Our TJILLEVIPS baskets are made of jute, a versatile plant fibre that can be shaped into beautiful and functional objects for the home. The Indian jute industry is traditionally very male-dominated, but one of our suppliers suggested hiring women to make the TJILLEVIPS baskets. An initiative that contributes to more equality and better opportunities for women in the Indian countryside.
“I was contacted by one of our long-time suppliers in the Kerala region who suggested that they should focus on hiring mainly women to do our TJILLEVIPS baskets”, tells Nidhi Bhayana, who works with textiles for IKEA in India. “We thought it was a good idea! With this initiative, we can, together with the supplier, contribute to equality and create more opportunities for women in the area.”
The supplier began organizing the work immediately. They started by hiring women who live close to the factory and come from the lowest income groups. The supplier also educates the women in health and safety issues, informs about fair wages and legal rights, and coach them to operate a bank account and an ATM card. “The wages go directly to the women’s personal accounts. It’s a way to empower them and make sure that the money goes to the person that actually does the job,” explains Nidhi.
The TJILLEVIPS baskets are sewn together by hand, a work that requires both precision and patience. “Visiting the factory floor and meeting these proud and skilled women is one of the best parts of my job. With a steady income, they get better opportunities to provide for themselves and their families, “TJILLEVIPS is an excellent example of how a simple idea and a small basket can lead to new possibilities and a great change.“