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.