Website, partnerships spur environmentally-sustainable livelihoods

Published on October 1, 2015


When Rashmi Bharti and Rashnish Jain moved from Delhi to the Himalyan region of Kumaon, their intent was to install solar electrification panels to create a sustainable source of energy for rural villagers. They quickly realized that sustainable electricity isn’t possible without sustainable income. They created Avani to provide villagers with a livelihood beyond their small farms. By offering jobs to villagers creating eco-friendly textiles, dyes and electrification systems, Avani shares Erol’s commitment to environmental sustainability and equality of chances. The organization also demonstrates a deep respect for the traditional woven craftsmanship that is a hallmark of the region. Artisans use plant-based dyes to weave products that represent the local Kumaon culture.

Fondation Erol provided in-kind support through a contract with our strategic partners, Amplifier Strategies, to refresh and update Avani’s website. The goal of the new website is to highlight the organization’s focus on sustainability. It also displays vibrant images of the entire cycle of production, from power stations to tints, dyes and silks. These textiles are used for eco-friendly clothing, accessories, paints and cosmetics.

In addition to design services, we supported the initial development and planning of a long-term strategy for scaling Avani’s tints and dyes manufacturing program, which will make Avani’s dyes available to global buyers. We also facilitated connections between Avani and commercial buyers who are interested in purchasing these dyes for use in eco-friendly products.

By focusing on eco-friendly forms of supplementary income for families that were previously dependent solely upon small farms, Avani has created a viable system that combines environmentally sustainable energy with economically sustainable jobs. Today, Avani works with 1,100 villagers in more than 100 villages spread across two regions. Another outcome of Avani’s success is that the age of marriage for girls has been delayed by up to 10 years, because they now have a source of income and sense of purpose.

Fondation Erol has helped Avani expand to include more families and further develop its system through design and strategic support. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to Avani’s expansion and honored to help this organization grow sustainably. We look forward to witnessing Avani’s continued growth.

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