In a bid to raise awareness towards local weavers and artisans and promote sustainable fashion, prominent export and fair trade company Usha Exim Pvt Ltd took part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative and produced face masks with leftover soft fabrics from their textile artifacts. The facemasks, prepared by the women weavers, are being distributed free of cost along with the ration kits for the artisans and weavers of the company.

Their weavers from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have so far made 8000 facemasks and decided to make 500-1000 per month per month amid a global surge in new coronavirus infections. The company’s decision came right after the Indian government urged local companies to manufacture essential medical equipment to curb the shortage of them.

“The facemasks being produced by the company are proved to meet the international quality standard. Producing such medical supplies locally would help save the country’s foreign currency spending to import the products. Producing face-masks locally is very crucial as it helps to fill the existing supply gaps of protecting materials in the fight against COVID-19. We will further continue efforts to produce other medical supplies vital to prevent the pandemic and urge the public to properly use Face-masks to help contain the spread of the pandemic. This initiative has been started to raise awareness against the severity of wearing a mask,” said Mr. Leo Shastri, Director, Usha Exim Pvt Ltd.

Producing face masks from the leftover soft fabrics is completely in tandem with the company’s fair trade practices of ‘respecting the environment’. The artisans and weavers are carefully making use of their unused stuff in creating something beautiful and essential in the unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also, please find Mr. Leo’s photograph along with his profile and company profile for your kind reference.

Mr. Leo Shastri, Director – Operations & Strategy, Usha Exim Private Limited

Born in a family of fair traders from Delhi, it was not a tough call for Mr. Leo Shastri to follow the family’s rich legacy as he always feels strongly for injustice, prejudice and poverty. After studying filmmaking and working on various small projects in different industries like education and entertainment, Mr. Shastri finally decided to go back to his roots and dedicate his near future to the Usha Exim Private Limited. With the aim of reaching new heights and creating work opportunities for the economically disadvantaged section of the society, he joined the certified fair trade multi-product export organization as a Director of Operations & Strategy.

As the Director of Operations & Strategy, his role is to ensure everyone is doing their job well right from accounts & logistics to quality control of production. Besides that, he also manages all aspects related to the growth of the organization and its expansion as well as implementation plans. The inheritance of his grandfather, Late Prof. Shyam S. Sharma –who was called ‘The Father of Fair Trade in Asia‘–  always inspires  him to do something extra-ordinary for the society because he has grown up hearing about the beautiful concept of ‘World Family’. He still remembers how his grandfather used to tell him that the whole world is our family, challenged with injustice, prejudice and poverty and our target would be to remove miseries from our world.

An avid fair trader, his goal as an entrepreneur is to eradicate poverty and unfair practices in society through alternative trade methods. He would like to believe in the motto ‘Entrepreneur for a cause’. In his free time, he travels from village to village to explore the human diversities across India and understand the rural mindset.  His initiatives made him and his company win many laurels which include India 500 Quality Leader Award 2020 for Quality Excellence and India 5000 Best MSME Award 2020 for Quality Excellence.

About Usha Exim Pvt Ltd

Usha Exim is a certified Ethical Fair Trade multi-product Export Organisation, which was founded in 90s’ by Late. Prof. Shyam S. Sharma to bring quality products and novel handicrafts to the world market with Ethical & Fair Trade practices. The company strictly follows the 10 principles of fair trade — Opportunities for Disadvantaged Producers,  Transparency and Accountability,  Fair Trade Practices, Fair Payment,  Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour,  Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association,  Good Working Conditions, Capacity Building, Promoting Fair Trade and  Respect for the Environment.

The company kicked off in 1994 with its quality production of beautifully handcrafted aesthetic Soapstone crafts in the Clean & Green Model Workshop situated at Agra. The essence of quality and fairness soon grew into a successful export business in the lands of United States of America, Europe, UK and Australia. Gradually, other craft lines were added due to the buyer demand, resulting in transformation of Usha into a Center of Indian Traditional & Novel Handicrafts. Now, they even have mid-scale manufacturing units in Delhi (Apparel, Bags, Footwear), Saharanpur (Wood), Agra (Stone), Moradabad (Iron, Jewelry) and Meerut (Jewelry).

The company is now focusing on aiming to get buyers from within India’s retail market to work with them as they feel that fair trade practices are not getting enough recognition from buyers within the country. Besides, they are also focusing on expanding their reach through various e-Commerce platforms within India. Usha Exim is actively involved in uplifting the poor section of the society and planning to launch a health clinic soon in the marginalized sector of New Delhi.