Quiet and hard working, Ram is our Cutting Master, and cuts most of our Internet orders. He has a photographic memory for all our prints, and magically knows where all the patterns are, thus ensuring endless queries from other staff throughout the day!
Originally from Nepal, Ram started working for us as a cleaner. He soon graduated to watchman, then cook, and then cutter - a job he has excelled at; so much so, he is now head of his section. His gentle yet practical demeanour has made him popular with the staff and tailors alike and he has twice been voted "Staff person of the year".
Have you ever wondered who labels and folds all your Eternal Creation clothes so neatly? Meet Jagdish, our wonderful 'packing man'.
Jagdish is a local Gaddi from Khanyara (a small village about 10 minutes away from Dharamsala). He is one of our longest serving employees, and prior to working with us he worked as a stone cutter (on building sites), but was unable to support his family on the meagre wages.
Initially Jagdish's hands were so rough and calloused that the fabric would catch on his fingers - especially the silk - and he had a terrible time trying to fold anything! He has since mastered the tricky art of folding to perfection, and has saved enough to build his own house.
Israil is the talented Embroidery Master at Eternal Creation. Israil comes from a remote village in Jharkand, a newly formed state that was formerly part of Bihar in North India. but at 13 he moved to West Bengal and began his training in embroidery under a local embroidery master. Five years later, and just 18 years old, Israil moved to Delhi where he worked as an embroiderer for 11 years. Whilst most Indians from village backgrounds find Delhi (pronounced Dilli in Hindi) to be chaotic and overwhelming, Israil however, very much enjoyed his time in the Capital. Israil says that in Hindi, 'dil' means heart and that 'Dilli' means "good heart".
He enjoys all of the work he does, but his favourite pieces are the fine and detailed floral designs. Israil uses an old-style embroidery machine and completes all of the designs free-hand. The machine takes just one thread at a time and it must be changed for every colour represented in a particular design.
Israil enjoys working at Eternal Creation because he has more free time and less stress, but he misses his wife and children, and regularly makes the 36 hour train trip to see them. He would like to bring his family to Dharamsala, but being Muslim he wants his children to learn Urdu and Arabic, which, at this time, is not available at schools in Dharamsala.
She likes to try new garments and enjoys the challenge of the latest designs, although she says she is scared of working with silk! She's well respected on the badminton court, winning the ladies singles tournament, and dreams of re-marrying and travelling the world with a handsome man at her side!
Her favourite garments are the girls and womens dresses and the womens kimonos.
Famous for bags and hats, Ramesh works slowly and carefully, and enjoys making complicated accessories that the other tailors don't want to make.
Ramesh is from a small picturesque village about 20 minutes from the workshop, and previously worked in a small tailoring shop in Dharamsala. Although he enjoyed the atmosphere of the lively market, he says the hours were too long- the tailors were required to complete the garments for the customers no matter how unreasonable the time frame. He says he appreciates the job security he has now, as well as the regular hours, as he is married with two small children.
Prior to joining the workshop, Ismail worked as a tailor in a large factory in Delhi for over 10 years, and is one of our most experienced employees. Originally from West Bengal, 1500 km from Dharamsala, he comes from a family of ten children, most of whom are tailors!
He's responsible for training many of the new tailors and specialises in jersey and knit wear. He says he prefers the environment of the workshop compared to Delhi: he feels relaxed here and able to express himself, feeling like he is part of a large family.
Ismail's head of the downstairs tailoring room, and although the position commands much authority and respect, he much prefers sewing to giving orders! He's also one of the stars of the workshop football team, and is the first on the field most weekends!
Bablu is an only child, and his father died in a fight when he was six months old. He learnt to sew when he was ten, and has been working as a tailor ever since, supporting his wife and three children as well as his mother, who doesn't have access to a pension.
Since working for Eternal Creation, Bablu worked as a sample tailor, and Frances has now taught him how to make patterns. He's extremely talented at this, having a good feel for the shape and structure of garments after so many years of making them. He plans to have his own tailoring business one day in Fatepur village, where his mother lives, so he can be close to her in her old age.
Shamin is one of our oldest and best tailors, and now works with Frances in the sampling room, helping to make the new designs each season.
He has a good sense of humour and loves Dharamsala as he has a good job and enjoys the weather, compared to his home in Bengal where ""it's far too hot all year round"". From Fatepur village in West Bengal. Shamin came to Dharamsala looking for work, and has since bought his two brothers and eight cousins to the workshop, providing us with a very valuable and talented workforce!
Eternal Creation is a member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.
The Visible Factory is a full member of the Fair Trade Forum India (affiliated with the WFTO).
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