Video: IKEA designer Sarah Fager working in India

“The only way out of poverty is to have a decent job, and I am really proud to be part of that,” says IKEA designer Sarah Fager. Sarah recently returned from Delhi where she began work on a new collection. Due to be launched in 2019, the collection is being developed with the social enterprise Rangsutra. In this film, she shares what it means to her to be working on a project with social entrepreneurs.

Rangsutra employs mostly women. With the money the artisans earn they can afford to send all their children to school – not only their sons and improve their day to day living situation.

Rangsutra gathers together thousands of artisans into small co-operatives. They nurture local handicrafts by producing quality handcrafted products, mostly from textiles. It is rooted in the craft tradition of India.

It’s a dimension of product development that we never think of otherwise

“I find it really interesting to work with mass production. To go to a machine blown glass factory and there isn’t a single person who is working, only machines, it’s fantastic. And in contrast to travel to India and meet a woman who is doing embroidery by hand, it gives me a lot of energy,” says Sarah Fager.

All work with social entrepreneurs is done by hand so the products can only be produced in small volumes. The parameters for designing products are different. It is important that Sarah’s design is not too monotone so the work for the artisans is interesting and challenging. “It’s a dimension of product development that we never think of otherwise,” she says.

While in Delhi Sarah also approved the samples for the HEMGJORD collection due to be launched in March 2017.