Sari Bari operates with an attitude of hope and a strong belief in the artisan’s ability to achieve both personal freedom and sustainable economic security. Sari Bari is an ethical fashion business that employs women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to human trafficking. The goals of freedom and sustainable economic security are achieved through the jobs that are being provided, skills training, staff development, HIV support, housing support, debt relief programs, educational training, school support, and emotional and mental health support, while being in a safe and loving environment.
Located in the largest red light district of Kolkata, the sewing center of Sari Bari produces products from leather bags, cross body purses, baby blankets, bed covers and pillows.
Women are the hearts of this business – brave survivors of trafficking who are creating a life of freedom for themselves and their families. These women are trained as artisans to create handmade kantha products from recycled saris. KANTHA “Kantha has traditionally provided women with space and time of their own with which they created this extraordinary art-form. It is an exclusively woman’s activity where they can interact with other women and gain a sense of self” - Jasleen Dhamija, from the Craft Council of India Kantha is a Bengali word the means “old cloth.” Kantha is a form of embroidery where old sari’s are cut and measured to be used for different products. All Sari Bari products are sewn using this ancient Bengali technique. Similar to the old Bengali tradition of Kantha products where all of the products were signed by the artisan, Sari Bari artisans have each signed their hand made products with a personalized tag.