With Mum's sustainability report, we welcome 2022. We make delightfull, unique, handmade and sustainable products for you, dear customers. Just a reminder on why we exist, why we do this work. Ity is because of the story behind Mum's products. That is why we do exist.
We base our heart on ”grass root” sustainability, which supports human rights, social justice and green practices.
Each Mum’s product is a unique piece of art mixing contemporary design and traditional Indian and South African handcraft. Each Mum’s is signatured by the artisan who made it. Our focus is to improve people’s living standards in small communities and rural areas, villages. We provide work, income with what parent’t may pay their kids go to school. We support the whole community as all Mum’s is done locally.
In India wool is from local sheep which are farmed by the local community and this creates extra income for the community. Sheep is sheared traditionally by hand, ass it is friendly for the animal, even a slow process. Most of the local wool is dyed by plant based colours in the villages, and also plants are collected locally, from the surroundings of the artisan villages.
In South Africa material is we use is recycled. Lampshades from recycled plastic bottles collected at the beaches, washed carefully by hand, other people’s rubbish turns to treasure. Telephone wire is a left over material which we buy. Recycled cotton is collected at local t shirt factory and it is leftover material which otherwise would be thrown in rubbish. In South Africa, where Mum’s originally ijn 2006 began, our collab workshops are very organized with fair trade organization certificates, led by a local designer.
Climate change has affected the whole world. In India it has led to a temperature increase to sever loss and damage and lowered work productivity that has ravaged lives and livelihoods ( Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). Severe landslides and floods are projected to become increasingly common also in Bhadohi area, where Mum’s textiles are mostly done.
Climate change in India threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 100 million in extreme poverty. Global warming is expected to melt Africa's remaining glaciers in the next few decades, and the reduction in water essential to agricultural production will create food insecurity, poverty, and population displacement.
The income the families living in rural areas earn from Mum’s supports their everyday lives. They are most proud to be able to send their children to school, and buy services and products from the others in the area.
Mum’s never cancels its orders. Sometimes we get 2-quality or extra unordered products within freight. We negotiate a compensation for lower quality products. We buy every product we make, even the lower quality, because the work is done and we pay for it.
Financial responsibility also includes responsibility for the profitability, competitiveness and efficiency of the business. A company can only take care of its social and environmental responsibility if its financial performance is in order. Risk management is part of financial responsibility. Our artisans in India and Africa have been instructed to regularly put a small portion of their compensation into the fund, which accrues workers with the same security as a pension. The fund in India is managed by Mum’s Indian contact person who is also responsible for paying compensation and salaries to artisans. Payment is agreed and negotisated fair and equitable. Means that 51% of the payment made by Mum’s goes to the artisan and 49% to the Mum’s contact person, who is responsible for all co-operation with Mum’s and also for packaging, freight, job guidance, work supervision. This person speaks English, can write and use a computer. Each village and workshop has its own contact person. In Africa, all of our contacts are local artists and designers. With their work, they secure their future.
SOCIAL IMPACT AND ADOPTION
Mum’s started as a socially engaged communal art project in 2006 and has slightly developed to a social enterprise mixing contemporary design with Indian and African handicraft. We make beautiful things with a beautiful story, and our products bring joyful and high quality interior items to our customers and artisans. Each and every Mum's product employes an artisan, as every Mum's is made per an order only. We do not wamt to produce extra things in stock, things which people do not need nor buy. As we make all custom, every Mum's product has got a home waiting for it. Every Mum's in kind of adopted, waited for a long time, finally received.
TRANSPARENT AND VERY SHORT SUPPLY CHAIN
Our supply chain is short and transparent. Basically, there are only three moving parts in the production chain: the craftsman, the labor supervisor in the partner country, and Mum's in Finland. We know who manufactures our product and where and under what working conditions the product is made. We know from which sheep the wool is wound and where the sheep graze. We know where the plants for dyeing the wool all natural are locally collected. If we receive a large order from a retailer where a large amount of dyed wool is needed, then we will order such larger batches from a local mill where the wool is dyed in larger batches. This dyeing also takes place in the vicinity and by hand, but not in the village of artisans, like in single ans smaller amounts of carpets and textiles. We know where recycled materials are sourced for our products and we know who collects the materials. We pay for collecting materials. Our production is based on the requirements and principles of Fair Trade.
