At Coco Bonito, we release a Sunnycords® collection every year in collaboration with a community abroad. Our previous collections of glasses chains have taken place in Peru and Kenya, and this year we’re moving up to India. Our newest collection of sunglass chains are made by the Saheli Women, a non-profit enterprise which aims to financially empower the women in the Bhikamkor village located in rural Rajasthan. This exclusive collection of sunny cords is made of leftover sari fabrics, which otherwise would have gone to landfill, now providing them with a second life. In addition to this, every purchase contributes to the financial support of the local women in India who have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Sari is an important element of the Indian culture, and is seen as a traditional form of dressing. The word ‘Sari’ translates to ‘strip of cloth’ in Sanskrit. However, in India’s, Pakistan’s, Bangladesh’s and Nepal’s dress culture, the Sari is much more than just a clothing garment. They symbolise national pride and represent years of traditional design and craftsmanship. India is one of the largest countries producing Sarees with 30 different regions producing Sari’s varying in different dyes, prints and silk weaving methods. Although in some regions globalisation has led to a development in cultural wear, Sari’s are still a very common form of dress as they are climate appropriate, and modest for both Hindu and Muslim communities.
The process of buying and owning a Sari, can be long and expensive, with prices varying from $20 at a street seller, to $10,000 at a specialised boutique. Since Sari’s are traditionally made of different elements, some wearers collect their Sari parts over time and at different places. In some families, Sari’s can be passed down for generations, and thus represent a timeless, traditional garment.
The Saheli Women use a special weaving method to tie the vintage Sari fabrics together, to create the most exclusive straps to attach to your sunglasses, optical glasses, and even facemask. They are either tied together by hand using a braided method, or a twisted method. The beautiful purple, pink, green, red, brown and blue colours of these eyewear chains are a glimpse into the world of the beautiful traditional Indian dress.
We are very proud to collaborate with the Saheli Women organisation, as their goals and ambitions align with our vision and mission as a brand. Founded by Madhu in 2014, Saheli Women is a female empowerment non-profit social enterprise with a goal of creating “community development through female empowerment”. With a team of 35 female artisans, the community helps brands produce ethical and sustainable products at their local atelier. During the process of production, the women get paid fair wages and are taught a variety of skills that they can apply to their everyday lives. The Saheli Women community is a safe environment for women to come to work and develop their skills. Discover the full handmade collection online.