Anchal: Designing Change
At Anchal, we believe design has the power to create change in the world. We use design thinking to create innovative and strategic solutions that tackle both the social inequality faced by women and the environmental damages created by the industrialized textile system. We facilitate impact by creating eco-friendly textiles and programs to train, employ, and support women who have been forced into sexual slavery, survivors of domestic violence, and women vulnerable to exploitation.
A GLOBAL SISTERHOOD IS BORN
With backgrounds in design, sisters Colleen and Maggie Clines lead the organization by placing design and collaboration at the center of Anchal’s practice. It all started in a design studio. Colleen Clines was taking a graduate seminar at the Rhode Island School of Design that took her on a trip to India in 2009. Through local leadership, Colleen was introduced to the exploitive world of the commercial sex trade and the lack of opportunity for women in the community. It was in this moment she was inspired to design more than beautiful landscapes, she was determined to collaborate with the NGO using design.
“The women we met became our sisters, sisters we had to fight for.” - Colleen Clines, Co-Founder & CEO
Inadequate access to education and employment disproportionately target poor women around the world, often forcing them into commercial sex trade to support themselves and their families. 85% of the artisans we work with joined the commercial sex trade due to a lack of alternative options. Marginalized from society, these women find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle. Solution: Economically empowering women can transform the trajectory of entire families and lead to widespread economic growth. That is why we employ and train women who have been forced into commercial sex trade, survivors of domestic violence & women vulnerable to exploitation in Ajmer, India and Louisville, Kentucky.
95% of Anchal artisans have left the commercial sex trade or dramatically reduced their clients. Every artisan has her own personal bank account. And 100% of artisans are investing in their children’s education, thereby breaking the cycle of exploitation.