Your next winter coat could transform lives

Kathaa winter down jacket

You may not have seen these jackets before. In fact, you probably won’t since they launched last week.

Kathaa make stylish, high-quality outdoor down jackets for men and women. They come with an integrated hood for maximum protection, and zip pockets which make them extra practical. They are also lightweight enough to fit into small zip bags, so they’re easy to pack when you’re traveling to colder climates.

I was fortunate enough to attend the launch event for Kathaa recently (blurry picture below), and able to see for myself the quality of these jackets. What also struck me was the shape, as well as the quality of the fit. This was convincing enough that I immediately ordered one for myself, which should be arriving any day now.

Kathaa jackets launch event

There’s no doubt a Kathaa jacket will keep you warm in the coming winter months.

But how do they transform lives?

There’s something different about how these jackets are produced. But to understand that we first need some background on the problem Kathaa has set out to try and fix.

There are an estimated 40 million slaves in the world, and 1 in 4 of those are thought to be children. That’s 10 million child slaves. Sold into slavery as young as 5, they often work 18 hours a day, cleaning and labouring with no education and frequent physical and mental abuse.

Modern slavery comes in many forms. “Kamalari” is the system of bonded labour practiced in eastern Nepal. Girls as young as 5 are sold by their families to work as domestic servants in wealthier homes.

They come from extremely poor families, where they are often seen as little more than a drain on the family’s income, and sold out of financial desperation. They are sold into the houses of higher-caste landowners, businessmen or civil servants, who provide for the girls’ basic means for survival in exchange for their labour.

This type of slavery seems unimaginable in this day and age. Although abolished in 2006, it is estimated that between 10,000 to 12,000 girls are still working as domestic slaves under this system. Even for those who have been released since abolition life is tough – evicted slaves were left to fend for themselves in abject poverty without any support.

Where Kathaa is making a difference

Thankfully there are organisations trying to help. The Nepal Youth Foundation was set up in 1990 and has provided care, education, health services and a route out of poverty for over 50,000 children.

All Kathaa jackets are created by women who have been freed from child slavery in Nepal. These women have been given a new start, and have been trained in high-quality commercial tailoring, providing them with a livelihood and the ability to support themselves and their families.

What’s more, all the profits go straight back into the Nepal Youth Foundation, funding help for the next generation of girls to escape slavery and poverty.

Women helped by Nepal youth foundation

So what are you waiting for?

Visit the Kathaa Jackets page to view the full range of products.

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