All photos courtesy of One Another
Two years ago, on a trip to India where they had been working with not-for-profit Opportunity International, Rick and Annette Carter were hit by intense humidity and almost overwhelming, unfamiliar smells.
“The seed was planted after our trip and experiencing the harsh realities of poverty,” says Rick Carter, the co-founder of an ethical lifestyle brand he and wife Annette created when they returned home. “Despite the immense scale of poverty in India, we knew we had to do something.”
Partnering with communities of talented women living in some of the most challenging regions in the world, One Another draws on the couple’s combined backgrounds in design, photography and fashion to blend a clean, modern aesthetic with traditional artisan techniques. The result is an impressive offering of handmade cushions, tactile woven clutches, loomed wool throws, nests of T-Yarn bowls and woven T-Yarn pendant lights, which are now stocked in more than 40 stores nationally and online.
“The perfect hand embroidery is stitched in India, the beautiful loop weaving is from South Africa and the hand-loomed wool throws are from near the Nepal border,” says Rick. “We are also starting to develop some wall art with a new collective in Africa which we hope to release in a few months.”
Working with three community groups, One Another offers a unique touch with each piece individually hand-signed by the embroiderer or weaver who made them, saying the signature is both a source of pride for the women as well as ensuring customers know who put their hands — and heart — into making their unique piece.
The ethical homewares company provides fair pay, clean and safe working conditions and the option to work at home, should they need to care for their family for more than 20 women who include widowers and those whose parents are too sick to work.
“We know that we aren’t going to change the world but we know that we can change the lives of these women in India and Africa,” says Rick. “One stitch at a time.”