Women Empowerment and Sustainable Fashion Value Along The Side : Case of "Hatti Hatti"- Nepalese Social Enterprise

17.8.18




What comes first in your mind when I say “Women Empowerment”?
For me women empowerment means a state when the woman is mentally, financially and emotionally independent.

“Hatti Hatti” is a Social enterprise which main goal is to empower women. In conversation with Rijesh Rajkarnikar, the Marketing and HR Manager of ‘Hatti Hatti’, I came to know more detailed information about this organization. 

Story Behind "Hatti Hatti "
Hatti Hatti was founded by Charlotte Mellkvist and David Geiser from Sweden who came to Nepal in 2014 to volunteer in the organization named ‘Saath’ which works for people living with HIV and AIDS. After the volunteering experience, they thought of creating value in Nepalese community and especially for women. Initially they started with making and selling of Swedish Chocolate balls in Farmers Market. This initiative was successful but the founders were seeking for the sustainable alternative to empower women. Thus, “Hatti Hatti” was born with idea of empowering women from marginalized communities by educating and providing tailoring skills so as to make them financially independent or to be an entrepreneur. The organization produces kimonos, bow ties, dresses, tote bags, etc.
  
Sustainable Fashion Value
 

Fashion industry is one of the polluted industry  in the world. From the consumer perspective including myself; we irrationally  buy clothes. We  just buy random clothes, which we are going to wear in few occasions and later those clothes are end up being  in landfills.  Issues are many but to shorten up: its individual responsibility to be conscious before buying clothes, opt for natural fabrics, outfit from recycled or up-cycled materials and its better to go for quality rather than quantity.

With  the consciousness about the problems of fashion industry- Hatti Hatti is focused being the sustainable fashion brand.For Nepalese women-‘Saree’ is the most loved and frequently worn attire. Taking this into the consideration with the aim of sustainable fashion practice; the organization reuses the secondhand ‘saree’ as a fabric to make their products. The organization mostly receives ‘saree’ as a donation.  They also buy it from stores at very minimum price. They opt for ‘saree’ which are in the stock for many years. Earlier, the organization only produced kimonos but many pieces of fabrics were left-out while making kimonos. With this realization, “Hatti Hatti” team came out with the idea of utilizing those fabrics by making bow-ties.

 

The sales channels of “Hatti Hatti” mainly comprised of few mediums. Firstly through their own office, some local stores especially focused in selling Nepalese products. Since the founders of “Hatti Hatti” are Swedish so they also exhibits the products in different markets such as small pop-up markets, Christmas markets in Sweden. And the organization is connecting with their target customers through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Women Empowerment
Referring again about the women empowerment, firstly the women are provided basic literacy education comprising of Math and English classes. Then the women are given tailoring training to make them skilled. During the training women are also paid with stipend. With the completion of this training- women are provided with the choice either to start their own business or to work in “Hatti Hatti”.  If the women chose to start their own business then the organization also provides ‘seed fund’ to get the business operated.

I was curious to know about how these women are selected for the training. With talk to Mr. Rijesh, 
I knew that the selection process for trainee incorporated different factors; need based assessment is basically done. And the women are selected from marginalized communities and from rural areas.

Summing up:‘Hatti Hatti’ being a social enterprise has adopted the social innovation approach as a specific tool to create sustainable value for the community.



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