LWH (Local Women’s Handicrafts) is a textile and handicraft collective in Nepal founded by Nasreen Sheikh. Nasreen is a former sweatshop child worker and she has experienced the dark side of the garment industry on her own body, being forced to work 12-15 hours a day.
Though she never gave up hope for a better future, so she managed to leave the sweat shop and start LWH. In the beginning LWH was just a small shop, where Nasreen was training other women in handicrafts and textile making, but LWH grew rapidly and now includes several centers in Nepal. Nasreen is an incredibly strong women and what she is doing is truly awe-inspiring.
LWH seeks to empower disadvantaged and marginalized women to take control of their own destiny and fight the poverty and societal structures that are holding them back from realizing their full potential.
At LWH the women are offered training, a stipend and a safe place to stay. During the training, they skills such as weaving, embroidery or jewelry making, and they also receive basic education and health services. After the end of their training, the women can decide whether they want to continue working for LWH or whether they want to start their own business.
The women at LWH make a wide variety of products, but it was especially the handwoven scarves that caught my attention, so together we designed the Amazing Gray scarf for Mitzie Mee. The scarf is a mix of cashmere, wool and cotton, which makes it warm and very soft.
The entire production process from dying of the yarn to weaving of the scarves is in the hands of LWH, and you can therefore rest assured that the scarves are free from child labor, slave labor and sweat shops. Furthermore, the scarves are also made with respect for the environment in safe working conditions, and the women are paid a fair salary.