We recently shared the exciting news that Chloé is engaging refugee women to produce components that are incorporated into their products. Chloé is a French luxury brand known for ethical craftsmanship and free-spirited femininity and has recently become a certified B Corporation.
Starting with their ‘22 Spring/Summer collection, the Chloé x MADE51 collaboration is incorporating craftsmanship of Afghan refugee women into Chloé’s accessories range, including their iconic Marcie and Woodie handbags.
We talked to three of the artisans working on the Chloé order to better understand their perspectives on their work and the impact of the collaboration. We're pleased to be able to share their stories with you in a small three-part series. Part two is our interview with Zarghuna*, a young Afghan refugee woman based in Peshawar.
*Zarghuna's name has been changed to protect her privacy.
Q&A with Zarghuna, Afghan refugee artisan in Pakistan
When did you come here and with who?
My name is Zarghuna. I am 21 to 22 years old. My father is from Sarobi area in Afghanistan while my mother hails from Swat in Pakistan. We live here in Pakistan.
What is your craft? How did you learn it?
I make bracelets, cushion covers, sheets and anything in designing that comes to our office.
I learned this craft from my sister, who learned here at Artisan Links. My aunt also used to work here and she helped teach my sister.
Why is this work important to you?
It is very necessary for us girls because we cannot do anything else*.... Another important thing is that it is a part of our culture.
It’s fun to work here with my friends, we have fun around and we also work, which is good.
*Zarghuna is referring to the fact that many Afghan refugee women are culturally restricted from working. Doing embroidery or handicrafts, often home-based, is one of the few income-earning opportunities they can access.
Has being an artisan, and earning a living, empowered you & helped you support your family?
The income I get here is very helpful to us. My father has passed away. So when I get my salary, I take it home and support our household with it. With this money, my younger brother is able to study as well.
The embroidery you are working on will become part of a product that will be available in many countries around the world. How does that make you feel and is there a message you would like to send to the people who purchase these items?
We are grateful to those people who purchase these items. It is a benefit for us when a big order comes in, we get money with which we meet our needs. We are happy and wish that such big orders continue to come and we continue our work.
What is your dream?
I wish that I could set up my own office to train others, where girls learn the crafts, where girls know many crafts and work and our products go out to other countries.