League of Artisans is an NGO set up to empower and advocate for skilled craftspeople who work with their hands to make functional or decorative objects linked to their culture, community, region or traditions.

The League of Artisans’ journey is rooted in two pivotal beginnings: 
The collaborative legacy of the British Council’s global programme - Crafting Futures, was the start of our journey.
With four transformative years (2019-2023) dedicated to building capacity and conducting evidence-based research in Argentina that resulted in the publication of ‘Artisan Voices: Dialogues for Sustainable Practices’, partnering with REDIT, Argentina and Craft Revival Trust, India.

‘Artisan Voices' acknowledges the role played by artisans in historical heritage, cultural identity and contemporary society. It delves into seven vital ethical principles - respect, recognition, consent, attribution, active listening, shared benefits, protection and active listening - crucial for the relationship between craftsmanship and the world. It also highlights how craft ecosystems have an impact on ethical practices such as Cultural institutions, Transmission and Education, Tourism, Technology and Co-creation. 

Brought together by an active collaboration with artisans, craft and design professionals and organisations from diverse places such as Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. You can download ‘Artisans Voices’ in English and Spanish : here

Our three co-founders from Argentina, India and the United Kingdom came together during the project,  recognising the profound gap that needed to be filled through an organisation that could truly represent artisans’ universal aspirations worldwide. These roots, and their past experiences became the springboard for creating an organisation that amplifies the voices and talents of artisans globally. They are joined
in the mission by a  Global Advisory Board of artisans and  experts.



carry somers

Carry Somers is a globally-recognised entrepreneur, activist, speaker and writer. As founder of Fashion Revolution, the world’s largest fashion activism movement, she has been instrumental in pressuring the industry to take responsibility for its social and environmental impacts. Her fashion career began accidentally in the early ‘90s when a summer holiday project grew into an award-winning brand. Supporting sustainable, rural livelihoods for artisans in the Andes, Pachacuti became a pioneer of radical supply chain transparency and the world’s first Fair Trade Certified company. Along the way, Carry has sailed from the Galapagos to Easter Island investigating microplastic and toxic chemical pollution and collaborated on a show garden for RHS Chelsea Flower Show showcasing plants that can be used to make and dye our clothes. In 2022, Business of Fashion named her one of the key people shaping the global fashion industry. She holds an MA in Native American Studies and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Keele University.



Sol Marinucci is a textile designer, cultural manager and curator. Through her work, she promotes and coordinates collaborative practices and exchanges between craft and design, with strong roots in Latin America. Her training includes a degree in Textile Design at the University of Buenos Aires, studies at Central Saint Martins, as well as learning encounters with master artisans on textile techniques in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, among others. For more than a decade (2006-2019) she was part of the organisation of the largest Design Festival in Latin America, TRImarchi, as curator and Head of International Relations. Motivated by her experience in fieldwork with indigenous peoples as co-founder of HombreLobo, she coordinated research on design and craft weaving together Argentina, Bolivia and South Asia for Crafting Futures, the British Council's global programme. Recently the book Artisans' Voices: Dialogues for Sustainable Practices was published. Her personal and professional quest encompasses an endless interest in traditions, cultural heritage, collective imaginaries, the value of the interdisciplinary and the territorial.



Ritu Sethi is editor of Global InCH, the online international journal of intangible cultural heritage. In addition she oversees the Asia InCH Encyclopedia that is globally recognized as the leading repository of online knowledge on the traditional arts, crafts, textiles and its practitioners across South Asia. She is the founder-trustee of the Craft Revival Trust. She currently serves on several policy advisory boards including - IRCI UNESCO CAT II Centre, Japan. In India she serves on the Advisory Board of the ICH committee, Ministry of Culture; National Crafts Museum, Government of India; Asia Society – Arts and Culture (South Asia), besides other institutions/committees. She has Chaired the UNESCO Consultative Body examining nominations to the urgent safeguarding list of intangible cultural heritage; was on the Steering Committee for the 12 th Five year Plan for Handlooms and Handicrafts, Planning Commission; National Museum of Man, Bhopal; Centre for Cultural Resource and Training, Ministry of Culture; advisory board UNESCO Cat II center CRIHAP in China and other institutions. Sethi has authored and edited several publications including ‘Designers Meet Artisans - A Practical Guide’ translated into Spanish and French; ‘Embroidering Futures- Repurposing the Kantha’; ‘Painters, Poets, Performers – The Patuas of Bengal,’ besides other writings.




