The Sreepur Village, Bangladesh is a charity that aims to keep a sustainable village to support destitute mothers and children, relying solely on donations and the sales of handmade products such as scarves, which have been created using eco-friendly materials and dyes.
All of our products are handmade by women at The Sreepur Village. Once abused, poverty stricken and vulnerable, these women came to The Sreepur Village looking for sanctuary and a chance of a happier, safer future.
The women are taught traditional textile methods including natural dyeing processes, embroidering and weaving on hand looms. We strongly believe in supporting local skills and customs to provide a sustainable future for the community. The sales of these products go straight to the charity which pays the women a fair wage, for the products they have made. A proportion of their earnings are also allocated to a savings account, so they may embark on an independent career, when they are ready to leave The Sreepur Village, as empowered women.
Natural Dyes at The Sreepur Village
All of our products achieve their vibrant and stunning colours through the use of natural dyes. Some of the staff have the knowledge of age old formulas and skills, passed down through generations with lifetimes of experience.
Natural dyes have been used to create fast colour textiles for thousands of years. With over 300 dye-yielding plants native to the subcontinent, producing a spectrum of vibrant colours, it’s easy to understand why this traditional method of bringing colour to textiles has survived despite the introduction of synthetic colour systems.
The textile worker, using natural dyes, has the ability to become a chemist, artist and craftsman, developing an intimate knowledge of colour giving plants and minerals which are readily available in the local environment.
Being eco-friendly, not only are these rich colours aesthetically pleasing to the eye but they are also pleasing to the earth and mother nature. As a by-product of meal preparations in The Sreepur Village onion skins are just one of the materials used to create the beautiful colours of our scarves and products. The large volume of mouths to feed and the fact that onions are a staple for all meals there is a vast quantity of dye-producing supply readily available which otherwise would have gone to waste.
Another common substance used in the dyeing of our textiles is tea leaves, again this is readily available and non-toxic. There are so many sources easily accessible to The Sreepur Village which we can use to dye our textiles including Bark of Babla, Skin of Dalam and Manjit to name just a few. We positively encourage the use of indigenous produce in our production processes.
Of course there is a requirement for the necessary mordant to fix the dyes which commonly are alum, copper sulphate, copper, ferrous sulphate (Iron) and potassium dichromate (Chrome). These ensure that the natural dyes adhere to the natural materials we use; without them the colour would not take.
The fabrics we use to make our products are all natural consisting of either cotton, wool, silk or jute, which means that they are all biodegradable materials.
The Sreepur Village products often have a mix of either cotton and silk, cotton and wool, silk and wool, cotton and jute. Some are wonderfully soft to the touch and provide a warm comforting feel for chillier months such as the wool scarves. The lighter scarves, ideal for spring and the warmer months, are those containing a mix of cotton and silk.
All of The Sreepur Village scarves are handmade using a traditional hand loom. The embroidered products have all been carefully created by hand using skills and techniques passed down through generations in the local villages. From paisley style designs to elephants and flowers, the women develop beautiful intricate patterns for the scarves and bags we sell at The Sreepur Village online store.
Fair Trade, Fair Wage
We are now a #guaranteedfairtrade member of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation). If you’d like to find out about the real life success stories of the mothers at the village please click here.
By purchasing an eco-friendly scarf, product or Gift That Gives from The Sreepur Village, Bangladesh you are contributing to the sustainability of the charity and improved welfare of the destitute mothers and children in Bangladesh.