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Wear sustainability, equality &
entrepeneurship all in one product.

- HattiHatti

THE STORY BEHIND THE TIES & BOW-TIES

HattiHatti


HattiHatti is a non-profit organization based in Kathmandu, Nepal, dedicated to empowering women from marginalized communities.

Through education and practical training, the women get the opportunity to become skilled tailors, creative entrepreneurs, and independent individuals. The women also gain access to a sustained form of income through the production of HattiHatti products.

The material used for the different products made at HattiHatti are vintage saris, and the women "upcycle" them into beautiful handmade garments and accessories. Out of these saris, the women make beautiful kimonos, bowties, ties, and other accessories.

Besides the training in tailoring, the women also receive classes in English and math and education around the law and human rights. Also, there are workshops given, for example, to practice public speaking, with a focus on gaining self-confidence.

 

Year Program

At the moment, seven women are working at HattiHatti. Over the last years, other women have followed the same year program and have started their tailoring shop.
On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, the women are working in the production room on different products. Thursday and Friday are filled with classes in English and math and other workshops. They are also stimulated those days to use their creativity and think of new or different designs and products.

The women working at HattiHatti are from rural areas, outside Kathmandu Valley. Different organizations go to these villages and explain about the importance of tailoring. Then when the women decide to join the program, they receive tailoring programs for three months or sometimes six months in Kathmandu.

Choice


After this training, the organization contacts with organizations like HattiHatti to provide the women with a placement. The women get to choose if they want to stay in Kathmandu and further their learnings or go with the necessary education they have, back to their village.
After family and friends heard about the opportunity of the women, friends, and also sisters of the women came to HattiHatti asking for support.

After the year program, HattiHatti cannot always keep the women. The women also need to go outside, explore, and be independent. In this way, they can make their own decisions so that they can learn different things and achieve their personal goals. It is always their choice if they stay at HattiHatti or go.


The story behind the product in video


Interview with Aashu

Namaste. My name is Aashu Praja.
I am from Chitwan, and I live here at Teku.
It's been three years working at Hatti Hatti. I am 25 years old.

Can you tell me about your family and where are you from?
I am from Chitwan, Saptipur. I have one younger sister, two younger brothers, and my parents work in farming. My brothers don't study, whereas my sister has been married.

Can you walk me through your days starting with when you get up in the morning?
In the morning, I wake up late around 7:30. I cook and eat food and arrive at Hatti Hatti. After returning from HattiHatti, sometimes I work at the sewing machine, and it will be around 9 pm when I go to sleep.

What is the hardest part of the day?
To wake up early in the morning, that's the hardest part. *laughs*

What is your favorite part of your day?
I stay alone in the room, and when I come to the office, I meet all of my friends.

What do you dream about?
To have my own tailoring shop.

Here in Kathmandu or outside of Kathmandu?
If possible, it will be out of Kathmandu in my village. In the future, I want to support other women like myself and wish to teach the sewing and tailoring.

What is a strength in yourself which others might overlook?
My skills in tailoring, because of that, I can fulfill my basic needs.

How does the Nepali culture perceive ambitious women?
In our village, women are more indulged in doing household chores. When a girl walks outside, people negatively take this. In Kathmandu, I stay alone, and people keep questioning what I do in Kathmandu alone. This is my problem and business, but people don't understand.

Is it different in Kathmandu or back in home?
In past my own family insisted not to work in Kathmandu and not to stay alone. The community used to ask my parents, "What is your daughter doing in Kathmandu." But now everyone knows what I am doing as my brothers and sister have come to visit me. Now I am capable of supporting the family, and the people have stopped questioning it.

What are your hopes for the women next to you, and what are your hopes for the women in Nepal?
Most of the women are uneducated and are married early and have children. Those women should be skilled in many sectors like animal farming etc. and should be capable. If the wife could learn, it will be support and contribution to the family and less burden to the husband.

What do you think about the importance of education you received here?
Without education, we are unaware of many opportunities. Even to be skilled like tailoring, education is important, like sewing and cutting. So education is essential. Though I learned until grade 10, I was unaware of the importance of education back in my village. Half of the vital knowledge I gained from the HattiHatti.

What does it mean for you to work at HattiHatti?
In HattiHatti, I learned about recycling. Back in the village people throw old clothes in a river or other places. I also learned about recycling second-hand clothes to new and made people understand about it.

Can you describe me in one word what it means to work here?
Hmm, in one word, HattiHatti, for me, means to be "STRONG."


Interview with Sumitra

Namaste, My Name is Sumitra Chepang, and I am from Chitwan. I am 19 years old. I have been working here for approximately three months.

Can you tell me a little bit about your family?
I have a mother, father, brother, and sister-in-law, they live in Chitwan. I live in Kathmandu now in a rented place.

 

What does your family do?
My family is involved in agriculture throughout the year.

Can you walk me through your day starting when you get up in the morning?
In the morning, I go to household works and then come back around 8- 9 am. After that, I prepare my food and come to the office. After work, I go back, prepare food, and then sleep.

What is the hardest part of the day?
Right now, I am learning at HattiHatti. I feel it's challenging to learn new work. I had never learned to tailor before, and here I am, learning many new things that I find challenging.

What is your favorite part of the day?
During the day, on the process of learning, if I learn well, I feel excited and happy.

What do you dream about?
My dream is to study. I want to complete my studies and learn how to work.

What is the strength in yourself, which others might overlook?
I think my speech is my strength. I can speak in front of anyone. And like speaking in front of a camera now *laughs*. 

How does the Nepali culture perceive ambitious women?
In our Nepali culture, especially in the village, if a woman is independent or works late at night, people start talking behind her back. But in the city, if the person is educated, people do not take independent women differently and in the wrong manner.

How is that different between cities and more rural areas?
In the village, people are uneducated and illiterate, so in their perception, women who walk late at night independently are considered unacceptable and gossip around. But in the city area, it is different; people are more educated and developed; therefore, people are more acceptable for women to walk late at night.

What is your hope for the women next to you, and what are the hopes for women in Nepal?
In my opinion, women are more educated than before. There are still hopes that women are developing and will be developed in the future. Women can work as equal as male. 

What do you think about the importance of education you received, so how do you see the education?
Education is crucial. It teaches us to speak up, to work as equal to men, women can work as men because of education. In my life, knowledge makes us more understanding. If I was not educated, I could not be more understanding, like coming late at night to work.

What does it mean to you to work with HattiHatti?
Working at HattiHatti is a massive thing for me. I get opportunities to education, skills for making old to new clothes, reuseable, and communication with other women and working together. We can reduce garbages. I learned all these things from HattiHatti. So, I love Hatti Hatti a lot.

Can you give me one word to describe what it means to work here at HattiHatti?
If I needed to choose one word, it would be "self-confidence".. "Atma nirbhar."


The women working at HattiHatti






Parbati






Aashu






Sumitra






Sharmila






Rita






Pramila






Manju


Kathmandu


Hatti Hatti is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The women working at Hatti Hatti come from village area outside of Kathmandu Valley.
I'm looking forward to visit the women again!

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