This unit was established by Fatima. Secret Projects met Fatima in West Bengal through Justice and Care, an international anti-human trafficking organisation. Fatima was a survivor. She was lured away from her rural home by traffickers who promised her a job and an education. She said that if she had only been able to earn around Rs 2000 a day she would not have left home. Instead of a regular job, Fatima found herself sold into one of India notorious brothels and was thrown into a world of daily beatings, rape, torture and abuse. Mean while her parents grew more and more worried when they hadn’t heard from her and got in touch with Justice and Care who were able to get her out of the terrible situation in a rescue operation that was conducted along with the local police.
Despite everything that had happened to her, Fatima she was delighted at being reunited her family. As part of her healing and rehabilitative journey she went through a basic tailoring programme and learnt to be a skillful seamstress. And in due course, she not only supported her family but also set up a tailoring unit to help other women in her area earn an income - thus ensuring their vulnerability to being trafficking was greatly reduced. Meeting Fatima inspired a lot of what we do in the Secret Sari Dress Project. Fatima taught us that, in the state of West Bengal, sustainable livelihood is empowering and provides women with a life of dignity, hope and stability not only for them but also for their entire family.
Working with The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) to deliver their eBay for Change store
Our Head of Sales, Fritha Vincent Mason is constantly . . . looking for 'new business' for Secret Projects. By doing this and grasping new opportunities that come our way, our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities comes ever closer.
In the past few months, Fritha has been networking with Social Enterprise UK, Ebay for Change, and WFTO and the result is that Secret Projects will now deliver WFTO's eBay for Change store. The store sells beautiful fair trade products from around the globe and supports the most wonderful small businesses and artisans to receive what is fair for their products and labour. The store is now live!
This is a wonderful step for Secret Projects, as we diversify and seize this new venture with both hands, using our skills to strengthen the business for both Secret Projects in the UK and in India.
How will it work?
We will house the stock for all the small businesses selling on WFTO eBay for Change store and one of the team will fulfill each order (that basically means parcel up the order and arrange delivery with a courier)and send them lovingly on their way to customers around the world.
To shop please click here.
We look forward to working with WFTO and helping to make a massive success of their new eBay for Change store.
Secret products (the collective name we give to our ranges of clothing and homeware) are now available for wholesale purchase on Faire.
What is . . . Faire?
Faire is a global wholesale market-place that provides an excellent platform for small, independent retailers to sell their stock to small wholesale suppliers.
What are we selling on Faire?
Secret Projects is selling beautiful counter boxes with foldable shopping bags and scrunchies and the Secret Pillow as a totally new look!
How can you help?
Do you know of anyone who runs a shop, or a brick-and-mortar establishment? If so, please give them a shout
Secret Projects is proud to have launched on this popular platform with a brand-new merchandising look. If you know anyone who runs a shop, or brick-and-mortar establishment, please do let them know that Secret Projects is selling on Faire.
During the dark days of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns globally, our team in India desperately wanted to do something to help our Makers and . . . their community.
The effects of the pandemic on our Maker community
We knew that we were facing tough times and wanted to support our Makers (the collective name we give to the women who so lovingly stitch our ranges of clothing and homeware) as much as we could. We did inevitably lose touch with a number of our Makers sadly but we were able to keep in contact with a several women in Bengaluru, where our unit is located, as well as our Maker group in the Sundarbans, in eastern India.
We wanted to be able to give stitching work to the women to provide them with much needed income but the team in India also wanted to do something for their community. They came up with a plan to run a campaign, asking people to make a contribution towards the stitching of face masks that the Makers would undertake and receive an income with the finished masks being distributed free of charge to those most in need.
How this worked
We went out to our customers, telling them about our plans, and asked them to purchase a pack of face masks for themselves and add another pack to their order which would be distributed to the communities. We couldn't have been more thrilled with the response and we managed to be able to distribute well over 2000 masks in both southern and eastern India.
The time has come to close the campaign
We have kept the campaign running up until now as the world has experienced new variants of the Covid-19 virus and many people were still wearing face masks. We have now decided that the time is right for us to close the campaign and say a huge and heartfelt thank you to every person who has contributed to this important appeal.
This is the first time that we have run such a campaign and have learned so much from running it and more than anything, we have been bowled over by the generosity shown.
Once again, thank you to everyone who helped to make the campaign so successful.