We are eager to announce our newest partner from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- Sabahar. Founded by Kathy Marshall in 2004, Sabahar has been providing jobs for artisans in Ethiopia. Sabahar is a fair trade company that works with World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Sabahar trains artisans to incorporate their traditions with modern day ideas. This helps provide a sustainable income for their families.
Sabahar produces a variety of items from scarves to towels to cushions and many of these items incorporate Ethiopian silk. Sabahar has many different sources for their silk. They buy Eri silk worm cocoons from different farms in Ethiopia to raise silkworms and they import silk from India. Using the silk from India they combine it with the silk they produce in Ethiopia to get a one of a kind product. Sabahar also uses natural dyes for the silk and AZO free dyes for their cotton. For example they use coffee and marigolds to produce colors such as beige, oranges and yellows.
There are multiple steps to the production process. The first step is spinning. Many women in Ethiopia learn this skill at a young age from their mothers. All of the thread used by Sabahar is made in this traditional fashion. The next step in the production process is dyeing the cloth. Sabahar is trying to rekindle these dyeing traditions because sadly, some of these skills have been forgotten. To dye the thread, artisans use materials such as marigolds, coffee, and tea. The next step in the production process is weaving. There are many different types of techniques used. Some women hand weave some of the products but for the larger items such as tablecloths they use a large loom. The last step of the production process is checking the product. They have designated people to do a quality check, tag the product, and package the product.
Global Goods Partners will be teaming with Sabahar to sell different types of scarves. Currently GGP has two types of scarves in stock. One scarf, made of 100% cotton, has a simple stripe design and is offered in three different colors. The other scarf is an infinity scarf that is made with both cotton and silk and also has a stripe design.