Returning from Afghanistan after living there for three years, two young
entrepreneurs – Flore de Taisne and Edmund Le Brun – decided to set
up a social enterprise showcasing contemporary craftsmanship from
craftsmen whose practice has been affected by war.

Their first collection comes entirely from Afghanistan and ranges from
carpets designed by Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid right through to
handblown glass from Afghanistan’s last remaining glass workshop.
In the wake of Brexit, Donald Trump’s election and a mounting refugee
crisis in Europe, ISHKAR believes that it’s never been more important
to show sides to countries like Afghanistan and their people which are
rarely seen in the news.

Alongside the objects themselves, ISHKAR’s website tells the stories of
the craftsmen behind the pieces, as well as featuring numerous short
films about the countries in which they are made.

By partnering with local NGOs, a proportion of the money ISHKAR
invests in Afghanistan will be recycled back into development
programmes, stimulating vital economic growth in areas of need.

Following a successful Indiegogo Campaign in October, ISHKAR will be
launching their website on November 22nd 2016.

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Starting with a first collection from Afghanistan, ISHKAR is setting out to become leading brand creating social impact through luxury craftsmanship.

After working for three years in Afghanistan, we came to know many talented craftsmen. Despite the obvious quality of their work, we saw how their lack of access to international markets threatened the future of their trade.

We set up ISHKAR to change this.

Our social impact model is threefold:

1. The vast majority of our products are purchased through NGOs, ensuring that a proportion of our profits are reinvested back into infrastructural development projects to support the communities from which we buy - providing educational opportunities, health care, and much more.

2. Having chosen only to work with craftsmen whose trade has been adversely affected by warfare, we are providing economic security, fair wages and further business opportunities to those who work in the most dire of economic conditions.

3. By bringing these beautifully handcrafted products to international markets, we hope to shed light on the more positive sides to countries often portrayed as little more as war-zones or "aid-traps" - like Afghanistan. By showcasing the outstanding cultural heritage and quality craftsmanship in such nations, we aim to provide more nuance and understanding to the public discourse, and bring tangible testaments to this heritage into people's homes.

Having garnered the collaboration of premier names such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Pippa Small and Hattie Rickards, our products range from the designer - Gehry rugs and Small jewellery - to the truly unique - including glassware crafted by the last remaining Herati glassblower. All, however, are united in their ability to keep alive the cultural and artisanal traditions of Afghanistan.