Fashion is continuously evolving in style, trend, colour and material. Billions of people worldwide are affected by the fashion industry in one way or another, whether as part of the value chain or simply as consumers. The same can be said about the approaches to development, which have also evolved over time. Twenty years ago, the notion of helping was always associated with some form of philanthropy, monetary donation, or charity. Although these are still ways in which individuals assist those in need, modern forms of helping now focus on more sustainable solutions whose impact continues even when the flow of donations or funding has stopped. Furthermore, the idea that development is limited to specific NGO’s or international development organizations has also shifted. Today, development programs encourage inclusive partnerships between all stakeholders in society. Central to this is the role and the engagement of the private sector in development initiatives. Many international corporations have now adopted some form of Corporate Social Responsibility programs, and while we find that in most cases this approach can be a powerful tool for development, more is still needed.
And this is where our business model fits in. As a social enterprise, we look for solutions in a financially sustainable way with a long-term view. The sale of our products not only provides income generation opportunities to meet the basic needs of the Nepalese artisans, but also enhances their skill set and thus makes them more employable in the future.
For some, fashion and development may seem like an unlikely match. But this is exactly what Schalmauer is: a combination of these two evolving industries. We believe that fashion can have a positive impact and offer a sustainable and market-driven solution to development.
Our aim is to produce, through the know-how and expertise of our talented artisans, a high-quality fashion product. You, as our customer and ambassador, will have the “feel good effect” you expect from the soft, warm, and luxurious feel of pashmina. This is our fashion promise to you. But you will also know that through your purchase, you contributed towards improving the overall working and living conditions of the Nepalese artisans. Towards providing education to women who can barely read or write. Towards enhancing the skills and knowledge of these artisans employed in the pashmina-making industry to ensure that they can sustain themselves and their families. Towards raising awareness of fair and ethical fashion. Towards supporting the movement for a more socially conscious fashion industry. And this “feel good” moment is what Schalmauer strives for.
Help us spread the Schalmauer story so that we, in turn, can do our part to empower, educate, and inspire our artisans... one scarf at a time!