Insaan Group Report with UN SDGs 2017 1 - Page 7

Goal: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Mela Artisans, India: Fair Trade Lifestyle Design

In 2013, Insaan invested in Mela Artisans (, a luxury lifestyle brand that celebrates artisanal skills in India and fosters economic growth in poor communities.

• Over the last few years, Mela has impacted the lives of some 7,000 artisans (full-time) and 4,000 artisans (part-time). 60% of the artisans have been women.

• Currently, Mela Artisans is employing full-time more than 1,000 artisans in Rajasthan (Jaipur) and Uttar Pradesh (Saharanpur, Moradabad, Sambhal and Agra). These artisan clusters have been selected on the basis of their exceptional craftsmanship ranging from wood carving to horn and bone, and based on global market demand.

• The current gender breakdown varies by craft and season, but female artisans generally constitute 20% to 50% of the employment base.

• Given Mela’s steady increase in global sales, artisan revenue has increased steadily and sustainably. Income from Mela typically constitutes 80% of an artisan's income.

Soko, Kenya: Technology and Ethical Fast Fashion


In 2013, Insaan invested in Soko (, a pioneer of ethical fast fashion connecting jewelry-makers in the slums of Nairobi to retail and wholesalers globally.


Soko has impacted the lives of:


• 1,525 artisans full-time and 525 artisans part-time in the slum areas of Nairobi, including Dandora, Kiambu, Muluru kwa Njenga, Ngong and Kariobangi.

• 21% of the current artisan base is female. Soko works within the skilled artisan community (i.e. casting, metal and horn work), largely dominated by male artisans.

However, Soko also trains artisan women into higher earning roles including designing, sampling, technology, business literacy and business ownership skills.

• The average income of a Soko artisan has gone up from $120 to at least $400 per month.