Avani’s natural dyes from the Himalayas

Mid May we went to Avani Earth Craft for a third working visit. Avani is a wonderful organization in the Indian Himalayas. A cooperative of artisans led by Rashmi Bharti, a woman with the unusual combination of an entrepreneurial spirit and a big heart for people and nature.

Natural dyes
Avani already uses natural dyes for textiles, especially scarves. These are dyes that are completely based on natural ingredients, without any added chemicals. Recently Rashmi found out that there is a big market for these natural dyes, and she decided to set up a separate product line. With the people from the villages near the Avani campus, she started growing and gathering the ingredients for the dyes. By experimenting endlessly Rashmi ultimately developed a stable powder, pigment and extract products. The end product is almost ready to be sold, but the supply and production process unfortunately is not ready yet.

Volume model
Patrick and I travelled to the Kumaon mountains in the Himalayas ( 5 hours by train and 7 hours by car from Delhi ) to support in streamlining this process. Supplies, transportation, production and distribution are analyzed, and there is a volume model designed to calculate how many jobs are created by the turnover. Rashmi was very pleased with this intervention. “Especially the brainstorming sessions that we had every day were very valuable for me, ” told Rashmi us. The next step is to organize funding for an automated production process!

Rosalie van Ruler Thaker