On World Children’s Day 2020 (November 20th), we launched sales of our first-ever, super limited-edition collection of ultra-soft, one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose baby ‘kantha’ blankets through an online auction.
As those of you who have been following Khushi Kantha’s journey will know, due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our first set of blankets was made in London by a team of volunteer stitchers who were inspired by Khushi Kantha’s vision of the collaborative power of a global community of mothers coming together to build better futures for the next generation.
You can read the full story of how they were created here.
Each blanket in our first collection was named after a landmark in the communities we will partnering with. The ‘Maheshkhali’ blanket (Maheshkhali is a beautiful island off the coast of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh) was our most popular, receiving nine bids!
We were delighted to receive a total of 63 bids from 29 bidders for the 11 blankets, raising £653 towards the cost of setting up production in Bangladesh, in order to start creating opportunities for mothers from the communities hosting the Rohingya refugees to provide for their children with dignity.
I was particularly chuffed to receive quite a few bids from people whose name I didn’t recognise 😊
I learned so much through the process of running the auction – from gaining more of an insight into Khushi Kantha’s target market and understanding the most effective ways of spreading the word about what we’re trying to do, to figuring out logistical details related to label design, online payment processing platforms, and delivery options.
‘Kantha’ Claus is coming to town!
The work didn’t stop once the auction closed after a successful week of bidding! My next step was making sure each blanket arrived safely into the hands of its new owner.
I’d tried our best to think ahead about everything we’d need. However, I wasn’t able to order the labels to be stitched into the blankets until the safety testing process was complete, as the care instructions needed to include details of the blankets’ TOG rating, which indicates their warmth – and their delivery took longer than anticipated. Luckily the labels finally arrived a couple of days after the auction winners were confirmed – and they were beautifully hand-sewn into the blankets by our volunteer stitcher extraordinaire Helen Sumner.
After a final inspection, we packaged up each blanket and added the inserts we created, which tell the story of Khushi Kantha and provide care instructions. In line with our mission to promote a shift from take-make-waste to reclaim-repurpose-reuse, our packaging comprises gorgeous re-usable drawstring bags that are hand-stitched from upcycled sari offcuts.
To minimise our carbon footprint and bring some festive joy to our lovely local customers, my daughters and I hand-delivered as many of the blankets as we could…
I donned a Santa hat and the girls rocked their pre-loved reindeer dresses…the only thing missing was some tinsel to turn our double buggy into a sleigh!
Battling the elements to hand-deliver the ‘Inani’ blanket to six-week old Teddy Tyson
Hey Hey Mr Postman
We then took the blankets that were heading a bit further afield to our local post office, where the lovely postman and all the other customers were VERY patient throughout our nearly hour-long takeover of the premises – it’s hard to socially distance with a double buggy!
Ensuring each blanket went into the correctly-addressed envelope while attempting to keep a pair of toddlers who definitely did NOT want to stay in their buggy amused was a bit of a mission. We emerged into the torrential rain slightly traumatised by a major biting incident, and celebrated the completion of the delivery process with cake in our newly-reopened favourite café (no photos available, as I needed every ounce of my concentration to keep an eye on two very-excited-to-finally-be-unleashed cheeky girls!
Thanks so much to everyone who has already joined the pre-order list for our next collection, which will actually be made in partnership with mothers in Bangladesh now that it is safe to establish production, providing we follow strict safety guidelines.
If you’re interested, please contact us here.