GAN Women Unit

We think that marking International Women’s Day provides the perfect excuse to remember the moving story behind the connection between GAN and the women of a small village in the north of India in the state of Uttar Pradesh, close to Bhadhomi. It’s almost four years ago now that their expert hands first started to embroider the BANDAS collection designed by Patricia Urquiola.

The women were used to working in the sitting position, using their laps to sew, they were not accustomed to embroidering pieces larger than 60 cm in width, but what could have been a disadvantage was turned into an advantage: based on this limited dimension the idea for embroidered bands came about, in other words pieces measuring 60 cm connected together using Velcro strips on the sides in order to produce rugs that could cover poufs, chaise-longues and cushions ….all based on an innovative modular system.

With BANDAS the employment potential of these women was revitalised and empty shops within this Indian locality became vibrant once again. The skilled crafts of the workers contributed to the GAN pieces and they in turn learned new contemporary designs working with wool and felt. In this way their traditional techniques were updated ensuring their survival.

The success of the first collection back in 2013 allowed the group of women to grown and take on the hand crafted upholstery of pieces like KNITTED STOOLS designed by Claire-Anne O’Brien as well as the rugs and cushions of RUSTIC CHIC designed by Sandra Figuerola. Today the project helps women to reconcile their work practices and home duties, providing a flexible timetable that allows them to take their embroidery work home with them when necessary.

The growing independence of these women is an achievement that makes GAN very happy, its philosophy is to contribute towards the progress of the communities in which it manufactures its products. From here we would like to thank each and every woman who weaves their know-how into each of the GAN pieces. Their hands make each and every one unique.