International Women's Day #BalanceforBetter

March 08, 2019

International Women's Day #BalanceforBetter

As part of Mehera Shaw’s world Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) certification process, we sat down recently to speak with women who work here about their jobs, their lives and what work means to them.

Archana is one of those women—she does finishing work, such as sewing on buttons and checking for quality on our custom-manufactured products. She’s only worked here a few months, and this is her first job outside her home. We wondered what it’s been like for her.

women's interview at Mehera Sahw


At first, she said, she was anxious. Now, though, she says that her job has given her more confidence in herself, and a belief that her opportunities are wider than she might have thought. We couldn’t be happier about that—it’s one of our goals for the women who work at Mehera Shaw.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global day of recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements—and aspirations—of women. The day is also a call to action to increase equality of opportunity between men and women.

This year, 2019, there is a lot of progress to celebrate—more women than ever, for example, were elected to the United States Congress. But there is a lot of progress evidently to be made, as the #MeToo movement illustrated that many women have been suffering sexual discrimination and harassment in relative silence. This year’s campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for improving gender balance around the world.

And there is still a ways to go in achieving gender equality. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report evaluates 149 countries annually on progress in closing gaps in four areas: economic opportunity, education, health, and political empowerment. This year, the survey revealed that women around the world have reached 68 percent parity with men—meaning there’s still a 32 percent gap to be closed.

Here in India, many women—especially those in rural areas—still live under the strict control of their fathers or husbands. While more women in cities work outside the home, many still turn their earnings over to their husbands. Lack of control of their own money and time spent on unpaid tasks are big factors that keep women from achieving economic power.

Our non-profit arm, the Meher Road Foundation, has supported marginalized women in a micro-business effort by teaching them needle skills. We train women how to cut and stitch, using free supplies of fabric from post production scrap to make up cycled accessories that we sell for their profit.

We’re also doing our best to empower our female employees not only by giving them work, but also by increasing their ability to make choices and exercise independence. This year, we’re planning to begin periodic in-office workshops in life skills, such as money management and ways to improve health even when money is scarce.

One way Mehera Shaw is already making a difference is by stressing the value of education for daughters, as wells as sons. In the past, many young Indian women weren’t educated, or only continued through primary school. We support education by paying part of our employees’ annual bonuses at the beginning of the school year, when tuition is due, and by making micro-loans when needed for education. Over the last ten years, we’ve seen that our employees value education for all their children.

And there is one more way we think Mehera Shaw makes a difference, and that’s as a role model for young women like Archana and for all our employees—the company is owned and operated by a woman.

The first International Women's Day took place in 1911, and has since grown into a global movement supported by more than a million people around the world. After women in Russia won the right to vote in 1917, March 8 was adopted there as a national holiday and came to be the day celebrated globally as International Women’s Day. The United Nations adopted the concept in 1975.

#IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter


Susan Caba

Director of Development

Mehera Shaw Textiles

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Our styles are meant to give room to breath and move.  We use fine tailoring coupled with a relaxed, comfortable fit.

We use a fit guide for each of our styles to provide more information about the fit that was intended.

Slim Fit: a close fit to the body. Regular Fit: a comfortable, relaxed fit with room around the body. Generous Fit: a very loose fit (such as in our oversized blouses) with lots of room around the body for ease of movement.


h4XS/ 36

h4S/ 38


h4L/ 42



h435.5 inches/ 90 cm

h437.5 inches/95 cm

h439.5 inches/ 100 cm

h441.5 inches/ 105 cm

h444.5 inches. 113 cm

h44cm extra from body


h426 inches/ 66 cm

h428 inches/ 71 cm

h430 inches/ 76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h435 inches/ 89 cm


h4low waist

h428 inches/71 cm

h430 inches/76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h434 inches/ 86 cm

h437 inches/ 94 cm



h437 inches/ 94 cm

h439 inches/ 99 cm

h441 inches/ 104 cm

h443 inches/ 109 cm

h446 inches/ 1

h44cm extra from body


All garments have been washed several times during the printing/dyeing and manufacturing process.  

CARE for 100% cotton

We recommend cold water machine wash (up to 30 degrees celsius) with a bio detergent and either tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade for all of our 100% cotton garments/homewares (except for quilts).  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.  

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Cold water wash and low heat drying or line drying in the shade will increase the life of the garment, prolong the vibrancy of the colors and reduce energy use. Shrinkage on all cottons is minimal, approximately 3%.

Garments/homewares are dyed or printed using AZO free, low-impact, pigment or reactive dyes unless otherwise noted.  These dyes are color-fast, but care should still be taken to wash with like colors to retain the vibrancy of the colors.

CARE for 100% cotton quilts

For quilts with cotton fill, we recommend spot or light surface cleaning only with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Eco-friendly dry cleaning is also recommended. 

CARE for herbal/vegetable dye items

Vegetable dyes are not colorfast and are specifically marked in the product description.  We strongly recommend that all vegetable dye products be washed once before use in a cold water wash with minimal detergent.  Wash separately. Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  Iron on reverse side.  Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Please keep in mind that indigo dye does continually fade over time.  This is the nature of true indigo dye and is not a defect, but rather a sign of the 'living' nature of the dye.

CARE for silk and cotton/silk

For our silk and cotton silk garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Dry cleaning using an eco-friendly service is also recommended.

CARE for linen and cotton/linen

For our linen and cotton linen garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.