It has been a decade since GAN started the GAN Women Unit project in Uttar Pradesh, in northern India, while developing Patricia Urquiola’s Bandas collection. At the time, GAN Director Mapi Millet learned about a group of women who had become unemployed due to the closure of the local workshop. Millet proposed to Urquiola a collaboration with this group to manufacture her new collection, Bandas, and the popular designer accepted enthusiastically. Urquiola adapted her design to allow the women to balance their work and family life and, together with GAN, sought ways of incorporating the skills of these women artisans to achieve a unique, innovative product.
This commitment to women’s independence and empowerment has been kept alive all these years. After Urquiola, many of the designers that GAN works with have chosen to incorporate elements made by this female team into their collections. And this commitment is now reinforced in the context of an unusual crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose consequences are intensified for the most vulnerable groups.
We do not know for sure how long the quarantine will last in India, nor if the activity will resume quickly, but what we do know is that the rural population has few resources and is at high risk: not only for their health, but also economically as their workplaces are closed and there has been a precipitous decline in global demand. GAN would like to offer its empathy, support and solidarity to a group of workers who have contributed so much to our brand over all these years. For those reasons, our team has decided to undertake a campaign to financially support the women of the GAN Women Unit.
GAN’s call to action
With the goal of offering our support and solidarity and contributing to improving the situation of a group that is particularly sensitive to this situation, GAN will allocate 10% of the revenue generated by sales of the collections made by the GAN Women Unit to financially support these same craftswomen, with the intention of softening the impact of this crisis and encouraging a return to normal as soon as possible. The campaign will be in effect during the months of May and June.
In addition, GAN will offer its customers special discounts – of up to 20% – to encourage participation. The collections that are part of this campaign are BACKSTITCH by Raw Edges, BANDAS by Patricia Urquiola and LAN by Neri&Hu.
Visit www.shop.gan-rugs.com to participate and learn more.
About GAN Women’s Unit
GAN, whose philosophy is to promote the progress of the communities where it establishes productions, launched the GAN Women’s Unit to provide work to a group of women who were unable to access decent employment.
Ensuring responsibility and sustainability throughout the process, since 2010 GAN coordinates a team of craftswomen who pour their expertise in the development of some of the most successful collections of the brand, conceived by top designers. The objective is clear: to help them achieve independence and decision-making power through stable and well-paid work.
This initiative, which involves a laborious process of development, opens new perspectives and favors the development of new methodologies and knowledge, both for the craftsmen and for GAN.