Our Story

Fazl Partners

 

Fazl products help support orphaned and destitute children in India with food, shelter, education and clothing. What’s more, we give Fair Trade wages to women in need who hand make every item. 

Handmade in the Himalayas by Happy Ladies. These are the 3 H’s of Fazl. All our patterns are indigenous to the local people and these designs are passed from mother to daughter. During production season, Fazl employs hundreds of artisans in need, whom we empower to work from home or at our Fazl centre where we provide a safe and supportive work environment.

Fazl is also certified with the Fair Trade Federation. 

Built on Love

From its inception, Fazl has been about love; loving orphaned children and loving local Himalayan artisans, but also the love between two people who ended up being partners in both life and business. Vanessa and Mike (on the far right) met once upon a time in North India while on a trip volunteering at orphanages. This proved to be a trip that would change their lives. In 2015, they moved from Canada to a tiny Himalayan single-road village so that they could serve the orphanage children long-term.

For many years, Mike had long harboured a dream of setting up a social enterprise to help create sustainability for the orphanages. While in the bazaar one day, Vanessa held up a pair of handmade, local socks and asked, “What if we could not only support the children, but also the women who make these too?”

Inspiration struck and Mike put together a business plan. Six months after their move to India, with the help of their business partners, they crammed 400 socks into vacuum-sealed bags, stuffed them into their suitcases, and flew back to Canada to test the market. The socks were a hit!

FAZL is a Partnership between Himalayan Indians and Canadians

Since then, Fazl has expanded into different regions of India and started new product lines, but ultimately, it’s a business about family. Along with Mike and Vanessa, the Fazl partnership includes Anand and Tsewang, a couple who grew up together in one of the orphanages and began dating while studying in college in Punjab. Anand oversees the Indian office, deals with suppliers, and handles all the finances. Tsewang is our Chief of Quality Control and Artisanal Relations, ensuring that the quality of our work meets consumer demands while also helping to identify artisans in need and bringing them into the Fazl fold.

Also on the team is Auntie Mawteii who is the founder of the same orphanage where Anand and Tsewang grew up. Auntie Mawteii is the mother-head of our company and grounds us with her love, wisdom, and wealth of experience. On the Canadian side is Cam, Vanessa’s brother-in-law who is the director of the North American operations.

Our Commitment to Support Orphans

The number of orphans in India is nearly 30 million. Two third of Indians live in poverty, on less than $2 USD per day. We are trying to create systemic and generational change for those born into desperate circumstances. 

Every time you purchase Fazl, you are helping to provide food, shelter, education, and clothing to orphaned and destitute children in India. We are committed to supporting orphanages in India that care for vulnerable children and we dedicate a portion of our net profits to this cause. Our company grew out of a deep love for these homes and the sacred work they do. 

Tsewang with three women that knit FAZL socks
Tsewang, a partner at FAZL who grew up in one of the orphanages that FAZL supports, with ladies that knit socks for the company

 

Supporting Dignified Work for Local Artisan Women

When you choose Fazl, you are also supporting dignified employment to artisans in need. We give fair wages to the women in our community who handcraft every item. Our knitwear collections are made from designs indigenous to the Himalayan people. We are humbled to be able to support their beautiful traditions and watch as artisans pass their designs from mother to daughter, down through the generations.

Made from Vegan Wool

The yarn we use is 100% vegan, synthetic, and comprised of a blend of 80% acrylic and 20% nylon. Super soft and toasty warm (just like sheep’s wool), our vegan yarn isn’t itchy and doesn’t cause allergic reactions (unlike sheep’s wool). Our yarn is ultra-durable and ethical so you can be confident that what you’re wearing will last while doing people good. Currently, we’re looking into sourcing yarn made from recycled materials. We want to take sustainability to the next level. 

Join the Movement

We believe in empowering all people to live according to their local standards of wellbeing, happiness, and dignity. To that end, we strive to provide sustainable solutions to poverty and believe that every act of mercy counts.

We invite you to join us and wear the change you want to see in the world!