The more I dive deeper into my journey to living purposefully the more I realize how many incredible shopping options are out there. It’s no secret that I love to thrift and visit vintage shops, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped traditional shopping. There’s something so fun about loading up a virtual basket and waiting for a package to arrive at your doorstep. Bloom & Give makes it possible to live a fun and sustainable life all at once.
With every purchase from the Bloom & Give website, money goes to women students in India as well as the women who create the items. The brand currently offers scarves, totes, clutches, pillows, and throws, but they have plans to add even more as well.
Each item is created abroad by a woman in India. The business not only supports women-run arms of the business but also is reviving the handloom industries. According to founders Partha and Madhu, power-looms are threatening the century-long techniques. It’s one of the biggest tradition employer for women in India.
Bloom & Give follows what they call a 50-50 business model to assure that this skill remains. Everything from the buying office to the hand-looming is exclusive run by the rural women. The money then goes into keeping girls in school, so they can break the system of gender disparity in the country.
I’m an extremely traditional person, so I love to see Bloom & Give preserving handmade technology. There’s something so special about holding something in your hands that is handmade. It sounds so simple, but is often forgotten. Especially with the amount of outsourcing that goes on. If you get the chance, watch the documentary The True Cost on Netflix. You’ll appreciate companies like Bloom & Give even more.
“These highly specialized techniques of weaving, dyeing and sewing have been passed down, literally unchanged, through hundreds of generations,” says Partha and Madhu. “We instantly felt that if we could pair what we were seeing with contemporary design, we could create beautiful products with a rich story that would appeal to the modern woman.”
There’s no doubt that people love a good story. That’s a big part of the reason I love to shop secondhand — the story behind the garment. But these items are much more than that. Bloom & Give really does make a traditional technology modern through their designs. Every single item is absolutely gorgeous and made of the highest quality.
That being said, it’s not super expensive. Scarves are made of cotton, wool, and silk and range from $45 to $75 and bags are from $30 to $95. That’s well worth the money, considering that half the money is going straight to women’s education programs.
These are items that you want to have in your collection. You won’t just buy them for the story — no matter how great it is. Each print is absolutely incredible, at the very least. Each product is simple and absolutely impeccably made. The quality takes the brand above and beyond.
“We were convinced that the return on philanthropic investment in rural India was real; that we could tangibly change the lives of girls and entire communities with relatively small numbers, as we grew Bloom & Give,” the founders say.
I asked the founders why they decided to take their charitable efforts outside the United States. After all, our country alone is not perfect. They felt comfortable saying that, while our country is not perfect, the money would go further in India. And so far it is.
According to Partha and Madhu, they have seen firsthand how their efforts have helped women’s enrollment in schooling. They even saw a spike in women-lead communities, which they help build. All that came from great accessories and hard work.
This brand is great at what they do because of the people that do it. That’s everyone from the women who craft each handmade item to the founders and the people that buy them. What we buy is important. Where we buy it from is even more important.
“Every bit as much tradition, skill, dedication, passion and ethical consideration goes into making a handmade Indian textile, as into an Italian suit, a German car or a pair of American jeans. We want to be the pioneering storytellers of this incredible artistry,” says Partha and Madhu.
I couldn’t help but share this incredible brand with you guys, especially with the holidays coming up. There are tons of different items being sold every single day. Choosing the best is hard, but it isn’t impossible.