Ikat [ee-kaht], or ikkat, is “a method of printing woven fabric by tie-dyeing the warp yarns (warp ikat) the weft yarns (weft ikat) or both (double ikat) before weaving”. It is Indonesian in origin, and when we came across it in Cambodia, we simply had to get it into your hands.
This is a beautiful and traditional skill-set but is also a very labor intensive process. With the rise of machinery-based processes in production, many have let go of this practice and have even moved to cities and urban-based factories to find work. In many cases, this can be hard on families, with children and the elderly becoming more vulnerable as they bear the brunt of these transitions and experience consequences like neglection.
In wanting to address this problem, one important tactic has been to partner with the villagers themselves to create more jobs right within their homes. When families have options and agency, the surrounding community is supported and the supply chains become more humane.
And for you, that means you get a Wallet, Crossbody Clutch, and Laptop Carrier that are sleek and stylish. Available in a deep navy or smooth gray, our diamond print made through the ikat technique is unique, beautiful, and supporting a intricate and meaningful tradition.
Nomi Network focuses on economic opportunities and job creation; garment production is a good entry level job for women with a baseline of illiteracy. Our goal is to provide many opportunities for growth, empowerment, and upward mobility; some women even start their own businesses. I have seen first hand what the rural villages are like and the impact that these opportunities have, so the support of consumers who purchase these products are so powerful!
I recently learned that the female participation rate in India for employment has dropped from 35-29%. In a trip to India, I visited a factory where 75% of the floor were men. Therefore, one should ask themselves why women in some countries don't even have these kinds of opportunities. Lack of training, education, and investment are all factors. This is where Nomi Network hopes to combine your need for great fashion with our passion for human rights.
The core of our model focuses on providing our women with transferable skills, professional job training, and the opportunity to be promoted within the organization. All of our partners are social enterprises and nonprofits so we know how much they are paying as well as the benefits they offer. We deeply respect the woman who choose to be a part of our programs, and it’s exciting to see the pride that they take from their work and the items that they can now make. The product has always been a means to the end for us, and that end is a transformed life and usage of our training to serve more women and their children.
To those of you who are already using your purchasing power to make a difference - thank you - and for those who haven’t started yet I encourage you to do so! Everything in this world has value, but fast fashion and the commoditizing of humans have made us turn a blind eye. This blog's purpose is to provide a resource highlighting other wonderful organizations and brands that have aligned values, and we hope you’ve enjoyed many socially conscious purchases through these posts.
Nomi Network started with one little girl named Nomi, but the network is not just me, my dedicated team, our board, our partners, and the amazing women we work with. It is you, your family, friends, and every person you show your purchase to. Thanks for being a part of our journey, and I hope you continue to walk the runway with us and our products!
Every effort is made to verify the accuracy of these external resources; however, Diana Mao and Nomi Network cannot guarantee or control the content, usefulness, or appropriateness of these sites or that their products are 100% slave free.