The UK based organisation Asian Foundation for Philanthropy have been engaging with the subject of ‘ethical fashion’ from the consumer and producer perspective in India and the UK and have put together two ideas for live projects that universities might be interested in participating in:
- one relates to improving the quality of products being made by an Indian organisation (design and sizing)
- the other relates to researching the UK saree industry and supply chains.
The projects could start at the beginning of the autumn term, should that fit with your plans.
INFORMATION FROM AFP:
Live project idea 1 – design
Ø We work with a number of grassroots organisations in India that manufacture fashion clothing and accessories. One particular
organisation has established a boutique from which they are selling a range of clothing under their own brand name (this is different to the
name of the actual charity organisation). We have supported them in small businesses planning and are now looking for support to improve the
quality of the products they are producing. The products are made by local women who have been trained to a high level and include
machinists, embroidery, pattern cutters etc.
Ideas for students live projects:
a. Designing a new range of clothing and accessories as part of the brand, and ensuring the values of the brand are adhered to. The
organisation supports women who are victims of domestic violence and so the values associated with their brand include aspects of respect for women and the female body. For example, the clothing is made from materials that are comfortable to wear and healthy to the skin, styles
do not over expose the body etc.
b. Develop and provide appropriate sizing for the products. This is to ensure that the products are suitable for both a local and international
market. Female size charts etc.
The above two projects can be linked to a volunteer placement at the organisation in India through AFP’s International volunteering programme
should the student identify themselves as British Asian.
Live project idea 2 – research into the saree industry
Ø In the UK we work to raise awareness of global issues. One area we would like to extend to is related to the saree industry.
Ideas for students live projects:
a. Research purchasing habits relating to saree shops in the UK. This related to the work AFP does in the UK in engaging the UK community on purchasing habits and supply chains.
b. History of the saree (to possibly culminate in an exhibition). Links to point above.
General background to AFP
Asian Foundation for Philanthropy (AFP) was established as a registered charity in 2005 to provide a channel for South Asian Diaspora Group,
predominantly Indians, to better engage with development initiatives in India. Many seek to engage in charitable acts either though donating
money or time to marginalised communities in India, however have not been able to do it in a sustainable way.
We enable this process through our three programmes of international volunteering in India, development awareness and our donor programme
which are underpinned by the shared goal of raising awareness and encouraging participation. We align all our work to the Millenium
Development Goals, with the overarching aim of contributing to ‘halving world poverty and hunger’ by 2015.
To date, we have sent 60 volunteers ranging from educationalists, film makers to communications and fundraising specialists amongst others. We have also held over 30 workshops, seminars, exhibitions and conferences, as well as business networking events to raise awareness of global development issues in the UK. Our wide and varied range of activities attracts individuals, businesses and corporates, students and
professionals who want to reconnect to India.
AFP works in the four states of Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, chosen because they reflect the origins of the majority of the
Diaspora. We ensure that the majority of our funds are used to empower communities in India for maximum impact.