Ethos is a fancy way of saying ethics - a guiding set of beliefs or ideals.
When it comes to seeking out artisans, employing them to make Nomadic Citizen products, collaborating on designs, and bringing those designs to you -- these are the 10 things we believe in.
Working with small artisan groups
We are committed to working with small artisan groups, initiatives, organizations and family businesses. The artisans we work with are often practising a craft that has been passed down for several generations within their family and, because of the prevalence of fast fashion, is a technique that is at risk of dying out as younger generations decide to leave the family business to learn different skills. Often, because of their small scale production size and remote locations, these artisans are in greater need of support and consistent, reliable, employment. By providing them with on-going work, we help increase their ability to earn a sustainable living - which helps them to not only feel empowered but also helps them to pull themselves out of poverty. It allows us to support the preservation of crafting techniques that have survived hundreds of years. When this is seen by younger generations of the family, they are able to see it as a viable source of income and an an art form worth preserving.
When possible, we choose to support and empower women artisans. We believe, and studies have shown, that when women are supported an entire family and community is empowered. It's a total domino effect
Fair Trade Principles
We believe that sustainable development can be fostered, and indeed fueled, by businesses that are grounded in principles of fairness, respect, and social and environmental responsibility. For this reason, we operate using a model that provides fair wages and supports safe work environments. The artisans we work with earn above fair trade wages - anywhere from 2x to 4x the local average - and because of their small size are able to work from home or in a communal centre.
Local, natural, materials
Whenever possible, Nomadic Citizen products are made using materials that are local to the communities they are made in and with natural dyes. Sustainability is important to us and by choosing materials that do little harm to the environment, in their production, transport, and usage, we hope to do our small part.
Quality Over Quantity
Our products are made by hand in small batches. Choosing a handmade process with small batch sizes allows us to pay closer attention to every detail - from production to final delivery to you - in a way that mass produced products can't
Wabi Sabi is the Japanese concept of finding beauty in the imperfect. All of our products are made by hand, one at a time, using centuries old techniques. With this comes natural imperfections. No two products, even with the same design created by the same person, are identical. By choosing a handmade process we've accepted that each product may have slight imperfections; we think that this contributes to the uniqueness of each piece. Having said that, Nomadic Citizen products are meticulously crafted by artisans who are true masters of their craft. We take pride in each and every Nomadic Citizen product and think that you will too.
We love to travel. We love to explore lands and cultures different than our own. We believe that wandering outside your comfort zone is one way to learn, grow, and appreciate the world and the people who inhabit it. We are firm believers that travel is one of life's greatest pleasures. We also realize that, for many, to be able to travel is a luxury. We are humbled that through our wanderlust we're able to bring a small bit of that appreciation back to you in a small but tangible way - whether it be a pillow you rest your head on, a rug you admire each time you step on it, or a basket you reach for each time you run your errands or coral random odds and ends into it as you tidy up. We hope each time you see your Nomadic Citizen piece you're reminded of its story and the story of the people who created it - and that that ignites a passion for wanderlust and exploration within you.
We try our best to tell the stories of our products, how they're made, where they're from, and the people who make them. We think the more of the story you know, the better connected you'll feel to the product and the more pride you'll take in owning it.
We recognize that the artisans we work with are the experts of their craft. We trust and rely on them to create products that are made to last for years and value their design input and their desire to ensure their stories are told through the patterns they weave. However, we also value collaboration. We regularly challenge our artisans to think outside of the box and to work with new colourways they may be unfamiliar with or to create new styles and patterns we envision but need them to bring to life. It's a back and forth process that usually results in something magical that we are very proud of.
Handcrafted, Ethical, Beautifully Designed ≠ Unaffordable, Unattainable
It's important to us that not only are our products ethically made, handcrafted, and well-designed but also that they are priced affordably so that you, the Nomadic Citizen customer, can actually afford them - not just admire them. Because, after all, without you we wouldn't be able to do any of this.