About Us dignify

About dignify


dignify helps women shop for what they will both love and feel great about buying;
that which promotes dignity, empowers humanity, & champions good.

 


We sell premium quality, ethically made, fair trade kantha quilts. Call them whatever you want – kantha blankets, sari throws, “Indian blankets”, vintage sari kantha – all you need to know is:

  • They are hand-stitched in Bangladesh from six layers of reclaimed sari cloth.
  • The women who make them were previously living on the street, or working in sex work (often these go hand in hand), or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such.

 

We believe our kantha blankets are the very best of their kind on the market, because of the excellent quality of their stitching & colour-matching and the exceptional way in which our producing partner, Basha, treats their people.

dignify also sells other fabulous, ethically made items – bags, jewellery, scarves, housewares – curated to offer additional ethical gift and shopping options. Each item in our store has been made by a person in the world working in a job with dignity.

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It all began with a wedding gift.

 

I first heard about kantha blankets from Robin, the co-founder & managing director of Basha; I learned about the work she was doing in Dhaka, Bangladesh with women who were redeemed from sex trafficking (or removed from risk) and retrained to create blankets in the Bengali tradition of kantha. It was very inspiring!

 

I had browsed global handicrafts before with only marginal interest; for me, most products that stemmed from a regional, traditional craft did not fit with my aesthetic.

But these kantha quilts were gorgeous!

Unique enough to bring something new & different to my home, but not too unique, if you know what I mean…

 

I really wanted to buy one, but, living on a grad student income (read: savings) with our family of 4, I could not quite justify the indulgence. When my friend, Kathy, announced she was engaged, I knew it was the perfect excuse to buy one!

Kathy had been suddenly widowed several years before, while pregnant with her third baby. Her upcoming marriage to an amazing man was a glimmer of redemption from the difficulty & sadness of the preceding years.

 

I loved the parallel. Here were two very different women – one Canadian fiancée, one Bengali seamstress – living on opposite sides of the world, with two very different experiences. But, the heart of their story was the same: from hardship, adversity, and a lot of pain… to recovery, redemption and the beginning of hope.

What began as a desire to share a few of the sari blankets with other gals soon expanded to more and more and more blankets! Then, we added some different things to offer a wider selection of ethical gifts & products made with dignity.

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Now, we produce a blog which offers ideas, tips, and thoughtful discussions on how to shop well – using our spending voice to bring dignity to the marketplace.

 


But we’re young; our story is still just beginning.

      

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