Founded in 2013, GC Handmade preserves the Nepali practices of hand spinning and weaving by employing local women to design unique handmade accessories from the finest natural fabrics. Weaving and embroidering by hand are common trades in Nepal; nearly all Nepali women are taught to spin in this custom.
Consisting of a mainly female workforce, GC Handmade works closely with the Newar community, a historically advanced community of the Kathmandu Valley currently confronted with widespread unemployment. Primarily agriculturalists, the Newar people have benefitted from their proximity to GC Handmade. Local women who apply for artisan positions are trained by GC Handmade staff.
In April 2015, the Gorkha earthquake hit Nepal, claiming the lives of 9,000 people and displacing thousands more. The severity of this natural disaster left parts of the country in dire need, and in response, GC Handmade arranged to build 126 shelters around their production center in Siddhipur. Many women artisans at GC Handmade — often the breadwinners of their own households — had to relocate to these temporary shelters after losing all of their property. Many Newar artisans, like others in Nepal, still suffer the after effects of the earthquake.
As a private company, GC Handmade receives no outside funds. Upholding its policy of self-sufficiency, the organization uses solar panels to generate hot water and electricity and has installed a waste filtration system at its production center, as no public drainage system exists in Siddhipur.
GC Handmade’s products include scarves, throws and blankets. Raw materials such as cashmere, wool, silk, and machine-spun linen are imported from China, India and Italy. All pieces are hand dyed with eco-friendly, synthetic dyes by Archroma and Huntsman.
“I am very happy to have a job and to know that my daughter is attending school and has the chance for a bright future. She no longer has to beg on the streets."”
— Thol Chantha