Once upon a time in a state of India called Andhra Pradesh, a Scottish woman introduced the local women to the art of crochet. Since then, these mostly impoverished and uneducated women have become known around the world for their intricate crochet work which is exported via Fair Trade companies.
Andhra Pradesh is a state in the south of India where it is hot and arid much of the year. The economy is depressed and most women cannot hold jobs outside their homes. Cottage industries flourish in India. I once visited a company where women built boxes to export tea and sorted the different kinds of tea leaves to put in those boxes. This ‘industry’ took place in a rustic but nice building where the women could have their toddlers nearby. It’s amazing how well we can multitask!
You can see some of their projects here. This is the website of a wholesale exporter. It will take some further searching to find where their products might be sold near you. I’m going to try to find some locally so I can support these women and their children.