Dalit Goods Co.
Discover exquisitely decorated handmade homewares by the Dalit Goods Co, a social enterprise standing up for Dalit people in India.
The term “Dalit” translates as downtrodden or oppressed. Positioned at the bottom of India’s society, people in Dalit communities have been subject to dehumanising abuse and discrimination for thousands of years.
The Dalit Goods Co aims to raise awareness of the terrible inequalities Dalit people suffer as well as helping to improve their lives. Sales of their products help fund Life Association, the charity behind the brand. Much of their work revolves around providing support and education, including building schools and children’s homes, for Dalits in India.
Dalit Goods Co also create jobs for underprivileged people – their entire range is handcrafted by artisans in Dalit communities. For instance, Dalit people from Kashmir create the beautiful egg cups by using papier-mâché and painting them with traditional Kashmiri designs.
During a trip to Mumbai, Life Association director and serial social entrepreneur Simon Hawthorne noticed a number of smashed clay pots around slum areas.
He discovered these pots were a symbol of oppression for Dalit people. For thousands of years, they have often been forced to drink from them and then smash on the ground as a sign of their supposed untouchability.
This experience inspired him to create Dalit Goods Co in 2010, as a way to raise awareness of the Dalit people’s plight and make a difference.