Not just a piece of cloth

Extreme taboo surrounds the process of menstruation in some parts of India, says local NGO, Goonj. What options do women have, then, without access to feminine hygiene products? In rural India, millions of women improvise with rags or, unthinkably, sand, ash and the like. As a result, they meet infection and disease, not to mention a crippling lack of dignity.

Goonj is doing what it can to restore that dignity to Indian women. In a project they call ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’, they produce pads and underwear out of cleaned, recycled textiles. They distribute these in packs to rural women, teaching them how to sew pads of their own. For the women, this simple provision is proving liberating and empowering.

This creative organisation also supports its women with another of their innovative enterprises. They train women to make paper bags out of recycled newspaper so they can earn income based on fair trade principles. These bags are sold all over the world, including Crossroads.

Any time you buy something from our Global Handicrafts shop, you will be given your purchase in one of Goonj’s recycled paper bags.

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