Meet Anil and Amit. Two young brothers, one a teenager, the other in his early twenties, run an independent manufacturing unit in New Delhi, India. This young pair took it upon themselves to start something on their own, from scratch, while pursuing education, after their father's manufacturing business collapsed.
Speaking to them, I learned that anything is possible with dedication and persistence. They started a year ago with six machines in a small hall sewing bags for local merchants, usually in plastic and synthetic materials. With great work ethics, efficient production and happy workers, they were already moving into a larger space when I met them. However, Anil's heart yearned to do something different and move away from plastic.
So when I showed up at their door, we were both each other's best bet. Shoving the highest quality canvas available in the market into their hands, I asked them to sew the most durable and meticulous bags they had ever sewn.
Honest, upfront and determined to see the project through, Anil admitted that his main sewer - an expert in handling synthetic materials - was inept at handling natural materials, and so were the machines. Having said that, he immediately called a local men's suits tailor in the alley behind his workshop, asking, "Brother, do you want to try your hand at something new?"
Within a few minutes, a gentleman appears at the steps of the workshop, with a measuring tape around his neck. Anil explained the sewing job to him; although he seemed a little reluctant in taking up a job unfamiliar to him, business had been slow and he agreed to take it up.
None of us foresaw the problems that come with sewing heavyweight canvas (noobs). However, wanting to deliver on his word, Anil, learned and configured two of his machines to work on canvas, as our master tailor continued sewing as fast as he could in the alley behind the workshop, under a tree.
A few evenings of overtime later, including that of his own birthday, Anil along with Amit and our saviour tailor pulled off their first order of reusable, environmentally-friendly bags. With these added to their portfolio, they are positioned to say a confident, resounding yes, next time an order for environmentally friendly canvas bags comes through.
These market bags are, therefore, brought to you by a nine people-strong workshop, including brother tailor, nestled away on the east side of River Yamuna.
Their sales help us fund our next project to generate reliable employment in remote parts of rural India. Stay tuned to this blog to keep up to date on that!
Hope you enjoy these market bags!