Making an Impact Through Traditional Crafts
Our styles made with glass beads originate in India, a country rich in artisanal crafts. Glass jewelry has even been traced back to ancient civilizations in the Indus Valley! For many, glass bead making represents more than a path toward livelihood–it is a generations-old tradition that is integral to their family’s heritage and their community’s story.
Our product team collaborates directly with our Artisan Partner to ensure these traditions are respected while supporting safe and fair employment in an industry that is often exploited.
The Creation of Dignified Work
About 30 years ago, our Artisan Partner crossed paths with glass bead producers in a small town outside of Delhi called Purdilpur. Many of them told stories about mistreatment from local shop keepers who would falter on payments to the Artisans.
Our Artisan Partner knew they could help by providing consistent orders to this group of bead makers. Their production quickly grew as they worked together to create new designs. Today, around 25 glass bead Artisans are employed! Our Artisan Partner also created a learning center in the community to support the education of the Artisans’ children who would otherwise be vulnerable to child labor.
The process of making each glass bead requires skilled hands, keen attention to detail, and teamwork. Artisans begin with glass rods made of silica, which they melt over a furnace or foot-operated flame to shape them into colorful beads for Noonday pieces.
Safety and training are of the utmost importance. Our Artisan Partner takes care to educate the Artisans about proper ventilation, and they provide first aid and fire safety training to all the glass bead makers.
Meet Rajender and Urmila
This husband-and-wife duo have crafted glass beads for our Artisan Partner since 2006. Rajender had to drop out of school as a teenager to help support his family through agricultural work. One day, Rajender met a few young men his age who made a living through glass bead making. He decided to learn the craft himself and has now been a professional bead maker for two decades.
Urmila married Rajender at the age of 18 and began learning the craft of bead making to help support their growing family. “In our society, the girls get married at a young age,” she says, “We had no choice. In those times, girls were not encouraged to go to school. But I will make sure that my daughter is able to complete her studies.”
Rajender and Urmila’s children are now all in their teens. While they complete their education, Rajender and Urmila have taught each of them the skillset of glass bead making so they may keep the tradition alive. “We are thankful to Noonday Collection for their continuous support,” says Rajender, “It helps us to take care of our family. We hope glass bead making will continue for a long time to come.”
When you purchase styles like the Glass Ring Bar, the Fern Necklace, the Flare Necklace, and the Orb Necklace, you support Artisans like Rajender and Urmila, their children, and dozens of other families who work with our Artisan Partner.
Meet Carla Rosas
Carla is a part of the Marketing Team at Noonday Collection and loves to write about social justice and how fair-trade fashion makes an impact across the globe. She also enjoys traveling as much as possible, spending time outside with her husband and rescue pups, and whipping up new recipes in the kitchen.