Sasha is a vibrant and active network built on the complementary competencies of:
- Production (grassroots craft producers, organizations, Collectives like Sasha Textile Artisans Association, Ruro Agro Services Association) &
- Business Development & Marketing (Sasha Association for Craft Producers- SACP)
- Capacity building & Social Development (Sarba Shanti Ayog - SSA).
The collective mission of the entire network is to strengthen, support, and expand market opportunities for establishing channels that help crafts and craftspeople to address challenges and thrive in changed scenarios; this network also strives to bring about an improvement in the quality of their lives through various linkages and interventions while addressing their marketing needs.
The mutual bond between Sasha and its producer partners and the intrinsic values of Sasha network is reflected in the Sasha Brand. The complementary synergy of the creative aspirations of indigenous artisans and modern, fresh outlook of the professional designers finds expression in some interesting products and applications.
Sasha Association for Craft Producers (SACP)
SASHA (Sasha Association for Craft Producers) is a not-for-profit craft development & marketing organization working with marginalized artisan and women producers - mainly from West Bengal, Orissa and other states of eastern India. Our network involves over 100 producer groups engaged in 16 craft lines; - 60% of them women. Sasha provides them with business development support and access to national and international markets. Sasha also is an active proponent of "Fair Trade" movement.
Sasha product lines include textiles, leather, jute, cane & bamboo, wood, metal crafts, jewellery, pottery, decorative hangings, herbal body care products and organic food products. Hand-processes include dyeing, block & screen printing, leather embossing, Kantha & Aare embroidery, Appliqué and Dhokra. The gamuts of activities cover the entire supply chain- from production to logistics to customer servicing. Product and skill development constitute an important aspect of Sasha's activities.
The Sasha business model was founded on the principles of equity, transparency, social justice and environmental concerns. With the vision of promoting sustainable livelihood among rural artisans and marginalized producers, an alternative marketing platform through revival, development and promotion of crafts was developed. The surplus generated is ploughed back to enhance and expand market development activities, asset building at the community level, and social development. .Assistance is provided through capacity building activities to augment capability & competitiveness at the producers end. Sasha is thus enabling them to service international markets, in addition to domestic business especially the high-end segment- retailers and wholesale. Product and skill development constitute an important aspect of Sasha's activities. Sasha acts as an enabler for producer groups to constantly innovate and adapt their products to contemporary demands.
Sasha is committed to building a Fair Trade market in the growing domestic scenario in India - especially in the urban areas. Its retail outlet in the city of Kolkata is a destination store for discerning customers, who care for creativity, culture, authenticity and "handmade" products. Sasha organizes regular exhibitions and events at the shop. Our marketing team works closely with Producer partners to understand market trends and translate them into designs to be offered to a variety of clientele and marketing channels.
SARBA SHANTI AYOG (SSA)
In the year 1978 Sarba Shanti Ayog (SSA) was set up under the West Bengal Society Registration Act with a vision to empower the marginalized artisan community through capacity building and market access. In 1984, Sarba Shanti Ayog was restructured, with the formation of Sasha Association for Craft Producers (SACP) as a not for profit organization (registered society) addressing the business development needs of the producers while SSA concentrates on their capacity building.
SSA focuses on capacity building, technical assistance, design & product development and social developmental needs of the producer groups/ units, enterprises and Fair Trade organization. It has a significant representation from its producer partners in the managing committee.SSA also works with Enterprise Development, Financial Literacy, Information & Communication, Documentation, Social benefits like Health, Education, Rights, Awareness, Fair Trade Monitoring & Evaluation, Networking & advocacy. Interventions at various levels help the grassroots producer to meet the stringent standards and norms of international trade (quality, safety, environment, child labor, gender equity)
The long engagement with the handicraft sector has equipped us to impart need based knowledge and skills to a wide diversity of craft communities. The efforts have resulted in forming and developing well managed craft communities, reviving dying arts and skills, inspiring new creativity among the artisans and providing them livelihood support, self reliance & fulfillment.
Sasha Textile Artisans Association (STAA)
STAA was formed in 1985 as a textile producer collective, covering various textiles & garment groups. This involves addressing the different stages of the value chain- weaving, dyeing & printing, stitching & embroidery, tailoring and finishing.
Ruro Agro Services Association (RASA)
Oruro Agro Services Association or RASA was established by Sasha in 1991 and is a predominantly non-craft enterprise to cater to the wellness and food segment. RASA caters to the ethically and eco-logically aware customers whose lifestyles needs also meet the aspirations of making a positive impact on the people and the earth.
Rasa is a not-for-profit, Fair Trade organization that trains women to make hair, body care products and gourmet spices from pure, organic and natural materials. Rasa identifies women from underprivileged communities and trains them with technical and managerial skills to enable them to set up efficient production units for agro based products. The unit is equipped with basic processing and testing facilities and the women are trained and skilled in preparation, production, and packaging the products.