We want to make end on fast fashion. We are here to design and produce high quality handmade products that serve their purpose for a long time. All materials at Mum’s are always local and we pay special attention to minimize transportation emissions. Wool is taken to the village on bicycles, and recycled plastic collected by walking at the beaches, by hand. We use local materials because of environment. In India for example there are heaps of imported wool from New Zealand, wjhich is sold veruy cost effective and bulk. It would make also our rugs less of cost. But the environmental impact of the seafreight to India + trasnport emissions of trucks traveliing around India and taking wool to markets,. It does not serve the environment. We do not see it as a good choice. When wool is local it is also klnd for the environment.
We always strive to minimize the environmental impact of our products, from the grassroot- level to its final transport for the customer. So far, we have been able to influence packaging materials and, of course, manufacturing and how it is done responsibly. We post goods in re-used, still clean cardboard boxes. We add a note on top of the package stating that the package has been used once and is still therefore quite usable. We avoid any extra plastic where possible, and we pack everyhting as tight as possible. Big rugs are folded and smaller ones rolled. We still need to pack single rugs in plastic because of the long freight. Smaller rugs are packed singularly in bigger parcels, wrapped in material made or recycled plastic. This material is not water proof though so that is why we need still need to pack the rugs in plastic. We are constantly aiming to improve and find a material replacing plastic waste. A freight trip from the manufacturing countries to Finland is the biggest emission for us.
LOCAL MATERIALS NATURAL OR RECYCLED, COLOURS PLANT BASED
Our materials are always local. In India wool is from local sheep and sheep farming gives extra income for the artisan's community. Sheep wander free and are sheared traditionally by hand. This is most animal friendly way to get the wool. We also use other natural materials like bamboo fibre, as bamboo is a renewable resource and rattan as well, growing at least 6 meters per a year, as well silk which is from silk worm. These materials are all eco friendly and ecological and suitable also for allergic persons. We use no chemicals making our rugs, for example. Our basket are handmade using recycled cotton and baskets have got leather handles which is left over material from local leather factory, collected by it's quality. Wool is dyed by hand and traditionally. There are many plants around the village area and people go and garther plants and roots for dyeing the wool with plant based colours. Our outdoor rugs are handmade using a very special durable fibre created from recycled plastic bottles.
In Africa we use recycled plastic bottles, collect them at the beaches ( cleaning the beaches at the same time). These bottles arewashed by hand and cut into shapes and a series of design lampshades is created in collab with Heath Nash artisans in Cape town. We also use telephone wiere as a material and buy is at a local telephone factory, which sells it's leftover wires. Textiles are handmade of recycled cotton, which we collect at a t-shirt factory in Cape Town. This material would otherwise be thrown in rubbish.
NORDIC DESIGN MAKE THE GOOD THINGS HAPPEN
Nordic designers, Nordic style contemporary, refressing and joyful ideas are at the core of Mum’s design. One does not need to shine to be beautiful, but we ourselves think Mum's collectiojn is stunning. Mum's collection is designed by famous artists and designers, mainly from Finland, but also from other Nordic countries and also from far away in France and Spain. Our designers share the same values, understand how Mum's works and want to support ethical values in design. We have a priciledge to collab with fanbtastic and lovely people and great artista and designers like Tomi Leppänen, Jenni Rope, Jenni Tuominen, Paavo Halonen, Saana and Olli, Pasi Kärkkäinen-Tunkelo, Susanna Vento, Maija Louekari, Giada Ganassin, Trendstefan, Ricardo Cavolo, among others.
FUTURE SEEMS BRIGHT
The future promises more light and joy! This work inspires as during these yearsfrom 2006 Mum's has slightly turned from a communal art project to a sustainable design company. Today we are priviledged to work in responsible business profitable for everyone. We are not trying to get rich on this, but to act reasonably so that the business is profitable for everyone. We have succeeded in that, over the years. Mum's is an inspiration, as we want to make things better, kinder for people and environment all the time, development inspires. We have artisans in developing countries waiting for us to give them a chance to work for us. for you. We try to do our best to market and bring up the responsibility of our work. We want to promote responsibility, support responsible values and make things visible for our clients. Mum's started as visual artist, art teacher and mother of four kids mother Outi Puro´s personal community art project in South Africa in 2006. We still carry the same values. Over the years we have added new partners and workshops, even in new countries. In 2022, our artisan network will extend to Africa, India, Bolivia and Cambodia. We are currently building new patterns of co-operation in India and South Africa with local Fair Trade member companies.
THANK YOU AND GREEETINGS FROM MUM
A big Thank You dear friends, supporters, reporters, designers, collaborators. You are important. Please scroll down this page. There's a cup of coffee and slice of traditional Finnish "archipelago bread" for you. Made it myself for you, to say THANK YOU.
Enjoy your time ( and coffee) with Mum's <3
mum of Mum's