July 2012 
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Changes at Ganesh

Marybeth, our warehouse manager who has helped you on the phone and packed your orders, was hurt in a car accident in June. She is unable to work right now and needs time to rest and heal. She is doing much better now but keep her in your thoughts! We miss her very much. 
Arrival Dates for Shipments from Nepal       

Next shipments: 
Mid October & Mid November
Great Knit Selection!

 Thanks to our customers advance planning and ordering, we have 
 to stock and restock your store. Don't hesitate to call and place your order, there are great knits in stock!

>see more knits here


Knit Hat KI-K-SFL 




From Village to Bag, a journey across a country


The hemp used in Ganesh Himal's products grows wild in the jungles of Nepal without pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals of any kind. Twenty five years ago we recognized that this traditional fiber and weaving technique could create much needed income in a desperately poor part of Nepal and so we partnered with a producer in Bhaktapur to create products using wild woven hemp for export. 
Our hemp is woven in remote villages in far western Nepal where villagers have little access to income generation. The technique of using wild hemp for woven fabric has been used for centuries and not only generates badly needed income but helps maintain a traditional craft. The following information describes the incredible journey of the hemp to get it from harvest to the bag or product you hold in your hand.
Hemp takes 4 months to grow and mature into a usable plant.Once mature the villagers go into the jungle to gather the stalks. They waste nothing: seeds are used for cooking oil and the stems are kept to create the fiber for weaving.

Collected stems are placed in a mud hole with  water for several weeks to soften the material.  When soft, the bark is separated from the stem.
Teeth tearing

Villagers use their teeth to tear the barkfibers into thinner and thinner strips until it resembles thread.



The hemp thread is woven into fabric using a back-strap loom (a simple, ancient technique of stretching the warp between two sticks where one stick is attached to a fixed object and the other to the weaver usually by placing a strap around the back). Each strip of fabric woven ranges from 6-24 inches wide and 3.5 meters long. The loom is transportable so weaving can be done from any point where there is a fixed object.


Boil & Beat

After being woven the wild hemp fabric is removed from the loom, boiled in ash water for a few hours, and then beaten with a flat wooden stick to soften it. Traditionally hemp fabric is used for clothing, bags and mats but since 1984 Ganesh Himal has been creating products for export using wild hemp so that the villagers in this remote part of Nepal can generate much needed income. Villagers receive approximately $5 USD per finished piece of hemp (most villagers in this part of Nepal live on $1 a day, with an average income of less than $200).    


Porters journey by foot village to village collecting one to four pieces of hemp from each home.  This collection takes several days as villages are distanced days from each other. Once the pieces are collected, they are carried by foot to the nearest bus station in Bajura Bazar or Dune Bazar, an additional day's walk.  These district "head quarters" are 700 miles north west of Kathmandu, so it will take additional 2 days journey by bus to reach Bhaktapur. Once in Bhaktapur it is transformed by dying with vegetable dyes and sewing into unique, durable and fashionable bags for Ganesh Himal Trading! 


>To view our collection of beautiful wild hemp products click here (must be logged in)

Aryal weaving at her home
"[The production of hemp] helps a lot, especially in village to buy their needs like medicine and to pay their children's school fees.  The fabric piece is about 3.5 meters long and earns them $5/piece.  They do all this job while villagers have time from their farming. it is their extra income. the thing is, if these hemp cut off and collected by the villagers, it grows dense next season. it even helps the environment" - quote from Aryal, hemp weaver



Denise Attwood,
Fair Trade is so much more than selling Products..
This month, I have been reminded time and again of why I love fair trade. It is because Fair Trade is about so much more than selling products, it is about creating healthy communities across borders, about building sustainable long term partnerships of trust, about thinking outside the box and about helping each other out. Ganesh Himal's customers (that's you!) have been the catalyst in helping us make that happen.
Let me just give you a little taste of my world this last month!

In 2011 and 2012 we did a fundraiser to rebuild the weaving workshop of one of our producers that desperately needed it. We needed $5,000.  Ganesh Himal put up $3,000 and challenged our customers to raise the rest! Shops like Kizuri and Just Creations held shopping nights to educate their customers and raise money, other Fair Trade stores donated from their sales. Last week we got the final donation and I've learned from ACP that the construction of the workshop is almost finished! Pictures will be coming soon!

