From its inception, Fazl has been about love; loving orphaned children and loving local Himalayan artisans, but also the love between two people who ended up being partners in both life and business. Vanessa and Mike met in North India while on a trip volunteering at orphanages. This changed their lives. In 2015, they moved from Canada to a tiny Himalayan single-road village so that they could serve the orphanage children long-term.
For many years, Mike had long harboured a dream of setting up a social enterprise to help the orphanages. While in the bazaar one day, Vanessa held up a pair of handmade, local socks and asked, “What if we could not only support the children, but also the women who make these too?”
Inspiration struck and six months after their move to India, with the help of their business partners, they crammed 400 socks into vacuum-sealed bags, stuffed them into their suitcases, and flew back to Canada to test the market. The socks were a hit!
Fazl products help support orphaned and destitute children in India with food, shelter, education and clothing. What’s more, fair trade wages are given to women in need who hand make every item. During production season, hundreds of such artisans in need are empowered to work from home or at the Fazl centre, where there is a safe and supportive work environment.
Fazl is also certified with the Fair Trade Federation.