MarketPlace: Handwork of India

MarketPlace: Handwork of India

MarketPlace:Handwork of India is a non-profit, fair trade organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunities for women artisans in India and empowering them to bring about changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. 

Since MarketPlace began in 1986, women, who were formerly "unemployable" or desperately underemployed, have been building new lives around rewarding work, educational opportunities and social support.  Over this period, MarketPlace has developed, refined and expanded its model of supported self-help, which involves the artisans directly at all levels of decision-making, as they form and manage their own independent cooperatives. 

“Leadership through Design” sums up our strategy.  Planning and controlling every aspect of production has given the women basic skills that they use in planning other aspects of their lives and in taking initiatives in community actions, their children’s schools, and in changing relationships with their husbands and children, especially their daughters.  They are demanding self-respect from the people around them and challenging the age-old societal views.

Design has been a major tool in allowing us to include women with few or no commercial skills and bridge the gap between their skills and market needs. Women are involved in design workshops, production plans, quality control, and skills transfer.  When a new cooperative is developed, one of the existing cooperatives acts as mentor and trains them in every aspect of production, communications, and management and mentors them for at least a year. 

MarketPlace is currently working with 14 cooperatives, representing over 480 artisans, most of whom are women. The clothing and textile products made by these groups are marketed in the U.S. through an attractive catalog, website and a number of specialty and clothing stores.  Details of our mission are on our website

MarketPlace is well recognized in the Fair Trade Movement, was one of the founding members of the Fair Trade Federation and is currently a member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT).

Private Company