Many people might not know the links between popular high street retailer Monsoon and Afghanistan. Monsoon was founded in 1973 by Peter Simon who brought hand-crafted and folk-inspired fashion to London, after travelling the globe and setting up a stall on the Portobello Road. The original focus was always on clothes with an ethnic origin from faraway places, such as India and Afghanistan.
Together with the Monsoon Accessorize Trust, Christian Aid is helping to rebuild the silk cultivation industry in Afghanistan. We are working with women’s groups in Herat providing them with silkworms and training on silk production. This enables local women to earn and income and have a stronger voice in their communities.
It’s been four years since we partnered with the Trust and the women artisans have come a long way. They are now organised into cooperatives and sell their silk products in a small shop in Herat airport. The women are also looking at ways to sell their products outside Afghanistan.