With a growing demand for global design and products with social impact, many international companies are increasingly interested in sourcing artisan products. Through our Business to Business matchmaking service, Bhavana facilitates this process, identifying high-potential businesses in emerging markets and connecting them with international brands. Performing this service in a project that highlighted the age old Ethiopian tradition of hand-loom weaving, Bhavana brought together Sammy Handmade and Eileen Fisher Inc.
Sammy Handmade is an Ethiopian enterprise that creates contemporary textiles using hand weaving, embroidery, and dying techniques. Through generous support from USAID, Bhavana assessed Sammy’s business and greater value chain to establish a clear picture of supply and capacity. As part of our process, we empower the emerging market enterprise to successfully obtain and fulfill a contract with an international company. With Sammy Handmade, we engaged across a range of issues, including product development, production, employment, quality assurance, environment and facilities.
As a luxury apparel company with a commitment to ethical supply chains and empowering women and girls, Eileen Fisher Inc. was considering sourcing in Africa. Bhavana supports international companies that are engaging in an emerging market. With in-depth knowledge if the operating environment, we help buyers understand the financial arrangements and production dynamics that can be unique to developing countries. Through this project, Eileen Fisher Inc. sourced scarves for retail and on-line sales. The business partnership continued, with multiple contracts with Sammy Handmade and an expansion in to leather goods.
This was the first business relationship Eileen Fisher Inc. established in East Africa. Through this project Sammy Handmade increased revenue and was able to hire more employees from the community, some in permanent positions. Employees were able to work more hours, including overtime, gained self-confidence and increased their ability to provide for their families.
In addition, the increase in worker income revitalized “Equbs,” a traditional Ethiopian form of workplace savings. Employees contribute to a common fund from which they can draw. This builds good wage savings practices and allowing employees to cover medical expenses and other purchases that would otherwise be unaffordable.
With increased technical and production capacity and a track record with Eileen Fisher Inc., Sammy Handmade has since established business relationships with other US companies.
For this initiative Bhavana World Project partnered with Chemonics.