Mahaguthi, Craft With a Conscience is a nonprofit fair trade organization that plays a vital role in supporting socially and economically disadvantaged artisans of Nepal. The organization was founded by a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, who started working with women, widows and low caste people in 1927. While studying with Gandhi, he learned to spin and weave cloth and returned to Nepal to organize a spinning and weaving project in the Kathmandu valley. He later founded a school and an ashram, or spiritual community, which became a home for destitute women where they could come with their children to find a safe haven. The Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram, the parent organization of Mahaguthi, is a women’s center that continues to provide shelter, food, support and vocational training in tailoring and weaving to women, with the objective of making women self-reliant.
Mahaguthi, Craft with a Conscience began as a retail outlet for the textiles in 1984, and has since expanded to represent more than 1,000 individual artisans in 100 producer groups, fifty percent of whom are from remote and mountainous areas. Many of the producers are women who are given the chance to employ traditional skills in their own homes, enabling them to generate extra income. In addition, some 40 percent of the income generated by their organization provides women and children of the Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram with training, food, shelter, clothing, health care and education.
Mahaguthi is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization and a founding member of Fair Trade Group Nepal.
Their Judaica products include Jewish blessing flags, co-designed by Fair Trade Judaica.