Aarong and its products

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Aarong and its products



Executive Summery

Today, few urban consumers will argue that Aarong is the local Mecca for deshi handicraft. Aarong’s product designs has brought consumer attention back to the products and styles that are indigenous to Bangladesh, its designers blending the traditional with the contemporary in a manner that has won instant consumer appeal, starting a revolution in trends that has now been taken up by countless other boutiques and stores. Aarong’s product designs focus on the diverse types and textures of crafts and patterns that have been passed along from generation to generation among weavers and artisans in craft hubs around the country.

Aarong also plays the role of protector and promoter of traditional Bangladeshi products and designs. It houses an extensive design library where remnants of our rich craft heritage, such as Nakshikantha art and Jamdani patterns, have been widely researched and archived for present as well as future use.

About the Organization

Established in 1978, Aarong is a fair trade organization dedicated to bring about positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged artisans and underprivileged rural women by reviving and promoting their skills and craft. Reaching out to weavers, potters, brass workers, jewelers, jute workers, basket weavers, wood carvers, leather workers and more, Aarong embraces and nurtures a diverse representation of 65,000 artisans, 85% of whom are women. Today, Aarong has become the foundation upon which independent cooperative groups and family-based artisans market their craft, in an effort to position the nation’s handicraft industry on a world platform of appreciation and acknowledgement.

Aarong began as a cause – a means to an end for a quiet organization fighting to uphold the dignity of the marginalized. In 1976, when BRAC- a Bangladeshi NGO dedicated to alleviating poverty and empowering the poor, first began encouraging sericulture for women in Manikganj, their only buyers were a few scattered retailers in Dhaka. Weeks, even months would pass between supply and payment, until BRAC intervened. Aarong was born out of a need to ensure that the penniless silk farmers of Manikganj were paid for their goods upon delivery, so that they could feed their families.

Today, Aarong’s reach has spread beyond Manikganj to the rest of the country. It has grown into a thriving international enterprise showcasing ethnic wear to beautiful crafts from silks, handloom cotton, endi to terracotta, bamboo, jute and much more. From a single shop, Aarong has grown into one of Bangladesh’s biggest retail chains, with eight stores spread across the major metropolitan areas of the country – in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet and one in London, UK.

Organization’s Profile

Organization Name Aarong
Country/ Territory Bangladesh (London)
Organization’s Head Quarter Aarong Centre (Head Office)

346, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208

Tel: +880 2 8832139

Fax: +880 2 9898267

Email: export.aarong@brac.net

Year of establishment 1978
Business line A Fair trade organization produce traditional Bangladeshi products
Number of artisans Over 65,000 (85% women)


About Aarong

BRAC & Aarong

The Aarong export and marketing project was jointly organized by MCC and BRAC in 1978. It is now directly handled by BRAC. The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee is managed entirely by Bangladeshis. It is the largest non-governmental development organization in the country. BRAC has initiated education projects in one fifth of the country’s 80,000 villages, and in 2001, they started a university. It is also responsible for thousands of health programs, numerous agriculture and food production businesses, and micro-credit initiatives.

Aarong works to empower the poor and strengthen traditional craftsmanship. The organization involves over 30,000 artisans, (85% of whom are women), employed through small community groups. They produce an impressive range of products: terra cotta; silk and cotton textiles; clothes; leather work; brass; wood; candles; basketry, and jewellery. Aarong operates eight retail stores in Bangladesh, which sell about 80% of the crafted items; the remainders of products are exported.

The women Aarong employs are among the countries most disadvantaged. Through Aarong they have been offered a way out of destitution and degradation where before they had none. And the benefits that they receive extend well beyond simply the wages they earn for their products, since every single woman who works in Aarong-owned production facilities is also a beneficiary of BRAC’s multifaceted development programmers.

As a support entity of BRAC, a significant portion of Aarong’s earnings go directly into financing the NGO’s development programmes in healthcare, education as well as economic and social development

A fair trade organization

Aarong symbolizes fairness in the global village. The organization has identified three basic constraints for gainful employment of the low income and marginalized people in the rural areas: lack of working capital, marketing support and opportunity for skills development. In order to bridge these gaps, Aarong provides a wide range of services to its workers and suppliers:

1. Spot payment on product delivery to encourage efficiency and productivity

2. Reach out to producers in remote areas to ensure fair value for their efforts

3. Marketing communication and information for artisans

4. Advances against purchase orders where necessary

5. Training & Education in skills development to raise product quality and marketability

6. Product Design and Support in Product Development

7. Quality Control to increase producer awareness of the importance of quality

These values reflect fair trade principles which have been developed by registered Fair Trade Organizations. Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seek greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South (IFAT).

