Pashmina Industry needs Transparency and Openness to help the Communities at the bottom of the Pyramid
Today a global campaign was launched to spread awareness and bring in Transparency in the Authentic Pashmina Eco System of J&K and India by it’s founder Henna Babar. Speaking at the launch she explained that the Pashmina Industry of J&K employs lakhs of people in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is therefore one of the key economic driver of the state. The industry needs a campaign to ensure that the communities that are linked to this authentic eco-system are saved from exploitation. Henna along with Babar Afzal, has been advocating for long term strategic and sustainable growth for the entire authentic Pashmina industry in the global marketplace. They have been working to bring experts from media, fashion, business, wildlife, ecology, environment, economics and politics and also engage with Governments and policy leaders, to provide the optimum outcomes for the economic and cultural future of the Pashmina industry. Henna explained that the campaign #WhoMadeMyPashmina is a part of the bigger vision that is poised to be a global movement of people who are the consumers of Pashmina in India and across the world. Anyone who has every bought a Pashmina or plans to buy in the future should become a part of this campaign. Speaking at the launch she asked, “Have you ever wondered who made your Pashmina ? How much they’re paid, and What their lives are like ?” The Pashmina we wear goes on a long journey before it hits store shelves, passing through the hands of Pashmina goat herders, nomads, spinners, weavers, dyers, craft men and craft women across all the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Lakhs of people work directly and indirectly to make pashmina (including women). However, the majority of the people who makes Pashmina for the global market live in poverty and unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation and working in unsafe and extreme climatic conditions, with very little earnings. This community suffers because there is no pressure from the consumers who have the power to change the future of these communities by asking tough questions.
She stated that social media with its power and reach can change the future of a very large community and asked everyone to become a part of the campaign. Today everyone has a social media account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Only if people start adding a hashtag #WhoMadeMyPashmina to their posts when they share anything related to Winters, Pashmina, Weddings, Shopping etc. it would get more and more people become a part of a bigger conversation, thereby bring attention of a global audience to this industry. Henna is also the Co-founder of Pashmina Goat Project that believes in a Pashmina industry that values people, planet, creativity and profit in equal measure and that positive change starts with transparency, traceability and openness. She explained that it is impossible for us to make sure human rights across the Pashmina Eco-System are respected and that environmental practices are sound without knowing where our products are made, who is making them and under what conditions.