Empowering Women In Tajikistan
$14,219 of $35,000 goal
$35,000 by April 30th
Cashmere People Yarns is a women-led collective of hand spinners in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Over 70 spinners in eight different villages spin and dye cashgora and cashmere yarns for export to the United States. Most people know about cashmere, but haven't heard of cashgora, which is not a fiber blend, but a unique goat breed. It's a cross between Russian cashmere-type goats and local Tajik goats. The resulting yarn has the softness of cashmere as well as strength and luster.
The spinning groups were established with the help of two development grants funded by IFAD and managed by ICARDA and AKF. The projects assisted the groups with workshops and equipment, supported them in developing their business and helped establish relationships with fiber producers and buyers. To learn more, please watch our short documentary about the groups. The funding was completed in spring 2017 with the yarns being distributed in the US by Casey Ryder, the owner of PortFiber in Portland, ME.
For most of the women, this is the first time they are earning money. In a country where around 40% of GDP comes from remittances sent by husbands working in Russia, this extra income makes a considerable difference in their lives. The women have used their earnings to purchase food and clothing, help fund their children's education and improve their homes. To learn more about the women, you can read their biographies.
This is the first women-led, export-oriented business in their country. They would like to grow their business to include additional spinners. To do that, they need to buy more fiber than last year and purchase additional spinning machines. Your donation will go towards purchasing and dehairing over one ton of combed cashgora from farmers in the Pamir Mountains.
The time for them to purchase fiber is at the end of April.
Casey plans to focus on promoting the yarn and expanding sales. In this first year of distributing the yarn in the United States, we've learned that it takes time to establish a new product line. Casey attended her first wholesale trade show last summer and will be attending the same trade show this June with new colors, yarn kits, and product samples to promote the yarn to stores across the country. Your support will not only buy fiber for the women to spin more yarn, but will also buy time to continue to establish this amazing product in the US yarn market.
These spinners live in some of the most isolated, traditional communities in the world. They are confronting poverty as well as the constraints of traditional, patriarchal culture. Yet they are eager to succeed in making a competitive product and run a business based on transparency and fairness. Your donation is an investment in their new business that empowers them with income, gives them the opportunity to work together, and enables them to become integrated into the global community of business women and fiber artisans. Please help them and watch their business grow!
Any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated!
Other Ways You Can Help:
- Share our page on social media and with folks you think would like to support this effort.
- Are you an artist, maker, or business owner who would like to donate prizes to this campaign? Contact Casey .
- Purchase Cashmere People Yarns from these stockists and at portfiber.com.
- Are you a shop owner? Become a retailer.
- Do you want your LYS to carry these yarns? Spread the word!
On behalf of the women of Cashmere People Yarns, thank you for your support!
Special Thanks to our reward donors:
Beatrice Perron Dahlen
Amy King - Spunky Eclectic
Madder - Carrie Bostick Hoge
For pictures of the rewards, check them out HERE.
Here is a video update of how your donation this past April has helped the women of Cashmere People Yarns. The spinners received 778 pounds of dehaired cashgora for $17,826 ($22.91 per pound, including shipping). They continue to spin and dye the yarn. And PortFiber recently received a shipment of about 2,000 skeins! The yarn is now being distributed in 15 other shops around the US. We hope to continue to grow that number and get this yarn in the hands of many more makers!
With thanks and gratitude,
Casey, Liba, and the women of Cashmere People Yarns.
I am mother of two sons. My husband didn’t care about us and I have to work a lot to bring up my sons. Before I worked in canteen and the sum I got didn’t satisfied me. Now I spin yarn in our workshop and I like it very much. Mostly I like our extraordinary system of payment. As much you will spin as much money you will get. I won’t do any expenses for my job, we have all in our workshop supplied by project. We talk on Skype with buyers. We had opportunity to meet with our distributor- Casey.
One of my sons is ill. He has problem in his eyes. Time by time we go to doctor. I have to work a lot to earn money to his treatment. Thank you to Liba and Casey without them we could do nothing. Thank you to all American people who buy our yarn. We are happy if you like yarn we do. Thank you for being Donor of our fund. With deep respect from Tajik women.
Good Morning Dear Liba. I am very happy that you are still with us help in our business. I myself can’t speak Russian or English and can’t to talk to you. That’s why I am trying to give education all my children-I have 5. I want that they know languages and computer. My elder daughter is medical nurse and the next two are students. All my money I spent for my children’s education. I wish all of them being educated and speaking in two or three foreign languages.
I want to thank every Donor contributing. Thank you kindhearted people. I will never forgot your kindness.
I have spinning yarn for 8 years. I like working in a women collective. Sharing opinions in different themes and being out of house.
I have five children: Three daughter and two sons. My elder daughter studies at the University. Most of my salary I spent to her. I am very happy that I could give education to my daughter. Three years ago I gave birth to twins, but one of them dyed. Now I spin less because of my child. But I won’t stop it as soon as my daughter will grow up I will spin more and more. I like and respect Liba. I am glad Casey is helping us sell yarn.
Thank you to all the kind people who donate and give us opportunity of earning more money!