Fashionistas unfold women's power

 Fashionistas unfold women's power by buying 600 Secret Sari Dress's for wearing on beaches globally from Summer 2017 #unfoldingwomenspower

We did it!

On 9th Sep 2016 we successfully raised £11,677 of £3,000 target with 354 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

We are delighted to have hit our target of £10,000 which means 60 young women will be trained and will earn one months salary each. With four hours left to go we would like to secure training in a seventh safe house, so we are upping our stretch target to £12,650.

Thank you so much for all of the support and please keep pledging and sharing.

Calling all fashionistas to unfold women's power

Be one of the beautiful women of the world who will wear a Secret Sari Dress in Summer 2017

Pre-order by choosing a campaign reward

A beautiful Summer dress that folds into itself will be yours

Show the world you are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside

The production of each Secret Sari Dress empowers women in India

Read on to find out product costs, specifics, how it empowers and the full story behind the campaign

Cost: £18 per dress + P & P

Early bird offer - £15 per dress + P & P. This will be offered until we reach 500 orders.

How does production of the dresses empower women in India ?

Secret Pillow Project has partnered with an international NGO with a grassroots focus that successfully supports young women who are survivors of human trafficking. These women are rescued from a life of sexual slavery in brothels, in some cases thousands of miles away from home. After rescue the young women live in a protected environment whilst their individual cases come to court and a safe passage home is arranged for them.  The vision of the international NGO is for these women to become contributing members of society and live happy and safe lives.

Once this campaign is complete Secret Pillow Project will place an order for the Secret Sari Dresses. For every 100 orders, training can be held in a new safe home. There are up to six safe homes located in Kolkata,  Bangalore and Mumbai where workshops could be run. 10 young women will be trained in each of the safe homes and they will each receive a minimum of 10 orders. This means when they move on from the safe home they will have money saved away of an equivalent to 1 months wage. This would be a wonderful reality for the young women. 

Overall target: The target for this crowdfunding campaign is £3000. This would result in training taking place in two safe homes and 20 women being trained. Once this target is reached a series of stretch targets  will be added up to a total of £9,000. By reaching this amount each of the safe homes would be able to run training and 60 young women would have orders to fulfill. Wow! 

 The International NGO supporting the young women will remain anonymous throughout the campaign, production and distribution of the product to for safety and protection of the young women.

Campaign Rewards:

The rewards start off with an order of one Secret Sari Dress, then move into bundles of dresses and then onto generous donations towards the development of our work training and empowering women in some of India's most hard to reach places. If there are questions about the rewards, please check the question and answer section at the bottom of this campaign or send an enquiry.

Secret Sari Dress in more detail:

Every Secret Sari Dress will be sent out with a small slip of paper inside with a number on. This number will be linked to the young woman who made it. For protection purposes names of the young women cannot be shared. The slip of paper will be stapled to a post card with the address of Secret Pillow Project UK. We hope all new owners of Secret Sari Dresses will attach a stamp and write a short thank you note to the young women who made it including the country where the Secret Sari Dress ended up. These will be sent onto the relevant safe home and shared with the young woman. Discovering how far their products have gone and how happy and proud somebody is to be wearing one will mean a great deal to the prducers and give them a increased feeling of self worth.

Please back our empowering and beautiful campaign NOW

#unfoldingwomenspower

Once you back the campaign Secret Pillow Project will contact you asking you to ask a friend or friends to follow your lead and pre-order themselves a Secret Sari Dress too. We could order up to 2000 dress - can you imagine? We believe anything is possible if we focus and work together.

Read the full story behind the campaign

My name is Fritha,  I am the leader of a global project called Secret Pillow Project. (I am the woman modelling the Secret Sari Dress at the beginning of this campaign page).

A Secret Pillow is a pillow that unfolds into a blanket. Their production and sale empowers women in India. Established in 2014 Secret Pillow Project has been empowering women and delighting customers with clever, useful, charming, foldable and purposeful Secret Pillows for almost two years.

Through our activities with the project we have accessed a network of powerful change makers in India, including the international NGO we are working with on this campaign.

Through discussions with the NGO I imagined the young women waiting to go home and my immediate question was what do they do while they wait. Some of the young women wait for years. I asked if they would like to be trained as Secret Pillow Producers. We discussed it at length and came up with a number of reasons why Secret Pillow production would simply not work.

I abandoned the idea but the young women and their stories remained in my heart. 18 months later I was driving through a slum town outside Agra near the Taja Mahal. It was 5am in the morning, the car turned down a street and suddenly there were people and colours everywhere. I looked around madly and realised we were in the middle a secondhand sari market. I said 'stop the car!' and jumped out.

The sounds, colours and smells were incredible. Men were  walking everywhere with heavy sacks on their backs full of beautiful saris. It was an unforgetable scene.