Peru, Urubamba, Chinchero, Cuper Community, Pucamarca.
I am a weaver. I learned the backstrap loom technique and the designs of my community by watching my mother weave. We also use other weaving techniques with sticks to make scarves and shawls.

We do backstrap loom weaving as it has always been done, since before the Incas. We also use natural dyeing of wool and hand spinning in puska. All this knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation in the families, especially with the women.

We draw our inspiration from the mountains, from the connection with the sacred Apus, the lakes such as Mama Piuray, which we have in the community and which protect us. Also from the land and our work in agriculture.
Laura Chimil Bollo

Mexico, Oaxaca.
For as long as I can remember I have had the good fortune to be born to artisan parents, my father is dedicated to making huaraches and my mother to backstrap loom. My first language is Zapotec because that is what we speak in my village. I started backstrap weaving when I was 11 years old thanks to the patience of my mother who taught me. Currently I work in Texere Oaxaca, where I have had beautiful experiences and I look forward to learning more things and other communities or countries, for me it is very beautiful learning that I am acquiring.
Shehnaaj BanO

Kaithoon village, Kota district, Rajasthan, India.
Shehnaaj has been involved with all aspects of her family tradition of weaving the gossamer Kota Doria  square-checked pattern from a young age. Crafted with fine silk and cotton interspersed with metallic yarns of gold or silver, she supports her family and speaks out for the community 
"I love my work. It is our tradition and the craft of my ancestors that has been woven since the 17th century. Machines have their limitations, but handwork continues, without electricity and under adverse circumstances. I have studied till 8th grade. Earlier, the education of girls was not taken seriously in our village, but now girls weave and study alongside. Weaving gives us an income to support our education. Now families don't see their daughters as a burden anymore. Today, the girls in our village weave and support their families. Women are upholding traditional wisdom and also entering other occupations. Therefore, as a society, we are progressing, and hope to leave a more developed world to our future generations."

Elvira Espejo Ayca is a prominent indigenous artist, cultural manager and researcher. Born in the Qaqachaka ayllu (Abaroa province, Oruro, Bolivia), her practice is linked to textiles, oral tradition and poetry with countless publications. She is director of the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore (MUSEF). She received the 2020 Goethe Medal, an official decoration from the Federal Republic of Germany for her work and commitment to cultural exchange. The importance of her work is linked to the dialogue between the practice and knowledge of indigenous communities and the intersection with academia, cultural management and museums.
Petrona Luere

Santa Ana, Jujuy, Argentina.
I am an embroiderer and weaver, part of the Flor de Altea group. Our group celebrates its creation in 2019 with the purpose of recovering and preserving our ancestral culture by transmitting knowledge to future generations. We make backstrap loom fabrics, pedal loom, natural dyes and embroidery representative of this area.

Shillong, India.
Juhi Pandey is a craft and social design professional. Her core work involves facilitating community and development initiatives which take into account the demands of local ecosystems and traditional cultural knowledge focused on local indigenous fibres and natural dyes for process and product development.

An alumni of National Institute of Design(NID), Ahmedabad, India in Textile Design and National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT), Chennai, India in Fashion Design.
She started her career in the mainstream textile and garment manufacturing export industry in Mumbai. Then moved into the development sector as the project director of Tara Trust, Goa, a children’s and women’s development initiative, Director of Khamir Craft Resource Centre and Khamir Craft Society, Kutch-Gujarat, Director of Hatheli Sansthan-Barefoot College, Tilonia-Rajasthan and Technical Head of Nila House, Jaipur, a CSR initiative of JCB India.

