Founded in 2008, A Peace Treaty represents a pact between Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim, and Dana Arbib, a Libyan Jew. Crossing cultural boundaries, the company creates employment for skilled artisans working in conditions of socio-political strife – effectively supporting their craft while bringing their products to the international market. Inspired by the handcrafts of artisans in the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa – A Peace Treaty was born from a shared desire to protect ancient, disappearing crafting traditions. Each season, the company travels to a selected region, seeking local artisans to create exclusive pieces, true to their cultural craft history. Each piece sold by A Peace Treaty is part of the effort to resuscitate handmade textile production and metal-smithing techniques that are at risk of extinction. Working with artisans in over 9 countries, the brand employs craftspeople with above fair trade wages, and invests in creating income generation opportunities for out-of-work artisans, disabled, widowed and marginalized women.
During our time in Nepal, Accompany had the chance to meet one of A Peace Treaty’s local contractors, Ramila. She explained that the production process involves multiple vendors – who receive the patterns from New York and then set about to code them onto graph paper before creating cardboard cards, which are cut and fed into looms. Ramila reinforced the importance of the local artisans’ skills – telling us that when a very difficult pattern comes in she goes right to Sabir – who has been creating textiles since the age of 10.
Our team had a chance to meet with Sabir, who lives in a small village where he works the land with his father. He was kind enough to share the story of how he became a patternmaker with us.
One day the old patternmaker in the village fell ill, and Sabir was sent to care for him – cooking his meals, taking care of his house and doing his shopping at the market. But Sabir became interested in the man’s work and started to learn by observing him, while he went about his duties in the house. More than anything he wanted to try patternmaking himself, so he asked his family for the necessary graph paper. But his father opposed the idea, saying he wanted his son working the farm with him, where he was needed. Luckily Sabir's uncle decided to help him – and bought him some of the graph paper so he could learn. Each night Sabir would sit in the attic, with an oil lamp, designing patterns over and over again on his single sheet of graph paper. When he was done drawing a pattern, he would erase it so he could draw a new design the next day. Eventually Sabir became a skilled patternmaker. Today he is employed by A Peace Treaty to create their most specialized pieces. Our favorite styles from Fall 2018, like the Yohai Slip Dress and the Sheba Fuchsia Hat are incredible expressions of jewel tone colors that make fall vibrant and moody.