A Collaborative Effort

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If you haven’t already heard, these are no ordinary beach blankets—in fact, the story behind them is quite extraordinary.

The mission of the Collaborative Group brand is to partner with and provide sustainable employment for artisans in small communities in need around the globe by connecting them with brands looking for unique products. “I founded CG in September 2011 after spending four years working in the developing world and seeing firsthand women who were capable of making beautiful products that people would love, but who were still living under the poverty line and I wanted to change that,” says Kathleen Wright.

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Each of the woven beach blankets we are carrying at Madewell is entirely crafted by hand in India’s northern Rajasthan region by skilled artisans—the weaving is done in a number of villages, depending on the design (ikat in Pochampally and Andra Pradesh and stripes in Baksar), and the sewing in a community sewing co-op in Bikaner.

The co-op is particularly unique because it is mixed-gender, employing many local women who traditionally are not permitted to work outside the home or alongside men. So the beauty of each of these Collaborative Group beach blankets goes way beyond the stitch—and that’s something we can definitely get behind.