Originally featured on Let's Be Fair.
Tam•ga noun \täm-ga\
An abstract seal or stamp used by Eurasian nomadic people and by cultures influenced by them.
Hi! My name is Yana, and I’d like to share with you the story and mission of my ethical label, TAMGA Designs. The coming about of TAMGA Designs was organic and unexpected. After doing my masters in Europe in International Development and returning to Canada with little prospects of work in my field, I came to Bangladesh (not knowing ANYTHING about it) in search of my dream job. Little did I know, the leap of faith I was taking would completely change my life. Not only am I working at a leading public-health research institute in Bangladesh, but I have the privilege of travelling all over the country to meet amazing and inspiring people.
One of these people is Dino. Dino lives in Tongi, Bangladesh where he established and operates the Friends of Poor People (FPP) all-girls orphanage (ages 5-18). Many of the girls are not orphans, but are left by their parents who are unable to provide the basics of food and shelter for them. The demand for FPP in its local community to take in more girls continues to grow, but space and resources allow for a limited number. In order to make ends meet, Dino also runs a local school in Dhaka and has an independent tailoring service. I was so impressed with Dino's work and initiatives that I went to visit FPP orphanage one weekend and completely fell in love with the girls there. The more I learned about the orphanage, the more I was determined to help his cause. Thus, TAMGA Designs was born.
TAMGA Designs was inspired by the vibrant colors and prints Bangladeshi women wear locally. Bangladesh is a major player in the global garment industry, and unfortunately working conditions and compensation in many factories that sell to global brands are horrific.
I have partnered up with Dino to produce every TAMGA Designs item through his network of independent local tailors. TAMGA Designs offers a beautiful range of kimonos that is produced ethically in small quantities, making each style limited edition. The tailors earn a competitive wage, and work appropriate hours in safe conditions. In addition, for each TAMGA item sold, 10% goes directly to FPP orphanage. Each item in the store is in fact named after one of the beautiful souls at FPP orphanage. To date, TAMGA Designs has donated 950$ CAD to the orphanage from sales alone. Through TAMGA designs, it is my mission to raise awareness in consumers as to where their clothes come from and who they are made by. TAMGA Designs is a fashion label with a global impact- you can browse the full range at www.tamgadesigns.etsy.com .
See more of the Behind the Brand series on Let's Be Fair.