By Michelle Abou-Raad
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in September 2015, are a comprehensive agenda focused on ending all forms of poverty by 2030. These goals emphasize various social needs, such as education, gender equality, and climate action, in order to end poverty. The SDGs build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set out in 2000 to eradicate extreme poverty and to achieve universal primary education, among other goals. As the SDGs begin to gain momentum, we might want to stop and consider what the Millennium Development Goals accomplished over the last 15 years:
The number of extreme poor (those living on less than $1.25 a day) dropped from 1.75 billion in 1999 to 836 million in 2015.
- The net enrollment rate of students in primary education increased from 83% in 2000 to 91% in 2015.
- The number of deaths of children under five more than halved from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6 million in 2015.
However, even with all of this progress, more than 836 million people live in extreme poverty, 9% of children do not have the opportunity to attend school (girls are often the first to be taken out of school), and over 6 million children are dying before their fifth birthdays. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to ensure that everyone, regardless of their place of birth, has the opportunity to have a healthy, safe, and happy life.
This is the reason why initiatives like Schalmauer are so important in making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. Through the support of Schalmauer’s Ambassadors, families in Nepal will have the opportunity to send their children to school. By paying the tuition fees of the artisans’ children aged 5 to 14, Ambassadors are not only helping to provide an education, but they are putting us one step closer to making the SDGs a reality.
The first time we went to Nepal and spent time with our artisans, one of the questions we asked all the women working behind the Schalmauer scenes was: What is your dream? The answers that we expected were; bigger house, more amenities, better living standards etc. But the response we did receive from all these women was that their dream was to educate their children…Most of these mothers had to leave school at an early age, to help in the family household, work or get married, and they never had the opportunity to receive even a high school education. But the thing with mothers is that they always want what is best for their children. And they have realised that investing in education is the most essential tool for development. It is not only the most important driver of economic empowerment for individuals but it also gives people the skills they need to help themselves out of poverty. And above all, it opens the door for opportunities.
This is why we are so proud to be able to contribute to the dreams of our artisans by helping to educate their children. Since April, we are supporting them by paying the tuition fees for the children of our artisans ranging from 5 to 14 years of age. We want to ensure that they will have opportunities when they grow up to work, to earn a living and to be able contribute towards improving the living conditions for themselves and their families. And it is thanks to you, our “Ambassadors” (Schalmauer customers) that this is made possible…By purchasing a fashionable and trendy accessory such as our scarves, you are making a difference to the lives of families in other parts of the world…one scarf at a time! #socialenterprise #fashionfordevelopment
It’s safe to say that we are all eagerly awaiting the first day of Spring on March 21. But did you know that in the Middle East, this day has a great significance beyond the changing seasons? It’s also Mother’s Day! So for those of you who celebrate mothers day twice, once in March and again in May (in Europe), and have to get two gifts, why not make one of them a Schalmauer scarf? Not only is the fine pashmina perfect for covering up in the mild spring weather, but with this purchase you will also be helping the women and mother's in Nepal to create a better life for themselves and their families!
To all the amazing mothers out there – we wish you a happy mothers day not just today but all year round!
On March 8, Schalmauer joins the world in commemorating the United Nations International Women’s Day. Since the proclamation of this day back in 1975, the international community has made significant strides in addressing social, economic, and political inequalities between men and women. Despite these achievements, the World Economic Forum still estimates that at current rates, gender parity will not be achieved until the year 2133. That’s in 117 years! As a social business, Schalmauer believes that the world cannot afford such a long wait, and is giving women in Nepal a platform to take charge of their own development.
Some may argue that fashion and development are an unlikely match, or even at odds with each other. We disagree, and the beautiful scarves produced by our artisans – mostly women - are concrete proof that fashion can very well offer a sustainable solution to development.
As a first step, and for us to understand their concrete needs, we asked the artisans about their most urgent needs. Based on the feedback, some of the first changes have been improvements in the work place, including regular lighting (Nepal can experience up to 18-hours of electricity blackouts a day), better equipment, and sanitation facilities. In the long term, we're in the process of organizing both literacy courses and advanced courses on pashmina making. We are also paying the tuition fees for children to go to school whose mothers work with us to produce your scarves.This falls right into our core belief that capacity building and education, particularly of women, is central to any kind of development. Although, we are still at the beginning of our journey, these are the first steps we are taking towards the #fashionfordevelopment movement.
As we come together on March 8 both to celebrate the achievements of women, and to recognize the long road ahead, let’s not stop there. Join Schalmauer in carrying forward the energy of this day to make a difference in women’s lives all year round.
It’s upon us again: Valentine’s Day. Whether you are in a fresh relationship, a long marriage, or anywhere in between, you feel the pressure to mark the occasion with a gift. Most of us fall back on the classic candy-flower-chocolate combo, either because we couldn’t think of anything more creative, or because we left it too late. And while there is nothing wrong with that scenario, we at Schalmauer got you covered this year. Not only does our collection cater for all styles and personalities, adding a personal touch to your gift, but it also gives back to a good cause.
So take some time to find the perfect gift for your significant other by scrolling through our suggestions below:
If he is the Elegant type: Tuxedo Explosion “Take A Ride On The Wild Side’. The two-colored black and red scarf is the perfect accessory for a night out on the town, an evening of classical music, or anything with the dress code: suit.
For the Adventurous type: Sandstorm “Discover Your Adventurous Side”. The brown and beige colours transport us to wild travels, quads in the sand dunes, and other activities that are not for the faint-hearted.
The Party type: Dark Shades of Grey “I don’t do Romance”. Need we say more?
And for the Shy type: Waves “Dive Into Deep Waters”. Casual, comfort, and calmness – this is what we think of with this two-coloured deep blue and light beige combo.
If she is the Classical & Elegant type: Nothing says Love more than the Love V scarf, with artwork by globally renowned artist Wissam Shawkat. It features four squares, each one inscribed with the word “Love” in Arabic calligraphy. Its simplicity and elegance makes Love V a unique piece of art.
If she is into the Casual & Comfortable look: The “Dancing Love” scarf by talented artist Khalid Shahin is warm, alive, and joyous. The dark blue can be worn casually with jeans and is a striking and bold accessory to have.
For the minimalist & unassuming among us, check out our Women’s Collection, which is simpler in nature with scarves that have vibrant colour combinations reflecting different moods, trends, and seasons.
Shop our Collection Here