She is currently the centre head of Centre of Excellence for Khadi in Shillong-Meghalaya. She is a visiting faculty at NID and NIFT focussed on social and service design through design thinking and system based curriculum.
Sureshkumar Maganlal Dhaiyda

Village Sahunagar Adhoi, Taluka. Bhachau Dist. Kutch, Gujarat, INDIA
Sureshkumar Maganlal Dhaiyda is a master weaver of the Tangaliya heritage weave.. A tradition that goes back over 700 years, with the weaves produced for the local of Bharward Shepard communities of the area. Having learnt the skill from his father he further honed his skill through studying textile design in 2013 at Kala-Raksha Institute, Kutch, a design school for traditional artisans. He has worked towards revitalising this endangered technique through his innovations in the craft and experiments with different fibres and natural dyes.  His wife assists him in the weaving process. He has been demonstrating his expertise to students, visitors in forums both locally and nationally. For his expertise received a National Award in 2019 by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
Rajiben Vankar

Awadhnagar, Kutch, Gujarat, India.
After the sudden passing away of her husband, Rajiben Vankar raised her 3 young children by doing daily wage work as a labourer. In 2008 she joined the weaving studio of Khamir, Kutch, Gujarat in their Waste Plastic Weaving Project. Being from the Vankar community she knew the skill of weaving. Yet, plastic weaving was a challenge as its cleaning and sanitation was a difficult task. Rajiben learnt, wove and developed new designs and products. She organized trainings and encouraged other women to join, playing a significant role in the success of the project. Rajiben visited Wales in an Art Exchange Program with Fieldwork Art Gallery. She then decided to take the step of becoming an entrepreneur. Today, she has a brand on her own name called Rajiben. She is an inspiration for her community with 15 women under her wing. Taking upcycled plastic-weaving forward has become her life’s purpose and to have more women join so they can support themselves, become independent while earning a place in society.
Ana Paula Fuentes Quintana

Oaxaca, Mexico.
I am a Textile Designer graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City) with a postgraduate degree in Fashion Collection Design and Knitwear Fashion Design from the Institute of Polytechnic Studies of Barcelona. I have lived in Oaxaca for nineteen years and have been specialized in Mexican culture and traditions. I was founder and director of the Textile Museum of Oaxaca for six years and then a longing for broader experience and further diverse cultural immersion led to five months traveling solo throughout India. This experience led me to study for a Certificate in Social Design Entrepreneurship at Pratt Institute NYC. As a Social Designer I weave connections between foreigners and locals that place an undeniable emphasis on cultural sensitivity and respect. I have worked with different non-profit associations of artisans and designers; likewise, I have worked with several weaving cooperatives in Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas. For nine years I was director of CADA Foundation, a non-profit organization interested and concerned about the future of cultural heritage, identity, and the value of the local.
malika verma

India & NY
Malika transforms intricate details of handmade industries into meaningful and influential brand narratives, championing initiatives in design, craft and culture. She is the founder of Border&Fall, a leading boutique brand agency that focuses on shifting perceptions of handmade with the expertise in ‘Made in India’, valuing change, provenance and longevity whilst working with various industries. Her craft advocacy extends to deeply-researched cultural documentation in various mediums through initiatives, including the critically acclaimed ‘The Sari Series: An Anthology of Drape’ and ‘Śilpa: Catalogues on Craft’. Each showcases her commitment in preserving and promoting India’s rich craft heritage. Malika’s influence extends globally: She is an advisory board member of the Kalhath Institute (Lucknow) On the Advisory Council for the MoMA (NY) 2019 exhibition items: Is Fashion Modern?️ A jury member for the ADxJSW Prize for Contemporary Craftsmanship (2019-present) Contributing Editor for Architectural Digest India, and has shared her insights across multiple publications across the world. She has passionately shared her insights on craft and cultural advocacy as a guest lecturer at various platforms including The Jaipur Literature Festival, Bhutan Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, NYU and Parsons.

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