I sat down on a little stool in front of a big weighing machine and was immediately given a cup of hot steaming chai. I had read about the early morning sari markets and dreamed of going to one for ages. The saris were piled high in front of me and the men were ready to show me whichever one I wanted to see regardless of how low down it was in the huge, heavy piles. I managed to explain what my favourite colours were and off we went. I pointed and they opened up the saris one after another.  It was stunning. 10 minutes later I walked away with five beautiful saris for the grand price of 500 rupees which is about £7. I hopped back in the car and sat very quietly in the back with my saris on my lap. We turned around and drove away from the market.

As we left the city fields replaced buildings on either side of the road and then I saw the colours again. On either side of me were fields and fields of wet saris with women dotted amongst them crouched on the ground waiting for them to dry. It was magical.

I looked at the women and felt the saris in my hands and my heart reminded me of the young women in the cities. I made a promise that I would think of something simple and beautiful for them to make out of secondhand saris while they waited to go home.

I knew two things about secondhand saris.

1. The secondhand sari trade is huge and employs many people on a daily basis - people to collect the saris that are to be recycled, people to sort them, people to wash them, fold them, dry them, iron them, move them, stack them and finally to weigh and sell them.

2. I knew the international NGO supporting the young women I had connected with a few years back had great contacts in the secondhard sari trade because they ran a production unit for trafficking survivors where they make beautiful blankets out of saris. 

So all I needed now was a simple, easy to make product that would fit into the Secret Pillow Project range. It would have to be clever, charming, foldable, useful and purposeful.

I turned to one of my oldest friends, Turquorise Amy. She is one of London's top handbag samplers and has worked for a number of the world's fashion greats. I gave her a sari and said "design me something that I can wear and that folds into itself."

Within 2 hours, she had designed and made by hand the Secret Sari Dress and was dancing around the beach in it. Here is Turquoise Amy in the first Secret Sari Dress ever made! Simple to make, foldable and beautiful.

I took the dress and presented it to the international NGO. They took it away and I waited.

Green Light

Within two days they had come back to me and told me that it a great product and they were confident that with training and support the young women could make them and most importantly, love making them.

I was really surprised to get the yes so fast and felt that even though everyone is away in August, holidaying and recharging their batteries, I simply had to run this campaign immediately. So here it is and thank you for supporting it.

To find out more about Secret Pillow Project, please visit www.secretpillow.org.uk

Questions and Answers

What it the full detail of the Secret Sari Dress?

  • Cost £15 for early bird (up to 500 orders) £18 thereafter
  • A dress for Summertime made of a secondhand vintage hand sari
  • Made in India
  • Production empowers its producer
  • Each dress is unique & made by hand
  • Fabric design - chosen by buyer
  • Cotton or synthetic fabric
  • Sizes small/medium (UK size 10/12) medium/large (UK size 14/16)
  • Hand wash in cold water

How will I choose which Secret Sari Dress I want?

  • In May 2017 you will receive an email telling you the time and date that the Secret Sari Dresses will be ready to be picked. You will be asked to put this in your diary. 
  • You will log onto your computer 5 minutes before this time and await an email from us. Once the email arrives you will follow a link to a special collection page on www.secretpillow.org.uk and see all the available dresses, be told what they are made of (cotton or synthetic) and what size they are. Then you can use your voucher to order the one/s you like. (All dresses are one-offs, once a dress is chosen there will not be another like it).

When will I receive my Secret Sari Dress?

  • Pre-order now for June 2017 delivery
  • Perfect as Christmas gifts - printable vouchers (with unique code) will be emailed directly after campaign to print off and give in a Christmas card

What is the breakdown of the product prize?

  • 250 rupees  (FX dependant) approx. £3 goes to the producer
  • 250 rupees for sari fabric and training by international NGO
  • Surplus covers shipping, duty and VAT and will contribute to running the costs of Secret Pillow Project UK (core functions: marketing, finance, logistics)
  • Secret Pillow Project Ltd operates as a social business and all profits are reinvested to develop the project to empower more women.

Please can you explain the postage and packing costs?

We charge £1.50 per Secret Sari Dress to pick it and pack it.

Postage is as follows:

  • To post out a Secret Sari Dress in the UK 2nd class it costs £1.20 
  • To post out  2 - 12 Secret Sari Dresses to the same address it is £2.80
  • Any European or International order of 5 or more Secret Sari Dresses will be invoiced prior to delivery in May 2017 in order to ensure you get the best postage deal
  • To post out 1 or 2 Secret Sari Dress to Europe 2nd class is costs £3.70
  • To post out 1 or 2 Secret Sari Dress to outside Europe and UK 2nd class it costs £5.00
  • To post out 3 Secret Sari Dress to Europe 2nd class is costs £5.15
  • To post out 3 Secret Sari Dress to outside Europe and UK 2nd class it costs £7.90
  • To post out 4 Secret Sari Dress to Europe 2nd class is costs £6.60
  • To post out 4 Secret Sari Dress to outside Europe and UK 2nd class it costs £10.75
  • Any Eurpean or International order of 5 or more Secret Sari Dresses will be invoiced prior to delivery in May 2017 in order to ensure you get the best postage deal

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