Category Archives: Untitled

Didi Connection Update!


didi update
Help us reach our goal! Selling 600 scarves will provide 15 women full time employment as one of Anchal’s incredible artisans. During this holiday season, give a gift that gives back. Purchase one of a kind scarves and blankets on our online store.

It’s never too late to join the Didi Connection


Fair Trade Tuesday!


Fair Trade Tuesday (hashtag #FairTuesday) is a fair trade initiative created in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The goal of Fair Trade Tuesday is to inspire conscious consumerism that doesn’t rely on sweatshops and exploitative labor, but on artisans who are paid a living wage.

Its easy to be a part of this giving day by donating or purchasing products from Anchal. Anchal provides alternative careers in textiles to commercial sex workers living in India. By merging the fields of human rights, business, design and retail, Anchal is a revenue-driven social venture that addresses human suffering and offers real economic alternatives.

In honor of #FairTuesday, we would like to offer FREE SHIPPING. Just enter the Coupon Code: fair-trade

And don’t forget, shop smart!

Thankful for the Present, Looking to the Future


In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I want pause to acknowledge the people whose efforts keep Anchal going. To our Artisans and NGO partners, we express our deepest gratitude for your hard work. To the organizations whose funds have increased our ability to help commercial sex workers escape the trade, we extend our most heartfelt thanks. To everyone that has bought a Didi Scarf, snuggled up with a pillow or a blanket, helped out with an event, signed up for our newsletter, spread the word about our activities, thank you. To the people who work to keep Anchal moving and growing every day, we celebrate your sweat and discipline. Without you, Anchal would just be an idea.

As we honor all the people who make Anchal what it is at present, we begin to look toward the future. A recent strategic planning session has gleaned a multitude of innovative ideas for Anchal. New products, new organizational strategies, and new ways to reach more Artisans are some of the topics we are thinking about. The planning session has our energy high and our momentum growing. We can’t wait to share these new things with you as we develop them.


International Day of the Girl


“Girls are the future of the world and we definitely need a day dedicated to their issues,”
– Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee

Tomorrow, October 11th, is the first ever International Day of the Girl. Last year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to establish a day to recognize the unique obstacles girls face around the world and galvanize worldwide enthusiasm to better girls’ lives. It is a day to not only celebrate girls, but a day to create action.

“The Day of the Girl puts a special focus on the needs of girls throughout the world. We know that in many countries girls get left behind in all areas of life from school to work and in the worst cases aren’t even allowed to be born,” said Plan Chief Executive Officer Nigel Chapman.

Now why is this day important? Why is there not a day of the boy? The reality is that tens of millions of girls face daily discrimination, violence, and economic inequality simply because they were born female. Girls confront challenges such as early marriage, forced marriage, child labor, and education inequality. They are especially vulnerable due to their age and complete lack of power and control over their lives.

Here are some of the staggering statistics:

• One in nine girls, or 15 million, has been forced into marriage between the ages of 10 and 14.

• ½ of girls in developing countries become mothers as children.

• Child brides are treated as property – they are bought, sold and thrown away at the whims of their husbands.

• Girls who complete secondary school are 6 times less likely to become child brides.

The artisans of Anchal are these statistics. They were born into this inequality that led them down the path of forced prostitution. One of our artisans was forced to marry at only the age of 14. Her husband later threw her out and divorced her at 17. With no education and little skills, she turned to the sex trade just to stay alive.

This is why tomorrow is so important, why an urgent response is necessary to harness girls potential by creating and designing a better life for them and future generations. Because when you educate a girl, you can break cycles of poverty in just one generation.

Help us celebrate our didi sisters around the world and end girls inequality by taking action now!

Here are so ways to get involved with Anchal’s women and girls:
Become a didi to our Artisans here.
Help us start an education fund for the daughters of our artisans. Donate here.

See what are partner’s are doing:
New Light

Also visit:
The Day of the Girl Website
Girl Effect
Plan International

To Our Baby Didis


Just in time for the launch of the Didi Connection, Anchal will also release a line of “baby” quilts for our small didis.  They are the perfect snuggle partner for a little tyke.  We think they also make excellent throw quilts or even wall decorations for the inner child in all of us.

How could you resist?

A special thank you to Meredith and Jill Carmel Photography for providing these beautiful photos

The Value of Domestic Chores


One iron. One board. Hundreds of scarves and one available outlet. In the Anchal office hallway.

What’s a sistah to do?

Sit right down in the middle of the hallway, that’s what!

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t doing it out of solidarity with the Anchal artisans, sitting there on the hard floor. The thought didn’t even cross my mind, in fact. There was just a pile of scarves that needed tagging and I was the one to do it.

It wasn’t until I was folding one newly tagged recycled sari and noticed a strand of hair stitched into it that the idea dawned on me. Just weeks before, a woman had been sitting on a hard floor on the other side of the world, stitching away, laughing with her fellow artisans just as I was now laughing with Colleen. Maybe one of them had whispered a joke and the woman whose scarf I now held had leaned forward with laughter, her hair falling in her face. She reached to tuck her hair back under her sari and behind her ear. But a piece of it floated right onto her work and went unnoticed as she continued to sew…

I gingerly tugged it out from under the stitching.

“Look, Colleen,” I said, raising it in the air.

“Oh, sorry!” Colleen smiled. “Sometimes that happens.”

Sometimes things like that do happen. Magical things that for a moment transport you somewhere else. I’ve never been to India, but for a minute I felt so in touch with my didis – my sisters – who sit on the floor and stitch every day so that we can share their story here in the States. So that we can make a difference together.

I think that’s the moment I threw my whole heart into the effort. Touching the scarves, rubbing each woman’s hand-stitched signature as I folded them up, reminded me that this world is small and everything we do has its impact. Every scarf I iron, every dollar I spend, every hour I give, makes a difference somewhere along the line.

Don’t ever think even the smallest effort you make is insignificant. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting down on your knees with an iron in the hallway.