Press release

To: All department heads, shop managers
From: Aarong marketing
Subject: Aarong won the seal of excellence award
Date: 1/11/06
Cc: Head, Aarong
It gives us great pleasure to inform you that Aarong has been awarded the 2006 UNESCO Seal of Excellence Award for our Terracotta Curry Bowl and Fruit Bowl. These products were designed by Fatema Akhter, and produced by Bimol Pal from Potuakhali, Baufol.
Curry Bowl Fruit Bowl
The Seal of Excellence (SEAL) programme was established by UNESCO to encourage craft-workers to use traditional skills and materials so as to ensure the perpetuation of traditional knowledge and to preserve cultural diversity. The Seal of Excellence is effectively a “seal of approval” which guarantees that the handicraft products with this seal conform to the rigorous standards set by the programme and have potential for the world market.

The 2006 SEAL awardees will be on display at the Central Cottage Emporium Industries, Jan path, New Delhi from 1st-10th November, 2006. For more information, please visit www.unescobkk.org/culture/craftseal.

On behalf of the Aarong Management, we would like to thank the designers, producers and everyone who has helped us to receive this prestigious and honorable award.

Chapter: 3

Artisans’ & Story


Holding steadfast to its original mission, Aarong today supports the lives and livelihoods of nearly sixty five thousand rural artisans and handicraft producers, 85% of who are women. More than forty thousand of these women work directly for Aarong in its 13 production centers in Baniachong, Gorpara, Jamalpur, Jessore, Kushtia, Manikganj, Rajbari, Sherpur, and Pabna, Pollobi, Kurigram, Nilphamary, Jhenaidah and 653 subcentres spread across Bangladesh.

Twenty five thousand independent cooperative groups and traditional family-based artisans also market their crafts through Aarong. Potters, Brass Workers, Jewellers, Jute workers, Basket Weavers, Handloom Weavers, Silk Weavers, Wood Carvers, Leather workers and various artisans with specialized skills from all over the country come to Aarong for marketing and support services.

Artisans: Karim Mia’s Story

Karim Mia is a bamboo tray and basket producer of Aarong. Due to extreme poverty at home, Karim Mia stopped his schooling when he was in class 3 and began assisting his father in bamboo crafts weaving. Struck by the untimely death of his father, Karim Mia at the age of 16 had to find an immediate source of income to run his family of five brothers, five sisters and his mother. Initially, Karim Mia commuted from his home district, Tangail (approx. 120 km away from Dhaka city) to sell bamboo products at small crafts shops in Dhaka. At that time, with his meager monthly income of almost $25, he could barely support his family. After struggling for almost three years, Karim Mia came to Aarong in 1988 to show some of his samples. His self-designed samples were immediately chosen and an order was placed for 60 pieces. Since then, Karim Mia has received constant orders from Aarong for its local as well as export market.

As part of its mission to assist producers in product development and technical training, Aarong sponsored Karim Mia to attend a bamboo crafts workshop in New Delhi in 2003. The one-week training has helped him to gain better knowledge about bamboo craft. His workmanship has also shown remarkable improvement in quality. Today, Karim Mia supplies exclusively to Aarong and has a steady monthly income of $100-130. On an average, he has ten workers working under him. During the busy season he employs more than fifty workers.

Karim Mia is now married with two sons and a daughter all of whom attend school. He hopes that his children will be able to complete their education, which he could not because of financial need. About two years ago, Karim Mia bought 20 decimal lands in Tangail, where he constructed his tin-shed home. Very recently, he has built an extension room that is being used as working space and storage for the bamboo products.

Karim Mia feels that Aarong’s support during his needy times, the continued assistance in product development and design and a steady flow of orders has helped him carve out a dignified existence for himself and his family.

