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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:18 am
Posts: 93
Maiwa Handprints in Vancouver is another extraordinary institution that members of Tribal Textiles should be aware of. They have a mailing list that you can join. They put on conferences, sell honestly acquired textiles, stimulate local artisans and indigenous artisans elsewhere (especially India), and sell supplies to artisans.

They have the following profile of themselves posted on internet:
Maiwa Handprints, founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1986 and run by Charlotte Kwon, endeavours to support traditional craft through an ethical business model. They support the production of embroidered, blockprinted, handwoven, and naturally dyed textiles throughout a number of countries. The staff of the Maiwa retail store ensure that the purchasing public knows about the culture of the artifacts, the co-operative, and the living conditions of the artisans.

In order to establish a relationship in which indigenous culture can flourish, Maiwa pursues an unusual business model. It is a model which demands trust and respect from both artisan and entrepreneur. The process is similar to the commissioning of an artwork. The artisans are advanced a substantial payment (at least fifty percent) on a large order. As small segments of the order are filled, complete payment is made. No attempt is made to dictate design choices: pattern, colour, and motifs all remain in the control of the artisan. The artisan determines the delivery schedule and fair compensation. Maiwa exercises firm quality control and encourages the production of more detailed and elaborate work, knowing that the rare beauty of a skillfully produced piece will command higher prices in the open market.

In a world economy where mass-produced items are cheaply and efficiently made, quality of life for the artisan must come from the respect that is accorded to the master craftsperson. The survival of a culture depends on the aesthetic freedom of its people.

Contact Us:

Maiwa Handprints Ltd.
6-1666 Johnston Street, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC Canada V6H 3S2
Tel 604 669 3939 - Fax 604 669 0609

Sandra Niessen

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