Kasu is on a mission to make the world a better place by the shopping and travel choices we make. Through our shop, Kasu Emporium, we import fair trade, hand made and ethically sourced products. We are committed to being a part of the change to create sustainable incomes for our makers.
We also like to share our good fortune: 10% of our profits go to help people living in poverty.
Our handmade Kasu Tours take small groups to the lesser known regions of India guided by strong sustainability, ethical and child protection policies
India is home to a large number of tribal groups with a total population of about 70 million. Each tribal community is rich in its own culture, costume, folk stories and artistic expression.
The crafts of India have been valued throughout time and much effort has been made by governments and patrons to preserve this wealth of material culture. Despite these efforts, rising costs of materials and supplies have placed many of these craft communities in financial struggle and decline.
At KASU EMPORIUM, we continue to source tribal and traditional crafts where the artisans are paid fairly. The modest collection in store now includes beautiful tribal work from different states of India: Dhokra bronze artefacts and jewelery from Chhatisgargh and Orissa, embroidered shawls from West Bengal, Kantha stitched vintage textiles from villages in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, repurposed embroidered costumes made into bags from Western Gujarat, Gond art from Madhya Pradesh and Madhubani paintings from Bihar.
Dhokra bronze antique lock in the shape of Hanuman
We are happy to announce that our gorgeous bags made from recycled tribal textiles have finally arrived!
If you remember the 70s with a fondness for cheesecloth and embroidery, are an aging hippy, a nouveau hippy or just appreciate authentic tribal textiles: this is the real deal!
The ladies of western Gujarat, India, have a long tradition of embellishing their clothes with fine stitchery and mirror work. After the costume is no longer usable, the textiles are still highly valued as they have taken years to create, so they are recycled into new creations like these great little bags we have in store.
Our RetroGlam necklaces, made by moi, Beverley Bloxham, are made from no ordinary buttons and buckles. These babies have kept themselves nice down through the ages (well, from the mid 20th century), dodging the needle and thread, sidestepping cardies and coats, frocks and all manner of frippery to arrive clean and virginal in my button box. Maintaining their roots, they sport their vintage credentials in the pastel palette and strong geometric designs.
Pashmina fibre was originally designed to keep baby cashmere goats warm in the Himalayas.
The Changthangi or Pashmina goat is a breed of goat from Tibet or neighbouring areas in the Ladakhi Changthang, usually raised for meat or cashmere wool – known as pashmina once woven.
These goats grow a thick, warm fleece. They survive on grass in Ladakh, where temperatures plunge to as low as −20 °C . These goats provide the wool for Kashmir’s famous Pashmina shawls.
Note: the word ‘pashmina’ has been purloined by some manufacturers to describe any long scarf or shawl in any fibre including synthetics. This can be very confusing to buyers. True pashmina is the fibre from the young Changthangi or Pashmina goat.
Wash your precious pashmina product the same way you would your own hair: a gentle handwash in warm water and shampoo. To dry, squeeze dry inside a towel and dry flat in shade.
Rajasthan in western India is well known for many things, block printed fabrics being one of them. In my research for fair trade goods, I had found a small organisation in Bagru village outside Jaipur, where the artisans are paid very well, are shareholders and receive annual dividends. I made contact with them before I left Australia and was very eager to meet the block carvers, dyers and printers at work. Bagru is known for natural dyes and hand block printing and the Chippa community there has been block printing for 350 years, developing a unique process of printing with natural vegetable dyes. Getting to Bagru village was a bit of a drama, but so worth it in the end. I had made enquiries about local buses that would take me there from Jaipur, but I had managed to get to the wrong bus stop and wasted some time for a bus that would never come. Continue reading →
Want to show off how good you look with your purchase from KASU EMPORIUM?
This is the place to do it!
If you have a photo of you (or someone else with their permission) and your purchase that would be great for THE POSERS page, please email it to email@example.com with a brief description for consideration.
To celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, we have borrowed from some of the world’s greatest lovers to share with your beloved.
The Dalai Lama advises “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay” while Lao Tzu says “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.”
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before…. Continue reading →
Thank you to all those who have purchased something from KASU EMPORIUM!
As you probably know, all sales at KASU EMPORIUM generate donations for people in need.
Our donations may take the form of buying equipment (to date, a sewing machine and a generator), education costs for a child of poor parents, school books for impoverished village schools, medical costs or many other much needed items. I have travelled extensively to meet the people we are donating to in order to ascertain that our donations are placed well.
After trading for several months now, we have delivered our first donation to The Centre for Culture and Development (CCD) in Tamil Nadu, India.
I delivered the donation personally to the Director of CCD, Mr Samy Arul, who went out immediately to buy a Merritt sewing machine, made by Singer. The machine is a sturdy treadle style as there is no electricity in the village.
Later in the day, we drove to the village of Perumbedu, near the east coast of Tamilnadu to deliver the gift. It was a rather perilous journey over rough village roads but we, and the machine, arrived safely.
The ladies were very excited to get a new sewing machine which will enable them to learn sewing skills so that they can earn a living. It was wonderful to be there to deliver our first donation it on behalf of all our KASU customers. See some smiling faces from Perumbedu village at top and left.