Originalhome interior design means more than creating beautiful and functional products. Besides creating a positive impact on the environment, originalhome also empowers the people involved in the production process – especially those in the poorest regions of our planet. Originalhome is committed to empowering women in the rural and poor areas of Bangladesh through fair work and equal pay opportunities. Although the position of women in Bangladesh has made significant progress in the last decades, women still struggle for equal rights, especially in rural areas.

Challenges for Bangladeshi womenSee products

Since the Independence Declaration of March 26 1971, there have been many positive changes in Bangladesh. The position of women has made significant progress: there are better job prospects, increased possibilities of education for girls, health care has improved and new laws are introduced to protect women’s rights. These women empowerment efforts in Bangladesh have mainly succeeded around the larger cities. However, 62% of Bangladeshi women live in rural areas. They still face many challenges such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, discriminatory policies, restricted education and child marriage. Often, these women have to perform unpaid work in family businesses or work as day labourers receiving low wages. It is difficult for them to advance their position, as they are often financially tied to men: only 36% of all women in Bangladesh have a bank account and they often need a man’s permission to receive a loan to start their own business. Although progress has been made in Bangladesh, the majority of women still struggle to be independent.

Originalhome works on empowering women in the poor, and often more remote, rural areas of Bangladesh by providing fair work opportunities, equal pay and creating a positive work environment. There is a lack of regular and fair work opportunities in rural areas. Often people depend on seasonal agricultural work which does not provide enough income for the family year-round. There is especially a lack of work that can be combined with the childcare and other family responsibilities these rural women carry. Originalhome works together with small entrepreneurs in Bangladesh that work in a sustainable manner with rural communities and offer low-entry job opportunities like handweaving, spinning, dying and/ or other manual crafts. Handcrafts are easily accessible for everybody and women can work on their own time schedule from a safe workshop nearby or from their own homes. Having a stable source of income empowers these women to improve their own living conditions and that of their families, while they work towards financial independence.

Handcraft does not only provide work opportunities for rural women; it also safeguards local heritage and traditions. Khadi textiles are part of a longstanding tradition in this area of Bangladesh. It is a handspun, handwoven fabric that has a unique texture and character. Khadi is a perfect example of how we can support women through sustainable and ethical production. The traditional low-impact production technique of Khadi is both better for our environment and healthier for our makers. Made from natural waste cotton fibres, khadi does not require any chemicals or machinery during its production process. The production process is non-industrial, making it low-impact on the environment while creating more work opportunities for the local people.

Originalhome empowers women in rural areas of Bangladesh to become more financially independent by providing fair and positive work opportunities. By working together, we can make a significant impact on the local communities that produce these products. Originalhome collaborates with small local entrepreneurs to provide work to rural communities. The independent retailers, who sell our items, help us support this local production. When you purchase a Khadi tablecloth, you support not only originalhome and the independent retailers who sell our items, but most importantly you help us to continue to provide work to these rural communities. In this way, buying and selling beautiful table linens allows all of us to help empower rural women. Plus, we all get to enjoy beautiful handcrafted products. Together we can help advance women’s empowerment and create a more equal future for them and the generations to come.

It’s time to create an original home. A place where you can relax, be creative, get inspired and most importantly be your 100% original you.

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