In 2010 the Baseri Health Clinic was opened in the remote village of Baseri. Ganesh Himal partnered with our good friend Sita Gurung and the villagers of Baseri to help build this first ever health clinic and now it serves an average of 10-15 patients a day and more than 3 lives have been saved. One of our customers, The Fabric of Life Foundation, stepped up and serves as our umbrella 501(c)3! This month we sent out an appeal to raise money to create a 4 room addition to the clinic and Ganesh Himal customers like Garuda International donated immediately, helping make this project a continued success. 

Several years ago, one of our customers, Baksheesh Fair Trade, helped us create products that stores could use for advertising, thus diverting their advertising dollars from traditional places and creating more work for fair trade artisans. Baksheesh created a silk screen design of their logo for a bag we produce and has ordered over 10,000 of these "advertising bags" over the past few years. They just received 2000 earlier this month! This has created a wonderful product for artisans with minimal skills and now we are able to create these custom bags for other stores. Jeanette Rankin Peace Center is currently working on their first 100 bags. Thanks to Baksheesh for helping us help you think outside of the advertising box!

So, although we sell beautiful Fair Trade products, there is so much more to Fair Trade than selling products! THANK YOU for sharing your time and resources with us to make these projects happen and for having the vision of the broader work of Fair Trade. You are such amazing customers and our work together makes me realize why I love Fair Trade! I wasn't able to list everyone who has donated but you know who you are and we appreciate you so much!

FEATURED products  
For more visit our website
Felted Wool Garland

Set of Six Napkins

Recycled Tire Bag

Recycled Tire Bucket

Scrunchy Scarf

Bodhi Leaf Journal  

Hemp Tote

Ebroidered Bag 


Kesang with knitters from Padhma Creations

Padhma Creations

>view their youtube video here


It almost seems too simple: a skein of wool saving a life.                                         

padhmaFor women of Nepal, beaten down by a complex and consuming social status, wool is a welcome reality.
Hasroon is one of these women. Hasroon was married at 18 and living a happy life with her infant son and husband . . . until her in-laws began demanding dowry money. When Hasroon's family couldn't pay, she was beaten, humiliated, and ultimately covered with gasoline, pushed into the bathroom, and set on fire. Today, Hasroon works for Padhma Creations, a social enterprise founded by Kesang Yudron.

Padhma is the Sanskrit word for lotus, the flower that emerges pure and white from the muddy swamp. Kesang believes it is a fitting symbol for the women artisans, like Hasroom, who work at Padhma Creations. 


Padhma Creations gives Hasroon the training and job she needs to provide a secure and supportive life for her and her son. 
Padhma Creations partners with nearly 70 women from neighboring villages of Nepalgunj, Bardiya, and Surkhet in
Nepal. Wool is divided among their families who then make berets, scarves, socks, and other items in their homes or in shelters for women without homes. These woolens are then sold, and the money reinvested in programs to support the artisans and their children.  
Kesang thought of the idea in 2000 when she and her father visited Nepalgunj, a border town between Nepal and India.   
"I remember being shocked at the sight of a 13-year-old village girl being rescued from trafficking by the police," 
Kesang said. "The story was that a distant relative of hers had intentions of selling her to a brothel in Mumbai. This
incident created a lasting and profound impression on my life."
Thousands of young Nepali women are trafficked to India every year for prostitution, child labor, and slavery,
Kesang said. Others are victims of domestic abuse. All have no jobs or paying skills. "Padhma Creations not only helps these women but saves their families from a life of spiraling poverty."   
Padhma Creations aims to provide women artisans with health, education and social welfare programs. The company pays knitters wages that are higher than the market rate in Nepal; it also puts away 5% of profits towards the Padhma Creations Health Fund to provide knitters and their children with basic health care, an expense many Nepalese simply cannot afford. The company also provided its first education scholarships for children of the knitters this winter. Ganesh Himal contributes $1.50 for every item made by the group to their educational scholarship fund.
"We want to raise awareness about the lives of people in other countries," Kesang said. "Our hope is to influence a new generation of empathetic young adults  who will be socially conscious consumers."   
Or, like Kesang, they'll become entrepreneurs investing in human life worldwide.  
-Article from St. Benedicts College http://www.csbsju.edu/
Ganesh Himal has worked with Kesang's family since 1985 and has known Kesang since she was born! We are so proud of her and her work!

See all of Padhma Creations items (you must be logged in)