I love scarves. I am a scarf person. It is rare to see my neck bare. All I need is a scarf to stay warm. I depend on scarves.
Scarves make great gifts. They are versatile and chic. They make any outfit.
We were sent a Pashmini scarf/shawl from Shawl Wallah to try. When I first opened the package, I fell in love, deep love!!! I loved the smell; I loved the softness; I loved the colors. It went immediately around my neck where it resides while I write this review. I may have to sleep in it tonight!
I am so impressed with this Pashmini, but I am even more impressed with the story behind these shawls:
These are ethically produced by artisans in Kashmir, Northern India. They use the extremely soft pure Pashmina wool, the extremely fine undercoat of the indigenous Pashmina goat found in the Himalayas surrounding the beautiful Valley of Kashmir. Not only does purchasing this product help support the artisans, their families, and the local economy; proceeds from each sale of a Shawl Wallah Pashmina Shawl are returned to non-profits working in child development in Kashmir…
With a background in refugee work, disaster management, and international aid; I set about rationalizing whether there was something I could do to bring about positive change to the region. I feel endeavors like this are not worthwhile unless a holistic view is taken of the situation. Environmental protection, animal humanity, acceptable working conditions, local-market dictation of prices, and re-investment in the community are the uncompromising qualities that Shawl Wallah strives for in every Pashmina shawl.
Through ethical production practices (this means no child labour, no adverse working conditions, and environmentally sound techniques); our products are local-economy safe, and allow sustainable and real growth among the Kashmir community.
This was the first hurdle.
Next, was the determination as to who or what organization Shawl Wallah would return the portion of proceeds earmarked to support child development in the region. Speaking with organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children, and others; coupled with my knowledge and background in non-profits; the Shawl Wallah decided to support the education, health, and protection services offered by Save the Children India. Accountability, administration costs, effectiveness of programs, government support, and a number of other factors came into play when making this decision. Save the Children is an organization I truly believe in, and the one in which Shawl Wallah is going to put its trust.
I wear my Shawl Wallah with pride! It is a great gift and honor. This is truly what I look for in a “green gift”. Not only is the item made from sustainable, natural materials, the story behind the product is even better ensuring the gift gives back ethically to those that really need it. It is exactly the opposite of buying cheap goods produced by children or enslaved workers in foreign lands.
Of course, having never traveled to India, I was curious about the name.
The term Shawl Wallah is an Indian term, meaning shawl seller. These were typically Kashmiri men going door to door selling Pashmina products in all parts of India. Speaking with the artisans that hand-weave these amazing works of art, a tale is told of this centuries old tradition being all but wiped out in Kashmir. Cheaper, lower quality, sweatshop-produced items coming from China, Nepal, and even other parts of India have been harmful to Kashmir’s Pashmina industry. These, coupled with the misinformation surrounding the word “pashmina” and “cashmere” led to a need for informational reform for this unique trade.
This is hands down the nicest scarf I own, and I own other cashmere and pashmina shawls.
Please visit Shawl Wallah’s Etsy store and consider this a gift that will make the recipient very happy and make the world a better place.
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.