Ark Imports has been in business since 1985, always keeping the welfare of our suppliers and their staff as a top priority. We believe that doing business should be beneficial to all parties involved. We make sure that our producers and artisans overseas are paid fair wages (in their local context) and have a safe and healthy work place to do their job! We have always conducted our business in a fair and responsible manner.
Each year we take two trips to Nepal to personally visit our artisans and producers in order to maintain a personal relationship with them and to ensure that proper health and working conditions are being met. Our trips also give us the opportunity to get first hand feedback from our artisans and producers so that we can make any necessary changes if required. We are proud of the longstanding relations we share with our friends in this beautiful Himalayan land.
The culture and traditions in Nepal are very important to us. Knitting is a time-honored Gitatradition with cultural meaning and purpose in the Himalayas. By supporting handcraft artisans we promote traditional skills that are native to the Nepalese culture. We also work with our artisans to ensure that traditional patterns and fabrics are incorporated throughout our collections so that we can help preserve and display aspects of the Nepalese culture to the world.
Many of our hand knit items give men and women with families the opportunity to work in the comfort of their own homes. In many cases this facilitates their lives immensely as there is no need to travel from their own villages into town to work in factories or spend time away from their children. This has been especially beneficial to mothers with small children who enjoy working from home and spending time with their children at the same time.
Our investment in the well being of our friends in Nepal goes beyond their working environment. Since we started doing business in Nepal about 25 years ago, we have been helping the community through various programs and child sponsorships. Noah, the owner of Ark Imports was one of the founding members of the Joy Foundation in Nepal, a nongovernmental organization with the vision of giving joy to the Nepalese people. The Joy Foundation focused primarily on providing eye care to people in low-income areas who could not afford treatment. Later it expanded to health camps, training programs, scholarships and much more. Today we are proud to be a part of the Pranamaya-Ganesh Bahadur Chitrakar Memorial foundation, a nongovernmental organization that contributes immensely to the impoverished Nepalese community through social programs, health camps, training programs, scholarships and environmental health and safety projects. Ark Imports also provides three annual scholarships to the Strongsten Bhrikuti Boarding High School and the Tibetan Children’s Education Welfare Fund. These institutions provide training, education, medical attention and a safe environment to underprivileged Tibetan youth.
Recently Ark Imports has joined the Fair Trade Federation in an effort to promote a sustainable and global economic system where purchasing and production choices are made with everyone’s well being in mind. By working as a team with our suppliers and artisans overseas, we can create a world where everyone has viable options to meet their economic needs. By joining the Fair Trade Federation, we are joining forces with other business owners who choose to run their business in an ethical manner. We hope that this will bring more awareness to the importance of a Fair Trade environment for all producers and for all producers and work as a catalyst for other businesses to adapt a Fair Trade business policy.