DATA

THE PROS:

Mela Artisans is a Fair Trade Federation member. All Fair Trade Federation members undergo a rigorous screening process to evaluate their commitment to all 9 Fair Trade Federation principles. In general this means good wages, safe working conditions, and environmental responsibility.

In 2015, the brand provided 7,000 full-time jobs for artisans in India, 4,195 of them for women.

Mela Artisans reports it gives 1% of its revenue to the communities where the artisans work, providing health and energy initiatives including medical camps, vision examinations and access to light/energy with solar lamps.

THE CONS:

It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

The brand does not communicate the environmental impact of its supply chain.

/ Mela Artisans was founded in 2010 with the purpose to support livelihoods and preserve heritage craftsmanship in India. The brand has created an online platform where customers can buy handmade creations and learn about the artisan and techniques used to craft each piece.

/ In 2015, the brand provided 7,000 full-time jobs for artisans in India, 4,195 of them for women.

/ Mela Artisans sells through its own online store, through department stores, like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, in over 300 boutiques across the United states as well as 2 of the brands own stores in Vermont and New York, United States.

/ Mela Artisans is a Fair Trade Federation member. The Fair Trade Federation is a community of United States and Canadian businesses dedicated to 360° fair trade, which means the brand has made a full commitment to the 9 Fair Trade principles.

/ Mela Artisan’s suppliers are located in India, the majority live in Saharanpur and Sambhal, two cities in Uttar Pradesh.

/ The brand also employs artisans from Jaipur who specialize in making jewelry.

/ Mandala Apparels supplies cushions for the brand, and uses only organic cotton which is grown mainly by women. Once the cotton arrives at the Mandala’s unit in Pondicherry, it’s woven by women as well. The founder, Anjali Schiavina has hired and trained nearly 200 women to sew, inspect, and package products.

/ 50 women from the Lambadi tribe, a group of gypsies that migrated southwards centuries ago from the Kutch region of Gujarat are responsible for the embroidery on the brands pillows.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The brand does not communicate the environmental impact of its supply chain.

/ Mela Artisans is a Fair Trade Federation member. All Fair Trade Federation members undergo a rigorous screening process to evaluate their commitment to all 9 Fair Trade Federation principles. In general this means good wages, safe working conditions, and environmental responsibility.

/ Fair Trade Federation members offer advance payment to artisans and farmers, allowing them to purchase raw materials without taking out high interest loans.

/ Fair Trade Federation members form long term relationships with artisans and farmers.   If a product doesn’t sell, fair trade buyers work with the same producers to develop new products using their existing skills.

/ Fair Trade Federation members are committed to the people behind their products.  If problems arise, fair trade buyers are actively involved in finding a fair and honest solution.

/ Fair Trade Federation members set realistic timelines and plan their product lines well in advance.

/ The brand does not have a publicly available supplier code of conduct.

/ Mela Artisans is a Fair Trade Federation member. Members fully commit to the 9 Fair Trade principles including:

  • Cultivate Environmental Stewardship – Members promote the responsible stewardship of resources.

/ Fair Trade Federation members work with artisans/producers to introduce and encourage environmentally-friendlier materials and production practices over time.

/ Fair Trade Federation members and applicants consider the environmental impact of shipping in all areas of the supply chain and strive to choose the shipping method that produces the lowest environmental impact, such as by sea.

/ The brand sells a range of products made from organic cotton.

/ The brand sells a range of jewelry made from wood, horn, bone, metals and natural stones.

/ In October 2015, The Guardian reported that Mela Artisans sells artisan-made accessories and homewares from India, many of which use natural materials such as banana fibres, wool and cotton.  It also sells textiles made from a biodegradable raw wild silk called tasar.

/ Mela Artisans intends to extend its health camps to cover dental care, eye care and gynaecological care and other services as required.

/ Mela Artisans reports it gives 1% of its revenue to the communities where the artisans work, providing health and energy initiatives including medical camps, vision examinations and access to light/energy with solar lamps.

/ Mela Artisans has partnered with social enterprise, Sevamob to run health camps in Sambhal and Saharanpur for 504 beneficiaries including artisans and their family members. This was the first camp in both these locations, so preliminary health tests were conducted: urine samples, blood sugar levels, hemoglobin tests, and vitals were collected. The brand reports the data will be stored in a centralized server accessible to doctors in the community for follow up visits and long term care. Artisans and their families will be able to use their services in future.

/ In 2015 Mela Artisans partnered with Greenlight Planet, a Bombay based social enterprise, who helped the brand distribute 163 solar lanterns to its artisans in Kashmir and South India.

/ In 2014 the brand began a partnership with Vision Spring, providing 130 pairs of eyeglasses to its artisans. In 2015 this increased in coverage and the brand provided 616 pairs of eyeglasses to its artisans in Kashmir and Erode.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO, Navroze Mehta, made in the last financial year.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

 

/ Mela Artisans is a Fair Trade Federation member. All Fair Trade Federation members undergo a rigorous screening process to evaluate their commitment to all 9 Fair Trade Federation principles.

/ Mela Artisans reports it gives 1% of its revenue to the communities where the artisans work, providing health and energy initiatives including medical camps, vision examinations and access to light/energy with solar lamps.

/ In 2015 Mela Artisans partnered with Greenlight Planet, a Bombay based social enterprise, who helped the brand distribute 163 solar lanterns to its artisans in Kashmir and South India.

/ In 2014 the brand began a partnership with Vision Spring, providing 130 pairs of eyeglasses to its artisans. In 2015 this increased in coverage and the brand provided 616 pairs of eyeglasses to its artisans in Kashmir and Erode.

VOICES

NATASHA NOMAN | .MIC

“The company employs and provides healthcare for artisans in India, most of whom are women who use traditional and fast-disappearing techniques the company hopes to preserve.” – 11/23/2016


 

NAVROZ MEHTA, FOUNDER | FORBES

If one day Mela has successfully created a bridge from the artisan’s village into every household in the developed world, then we will have accomplished our goal.”

DIPALI PATWA, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER | ALLIANCE FOR ARTISAN ENTERPRISE

If we are able to create a sustainable order stream for these women, the potential impact on the livelihoods of their families and kids would be tremendous and that inspires me.”