The Swat Valley Guild (SVG) is engaging local artisans in the Swat Valley region of Northern Pakistan with the global fashion community. The local artisan heritage is centuries old and is under threat from conflict, climate change and industrialization. The SVG is organizing a demand-centric approach, which allows the artisans to engage with the global community and ensures it solves some of the key challenges of the fashion industry as well, focusing on waste, sustainability and people development.
UK based co-founders, Zulfiqar Deo and Wali Khan established the Guild as a peace-building initiative. The region of Northern Pakistan has suffered from severe forms of social and economic chaos over the last 30 years. The local communities still use raw wool, process it into yarn, weave it into fabrics and then embroider it by hand using techniques evolved over centuries. The project incorporates the UN sustainable development goals and has also supported a local emerald mining project in the region creating 500 jobs.
Debbie Moorhouse, the co-founder of the International Society For Sustainable Fashion is collaborating with the SVG to create a small capsule collection of luxury handbag designs, incorporating sustainable textiles with the artisan embroidery and local emeralds. The aim of the project is to create new products and access to markets by showcasing the craftsmanship of the artisans in an accessible way for the fashion industry, and promote the intricate handwork being produced in the region. Anyone interested to feature the handbags collection can contact us through the International Society For Sustainable Fashion website. For enquiries about embroidery or emeralds, please contact SVG www.the-svg.net