It's All Heart! This Women's Group In Goa Stitches Eco-Friendly Bags & Toys
Run out of Maria Fernandes’ house in Saligao, Swadeshi Joy is a small eco-friendly venture where 11 women make everything from wine bags, soft toys, cushion covers, kiddie backpacks. With an in-house stitching unit, they’re happy to work with any fabric you give them.
What Makes It Awesome
No fancy branding, no sassy marketing… This sweet home venture is as local as it gets. Over the years, Maria has collaborated with eco-conscious folks, artisans, tailors and weavers to keep adding to their list of products. This group works with fabrics that you can give them to stitch everything from soft toys to grocery totes to hand puppets and even backpacks for kids. And above everything, most things are priced under INR 5–600. What a breath of fresh air, right?
While we didn’t particularly go looking for soft toys, the plushy elephants, dinosaurs and sea creatures had our heart. The group also makes candles, flowers out of old stockings and Christmas hangings. The ladies bring their individual creativity and skills to the table and are happy to deliver bulk orders for cushion covers, bags, toys, incense sticks, natural oils and other craft things. That said, even if you want a lone bag of a dupatta you no longer use, they can do it for a mere INR 50.
Now, if you’re someone who’s looking for supplies or customised elements for your art project or a person who tries to reuse and reduce or just someone looking for unconventional gifts for the little ones, Maria and her gang of hardworking elves are just the people to call. We ourselves couldn't resist getting a sea horse and a star fish which now hang in our drawing room, in all their cute handmade glory. These set us back by INR 300.
While it’s general whereabouts are marked on Google Maps, you’ll have to walk a little ahead of the Saligao market to find it. Look for a big board on your right if you’re going from the Saligao circle side.