ObjectivesA sustainable projectWoman empowermentRequirementsOther itemsDonationsSample

In September 2017 we launched the Cloth Bag Project with some local women.


1) To fight against single-use polythene bags, which end up littering our towns and countryside. When we look at the rubbish, indeed at least half of it is polythene bags!

2) To recycle all types of fabric as hand-made bags (and later on perhaps other items).

3) To empower local women.

  • We use only unused, recycled fabrics to make the bags. Fabrics are donated to us by well-off local families from Khajuraho or sent to us from Europe. Our partners in Norway (Ganpati) have also made donations to us.

  • We sell the bags to shopkeepers so that they can give cloth rather than polythene bags to their customers. It is worth noting that since the launch of our project, polythene bags have been banned in Khajuraho! This means that our initiative comes at the right time.

  • We are still at the beginning of our project, but if need be we will run an educative campaign in order to educate the local population about the importance of avoiding plastic bags.


  • We employ women from underprivileged backgrounds and/or wives of alcoholic men to make the bags. Most of them live in the Khajuraho Old Village. All of them already know how to sew and have a sewing machine at home. They meet four times a week at The Different School, to design and make bags together. They can also work from home if they want to be more productive. They have the opportunity to sell their bags to selected shopkeepers through us, although we do not take any commission. Thus the project provides them with a source of income.

  • Our Cloth Bag Project gives women an opportunity to get out of their house, to socialise and to be creative together. By meeting other women like them and having a lucrative activity, they feel more independent, uplifted and thus empowered. They also depend less on their husbands to make a living.


    Our primary products are the "no-plastic bags", i.e. the cloth bags that are especially made to replace polythene.

    These bags must be:

  • simple but strong. We want the bags to last as long as possible! Not just the cloth has to be strong, but the thread also! (From our experience, Indian thread is often a lot weaker than Western thread!).

  • easy to fold into a small item - to be able to put into a handbag, so that the shopper always has it with them for unplanned shopping also!

  • easily-portable by men!!! We have to keep in mind that here, often women (the ones who carry handbags when they do go out!) do not go out for food shopping! They send out their husbands or sons! So we will have to make the bags easily portable by them. Easily carried in a pocket, tie-able to their motorbike, or something, so they can have a bag with them at all times for unplanned shopping!


    When our project takes off, we will be able to start thinking about making other bags or items.

  • Different designs (thicker bags, handbags, patchwork bags, embroided items etc.)

  • Not just bags, but also purses, maybe toys and dolls, etc.

  • Bags for storage use e.g. bags to keep toys in, or pens, or clothes etc. This might be good for the local/poor population as it is cheap and the bags can be tied to a wall and thus create storage space by themselves.

  • Items sold to foreigners - marketed as sustainable, eco-friendly products! More sophisticated and decorated bags, purses, toys & dolls, etc.


    To keep the Cloth Bag Project running, we need:

  • funds to pay our local project co-ordinator and trainer, purchase sewing machines etc. If you would like to make a donation, please click here to see what we need exactly.

  • material donations:
  • Unwanted clothes or fabric (strong or still new is a plus)
  • Sewing machines would be amazing!
  • Thread (sewing & embroidery)
  • Needles (sewing or embroidery)
  • Fabric pens, etc.

  • Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to support our project in any way!

    To fight against single-use polythene bags

    To recycle all types of cloth and fabric

    To empower local women