTO members, Carry Somers and a global board of industry leaders, campaigners, press and academics. Fair Trade as whole plays a huge role in making people aware of good working practice, fair treatment and green environment. All fair trade organizations can act as model worldwide for many other organizations to follow the same path. Being one of conscience group in the fair trade world, we feel proud to participate in this movement.
It is responsibility of all of us to ensure good working condition, preserve environment and produce less waste. Our organization respects all these aspect. We take care of our internal working environment and also take care of external environment. One of such care is taking care to reduce impact of waste from our dyeing. Kathmandu has huge scarcity of water. Being a handicraft company, we need a lot of water for our production starting especially for dyeing. So, we built our own rain waste improved our infrastructure and built tank of 300,000 litre capacity.
Year by year, we have tried our best to better our production process so that it less hampers the environment and people. We use Azo free dyes and lead free ceramics. We have now moved from Kerosene Kiln to Electric Kiln. We are harnessing steam released during cooling off of the boilers in the dyeing unit to heat the water required for the felting. We replaced the kerosene based inks with water based printing inks. We use recycled paper, softwood in production, discourage the use of plastic bags and restrict smoking within ACP premises.
Through this movement, let us pledge to protect the environment and natural resources for the benefit of the communities we serve and for the future generation.
Let us commit for not allowing such a bad event to happen again in future!”