Helping women through fashion

Ronjiny Basu showcases her company's scarves to a customer.
Local entrepreneur has a global impact

Alumna Ronjiny Basu’s company, Chobhi, is using fair trade to improve living conditions for craftswomen living on the other side of the globe.

Faculty of Social Sciences alumna Ronjiny Basu is a fashion junkie. Through her company, which manufactures and sells high-end scarves, she helps women living on the other side of the globe to meet their families’ needs and, potentially, to become entrepreneurs themselves.

Basu’s company, Chobhi, which she established in Ottawa in 2012, highlights the work of Indian craftswomen. Basu recruits women in India who hand weave the scarves, in keeping with a long Bengali tradition. The scarves have photographs of nature on them. The photographs were taken in India and Ottawa by Tanima Majumdar, Basu’s business partner and long-time friend.

The company works with fair trade organizations in India, allowing the craftswomen to receive fair compensation.

In 2013, Chobhi added a line of jewellery to its collection, produced by Indian craftswomen as well.

Since last summer, Basu has also been dealing with craftspeople in Kashmir, a mountainous region shared by India, Pakistan and China. “Cashmere wool weaving is a very old tradition in the area,” says Basu. “Most homes have a loom.”

Through Chobhi, Basu is making the most of her love of fashion while helping improve living conditions for residents of her parents’ native country.






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