In the heart of Pakistan, where myriad villages unveil the tapestry of indigenous crafts, each locale resonates with a unique language, a distinctive stitch, and a palette of colors—now perilously on the brink of extinction. Our sustainable paradigm is an opulent celebration of craftsmanship, culture, and community, bringing forth inclusive communities intertwined by the thread of indigenous artistry. Behold, the vitality of Craft Stories!
Conceive through a harmonious collaboration with resilient refugee women dwelling in the embrace of Pakistan, Craft Stories stands as a bastion dedicated to preserving their invaluable craftsmanship. Beyond mere preservation, our brand pledges to safeguard heritage and bolster refugee communities by fostering skill development and cultivating entrepreneurial acumen. Through this transformative journey, these artisans metamorphose into pillars of productivity, achieving self-sufficiency and unbridled independence.
As asserted by the visionary force behind Craft Stories, Huma Adnan, "Every piece of jewelry bears a personal significance, for I am intimately acquainted with the narratives of each artisan. They were not mere artisans; they were swift learners, mastering the craft with unparalleled finesse."
Themes of hope, fashion, creativity, and economic empowerment unfurl in the saga of Craft Stories. A prideful proponent of job creation and artisanal self-sufficiency, the brand thrives on earned income, a testament to its commitment to fostering purpose and dignity. Originating from the noble premise of empowering women who were once untouched by productive endeavors, Craft Stories transforms their lives, infusing purpose and familial contribution. The collective spirit of community burgeons as they unite, crafting narratives that transcend mere accessories. Our team of erudite experts collaborates intimately with the refugees, overseeing designs, ensuring impeccable quality, orchestrating production, managing the supply chain, and navigating the intricacies of logistics for the refugee-made product lines, thereby sparking economic stimuli within local economies.
Sharifa Bibi, a prized artisan from Qandahar and skilled worker, remarks, “I first crossed over to Pakistan from Afghanistan 18 years ago. For eight years I lived in Quetta not doing much. Then I returned to Afghanistan before coming back here again, I will now stop cleaning dishes for other people. I have started earning enough for my children. But it is not this handsome earning that matters. Instead, I am happy to become a part of the world that looked so inaccessible in the past.”
Muneeba Noor, a Rohingya refugee in Korangi and one of Sharifa's students, narrates a story entrenched in familial legacy. "My family has been living in Karachi since before my birth. My father fled from Myanmar with my grandfather when that country was still called Burma. It's remarkable that I've acquired a new craft, aiding me in earning additional income for my family's needs, especially since my father has passed away now."
These artisans are not merely contributors; they are indelible markers in the annals of a place's history. Craft Stories stands as the custodian of these legacies, crafting innovative designs that resonate with those who cherish the intertwining tapestries of craft and culture. In the realm of Craft Stories, we wield the power to make a difference, assuming responsibility and enacting positive change. This is not just their craft; they are the trailblazers, carving paths through uncharted territories.
“We are so used to considering refugees as victims and weak people, as people who are hungry and in need of shelter – and don’t get me wrong, they are often all these things – but they should not make us forget that these are people like you and me and all of us with potential and skills that need to be nurtured, with hopes and aspirations that have been trampled by history and by events and by other people. And I think that tonight, in this environment that is so different from refugee camps and settings that it would be good to give them honour and dignity as they deserve,” elucidates Mr. Filipo Grandi during the Craft Stories showcase in Islamabad.
Huma Adnan adds, “I have always been one to empower and encourage women with the will to follow their aspirations, I believe that we, as fashion influencers, have the potential to start new economic cycles and as my brand already utilizes indigenous crafts from different parts of the world, I love polishing their craft and train their business acumen."
“The single most important thing to remember is that those people are just the same in their aspirations, in their hopes, in their fears, in their anxieties, in their desire for a better life for themselves and their children as all of us except, life’s lottery has been kinder to us than to them. It’s a mark of your collective humanity, for people fleeing their lives, that you all share the understanding but for the Grace of the Creator, our experience could be just the same as theirs," emphasizes Mr. Mark Lowcock, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief.