I'm in the process of setting up a social enterprise that supports struggling mothers in Bangladesh and promotes the 'circular economy' through creating ultra-soft, eco-friendly, multi-purpose baby blankets, which are hand-stitched from reclaimed cotton.
The idea was inspired by the birth of my ten month-old half-British, half-Bangladeshi twin daughters and my career in the humanitarian sector.
It is traditional in Bengali culture for mothers to make blankets for their babies by cutting up and stitching together their old saris and applying embroidery over the top, using a simple 'running stitch' - this is known as 'kantha'. I'm planning to rework the tradition by incorporating the use of 'deadstock fabric' (i.e. fabric that is wasted at various stages of the garments supply chain - Bangladesh being the home of the garments industry) in the blanket designs, alongside the vintage saris.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I'm unable to travel to Bangladesh at present - so I'm trying to make up an initial set of blankets in London, to be shown to potential collaborators who will help us to 'make things happen', and hopefully be sold, in order to confirm market demand and generate some funds that can be invested in setting things up properly in Bangladesh.
I'm seeking volunteers to help out with hand-stitching the blankets - you would be supplied with everything you need i.e. the layers of fabric ready cut and tacked together with the stitching design marked out and the embroidery threads, and a lovely family friend with a textiles background (who has very kindly made the first couple of prototypes for me) is on hand to talk you through things.
Thanks very much in advance for any support you can provide to my initiative and best wishes,