The Lotus Sky Difference: The New Fair Trade & Heart-Centered Women's Empowerment in Action
Who are we?
HEART-CENTERED SOCIAL ENTERPRISE BY WOMEN, FOR WOMEN.
LOTUS SKY IS FEMALE FOUNDED & 100% SISTERHOOD FUELED
Lotus Sky is a 100% woman run and operated collective of designers and artisans based out of Kathmandu, Nepal focusing on traditional Nepali beadwork with a global fusion twist! We are first and foremost a woman run, safe-space design studio where sisterhood serves as a retreat, a refuge, and an embracing hand of solidarity for all Lotus Sky women and their families.
Officially founded in 2012 by current directors, Sarah and Sangye, Lotus Sky started with the goal to transform fair trade with women's voices and perspectives. In Nepal (and globally) men have set the standards for what qualifies as "fair trade" and a "fair wage." And yet the burden on women is manifold: Not only must we often pay for our own educations, care for our families and support younger siblings, mothers are primarily responsible for children. The threat of gendered violence and discrimination also permeates the workplace, often discouraging women from seeking leadership positions. Sarah and Sangye set out to create a safe space free from gendered violence where women set the workplace standards and were in charge of our own income and schedules.
In fact, Lotus Sky is the only crocheted beadwork bracelet company in Nepal that is completely womanpowered that we know of! A lot of companies talk vaguely about "women's empowerment," but when you look into their business model, you see that men occupy the main roles, while women serve as underpaid fabricators.
Here at Lotus Sky, when we say 100% woman run, we mean ALL WOMEN. To really break it down: No dudes in US offices buying from huge dealers in Nepal. And when we say, "Empowering women," we mean this to the core. From our crocheters, to our designers, to our North American shippers, we are making it happen, fueled by craftWOmanpower the whole way!
Where are Lotus Sky Bracelets made?
BOUDHANATH DISTRICT, KATHMANDU, NEPAL
We hand crochet each Lotus Sky glass bead bracelet out of the studio-flat of Lotus Sky Creative Director, Sarah, just north of the world famous Tibetan Buddhist stupa at Boudha in Kathmandu, Nepal. One of our studio managers, Pema Lhomi, also conducts training for our Sisters Under One Sky program out of her home, just a 5 minute walk from Sarah's flat.
What is the New Fair Trade?
AN ETHICAL REVOLUTION
Lotus Sky is the founder of the New Fair Trade movement in Nepal. While the "Old" Fair Trade demanded a "living" wage for artisans, we take it a step further to demand a "saveable" wage for artisans. A living wage is the bare minimum, allowing artisans to support their families, pay their rent and buy food and it was a great first step. A saveable wage allows for all this, but also puts money in the bank when all necessary living expenses have been paid. Only when women have the opportunity to save, invest and put money toward making significant changes in their lives and the lives of their children, does true change happen.
About half of the Lotus Sky team are college students, putting themselves through school with their earnings from Lotus Sky. The other half are married with children, and, through Lotus Sky, are able to make sure their daughters receive the education they themselves were denied in a country that often prioritizes boys ahead of girls.
HOW DOES THE NEW FAIR TRADE MODEL HELP CONSUMERS?
The New Fair Trade Movement empowers you, the consumer, to buy directly from your artisans: no middlepersons, or resellers (or extra mark-ups along the way)!
Moreover, our women's line of bracelets is by women, for women. We know that women are not “one size fits all” and that's why we offer bespoke sizing in any design! We keep our bracelets pure and authentically handmade from our hands to your wrists. This is what true artisanship means!
Lotus Sky bracelets are more than pretty arm candy: They are bracelets with a purpose. Put one in your hands, feel the intricate and even stitching: You will never look back!
Join the ethical revolution today!