Inclusivity and Accessibility Guide Our Path
“Nothing about us without us” is the principle of our work. Making society more inclusive for people with disabilities is a challenge, as is working on the grassroots level with vulnerable groups. Our goal is that we include persons with disabilities in all levels of our business and decision-making.
Making the society more inclusive for people with disabilities is a challenge, as is working on the grassroots level with vulnerable groups. From the very beginning it was obvious that as a small company Sera Helsinki couldn’t meet all the needs of the artisans by itself. We wanted to start working together with experts of inclusivity and accessibility.
Abilis Foundation is a non-governmental organization in Finland which operates in several developing countries. Their goal is to empower people with disabilities and create job and business opportunities for them. Sera Helsinki and Abilis started a partnership immediately in 2016, and together we have created a network of Ethiopian NGOs that are part of our production and activism.Learn more about abilis foundation
Our mission is to improve inclusivity on all levels of our business. We actively remodel the workspaces and workshops to meet the needs of every person working there and educate the management and artisans. Many of our artisans don’t know how to read and write and they have been excluded from the society they live in. The unfortunate fate of a person with a disability often is to be a beggar on the street. Abilis and Ethiopian NGOs teach life skills and human rights to our artisans so that they can become active and empowered members of their communities.Learn more about our knotted rugs
Our aim is to create and maintain a transparent and impactful production chain. One SERA HELSINKI knotted rug contains 42 kilograms of wool from 50 different sheep that have been tended by five shepherds in the highlands of Ethiopia. 30 thread makers spend approximately 300 hours to work the wool into a natural woolen thread by hand. The finished thread is washed without any chemicals.
It takes five artisans approximately 800 hours to make one knotted 2×3 m sized rug. One square meter of knotted rug weights about 5 kilograms. The rugs are made entirely by hand, using a traditional Ethiopian rug making technique.Learn more about our knotted rugs
The core of our business model is to support persons with disabilities to establish micro businesses. They receive start-up funding from Abilis and are able to buy sheep, spinning wheels, looms or other tools needed in the rug making. The artisans themselves own their businesses and SERA HELSINKI buys their products and links them with new customers in order to create sustainable business opportunities.