Sock brand Footsy taps into the talent of rural Himalayan women
Working hard in harsh climes for half of the year, the strong women of the Spiti Valley wanted to make the best of their free time. Sock brand Footsy teamed-up with
Shen, an NGO that works towards snow leopard conservation in the Himalayas, to help these women use their time productively. Footsy assigned these women to help design the new collection of woollen snugglers.
Snugglers are warm woollen socks which are handmade and indoor friendly. The founders of Footsy, Seema Seth and Pooja Mehta, envisioned the project while visiting the snowy valleys of Spiti.
They discovered that the ladies in Spiti Valley are highly talented and their expertise with yarns was remarkable. All the villagers work on the farms from March to
October and during winter, look for alternative employment opportunities. This is when Footsy utilises their handiwork.
Around 40 women from the villages in the area are employed by Footsy. “Working with wool is not everybody’s cup of tea. You need to
know its stretch and quality. The ladies of Spiti are able to grasp our requirements quickly,” says Pooja. While Shen educates the ladies about wildlife protection, Footsy provides them with seasonal employment in the winter.
The women are always willing to experiment with new designs. The products available are named Honeycomb, Coffee, Burgundy, Ochre Flower — all of which describe the patterns and colours of the socks. Pooja also explains that they have introduced four styles such as basic, snug, wrap around and woollen sock. Their bestseller is the wraparound, most loved for its style, bright hues and patterns. “It is a beneficial project for both parties,” says Pooja, adding, “We give them the ideas and monetary support and they deliver on creativity and quality.”
Rs 800 upward. Details: footsy.in
— Priyanka Shankar