Young Wow Craft

In 2001 Nepali Bazaro began planning “Shifu” project. In the spring of 2003 when we started the project of paper cloth “Shifu” in Nepal, we chose Usha Gongaru who was a secretary-general of WEAN Coop at that time, as our partner.  Usha started up an organization called “Young Wow Craft” in September 2005 and has dedicated herself for that paper cloth, “Shifu”.  Despite the fact that spinning the threads from paper requires intensive work, the workers have eagerly challenged and overcome difficulties in its production. Nowadays, Young Wow Craft has registered a trade mark for its product as Shifu Nepal in Nepal.

Young Wow Craft is a counterpart of Nepali Bazaro. In particular, they are making clothes out of traditional knowledge of Japanese “Shifu”.  “Shifu” project that makes clothes out of Lokta[1] paper which is hand made pure paper, was intended to create job opportunities for people by expanding Lokta market.

In ancient Japan, as farmers suffered from extreme poverty, they wove the fabric for their daily clothes from the used paper, in order to protect themselves from cold.

In 2009, Young Wow Craft launched saving fund (employees’ saving scheme). Nowadays Young Wow Craft is not only the “Shifu” producer but is capable of making various kind of products as they started up sewing up division. This saving fund was aimed to create the stable working environment for women so that they could work for a long period.

[1] The plants grow at altitudes of 1200m ~ 3000m in Nepal. It has been used as the most important material for paper over a thousand years.

ネパリ・バザーロが2001年に構想を思い立ち、ネパールで本格的に紙布プロジェクトを始めた2003年春、パートナーには当時WEANコープ事務局長だったウシャ・ゴンガルさんを選びました。ウシャさんは「ヤング・ワオ・クラフト」という組織を2005年9月に起ち上げ、未知の世界である紙布にすべてをかけて取り組みました。紙から糸を紡ぐのは大変な仕事にもかかわらず、女性たちはいきいきと仕事をしています。ヤング・ワオ・クラフトは”Shifu Nepal”としてネパールで商標登録することに成功しました。