MESH, New Delhi
Exploring India, Fair Trade
and Block Printing
For four months I had an amazing experience, following the production of Fair Trade products. In which I got to meet a lot of wonderful people.
IM (Individuell Människohjälp) is a Swedish development organisation that works with projects to support the civil society and help develop sustainable empowerment of marginalised groups. They offer internships together with their partner groups across the world.
MESH is one of many organisations IM work with and are situated in New Delhi. It is an Indian NGO working with Fair Trade textiles and handicrafts with a special focus on helping people affected by Leprosy.
As I was part of MESH’s design studio I got a chance to see how they develop new products from scratch to finished products. One of my main tasks was to design new block prints for a kitchen towel collection. The work implied researching AZO-free dyes, experimenting with the blocks and print layouts for final designs, implementing the new work for the producer group and ensuring quality control of the printing process.
Being responsible for the project alone out in the outskirts of Jaipur, India, it certainly had its challenge. The great challenge was the meeting of existing knowledge and expected knowledge. Since many of the workers where illiterate and had less experience with production for European markets, some of my working methods where not suited for their working routines. A great deal of time was spent on understanding and learning each others capabilities and the recourses needed to perform the work in a manner that suited their needs. Which is some of the principles behind Fair Trade.
With just a few details left, the products can soon be found on their homepage. You will also find more products and information about their work and their producer groups.
The internship is organized by IM (individuell Människohjälp).
During a period of six months i will be having presentations about my internship. If you are interested in hearing more, don't hesitate to contact me.