Upholding products and indigenous crafts and styles of Bangladesh and empowering rural artisans, Aarong is more than just a retail chain. The true value of this globally reputed brand lies in the positive impact it has on the lives of people reaches every day.
The word Aarong means ‘village fair’ and the Aarong brand is meant to invoke a deeper connection to its rural roots. Born out of a humble resolve to empower the marginalized rural women and enable them to realize their full potential, Aarong is one of the 18 social enterprises of BRAC – the world’s largest development organization. It has been working towards BRAC’s mission of poverty alleviation through economic development and human capacity building, with a specific focus on the empowerment of women.
Aarong was initiated in 1978 as a project to ensure poor silk farmers, block printers and embroiders in Manikganj in central Bangladesh were paid upon delivery of their products. The purpose was to provide a platform for rural artisans where they could sell their products and get a fair market price. Starting its journey with providing employment for a limited number of rural women, Aarong rapidly extended its support by working with many other artisan and crafts.
Today, Aarong serves through 13 retail stores across the country and employs more than 65,000 rural Bangadeshi artisans, of which 85 per cent are women. Aarong believes in setting high standards for the quality and craftsmanship of its products and designs. It sets the trend of blending the traditional with the contemporary, which revitalized consumers’ interest in Bangladeshi products and designs. At Aarong, we aspire to bring all that we love about Bangladesh to customers around the world. In 2006, and again in 2012, a number of Aarong products received the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts. As a fair trade organization, Aarong’s products are exported to fair trade companies across Asia, Europe and North America.