Chapter: 4

Production Centre & Outlets

Aarong Production Centre (Ayesha Abed Foundation)

The Ayesha Abed Foundation (AAF) is an organization that aims to provide avenues for employment and income generation for underprivileged rural women. It is an enclave for women, formed to uplift them economically, through their work as producers, and also socially, through their development into entrepreneurs. The Foundation provides an appropriate working environment, financial and technical assistance, and training to develop the women’s skills in various crafts. The Foundation was established to commemorate the memory and work of late Mrs. Ayesha Abed, a co-worker and wife of the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC. The work that is done in the Foundation is a testament to her commitment to the issues of education, training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged women. It was she who in 1976 initiated all the present major activities of AAF in Manikganj.

The AAF aims to work with the most underprivileged women in the society. These women are often the most neglected and are in need of much assistance and support. The AAF plays the role of a facilitator. The women are placed in an enabling environment, with other women of similar socio-economic backgrounds. They are trained and then given the opportunity to generate income. One of the major challenges that these women have to face is that they are marginalized and they, on their own, have no way of becoming part of the economic system. This is where the AAF steps in, helping such marginalized women out of their peripheral existence in society, and giving them the opportunity to become involved in sustainable enterprise.

The AAF is closely interrelated with other programs, especially BRAC Development Program (BDP) and Aarong. The women workers of the AAF come from the BDP organized Village Organizations. Working at the AAF thus gives the women access to other BRAC programs. All of the AAF’s finished products are sold through Aarong, which additionally provides designs, raw materials and financial support to the AAF. Since AAF supplies exclusively to Aarong, it is treated as Aarong Production Centers.


1. Empowering destitute rural women by providing opportunities for employment and income generation.

2. Ensuring commercial success of the enterprise of women producers.

3. Reviving traditional skills of rural artisans.


1. Free Medical check-up including free eye treatment, eye-glasses and treatment costs for severe illnesses

2. Advance wage payments for employees in need

3. Day care services

4. Workers retirement fund

Aarong Centre (Head Office)

346, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208

Tel: +880 2 8832139

Fax: +880 2 9898267

Email: export.aarong@brac.net

Aarong at Dhanmondi

Aarong Dhanmondi

1/1, Block-A, Lalmatia

Manik Miah Avenue

Mirpur Road


Tel: +88-02-8111607

Fax: +880 2 8828576

Email: export.aarong@brac.net

Operating Hours: 10:00am –8:00pm

Open 7 days a week

Aarong at Gulshan

Gulshan – Tejgaon Link Road

Dhaka 1208 ,Tel: 8821052, 8825986

Operating Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Open 7 days a week

Aarong at Maghbazar

Aarong Plaza, 61, Shahid Shangbadik Selina Parveen Sharak ,Maghbazar, Dhaka 1217

Tel: 9334766, 9360260

Operating Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Open 7 days a week

Aarong at Uttara

Mascot Plaza (4th Floor), Plot 107/A Sector 7,Uttara Model Town

Dhaka 1230

Tel: 8916097, 8914125 ext. 501

Operating Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Open 7

Aarong at Wari

36/1 Rankin Street (1st Floor) Wari

Dhaka 1203

Tel: 7114244

Aarong in Nasirabad, Chittagong

Golden Plaza (1st Floor)

1692 CDA Avenue


Tel: 031-654030, 06074485325

Operating Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Open 7 days a week

Aarong in Halishahar, Chittagong


House: 1, Lane: 1, Block: L



Tel: 031-2515644-45

Operating Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Open 7 days a week

Aarong in Sylhet

413 Naya Sharak


Tel: 6017, 0821-815988, 0821-713150

Operating Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm

Open 7 days a week

Aarong in Khulna

Plot A43-A44

Majeed Sharani Avenue

Shib Bari


Tel: 6016, 041-730547

Chapter: 5

Products of Aarong




Executive Shirts



Short Kurta






Western (TAAGA)



Shoes (Leather)

Bags (Leather)







Photo Frames







Home textiles








Home accessories


Table Lamps

Photo Frames



Napkin Rings



Dining ware


Bowls and Platters


Photo Frames





Plant Accessories




Kitchen Mitts

Cookbook Stand







Gold collection by Aarong

Discover the mesmerizing magic of Aarong’s Gold Jewellery Collection.

The newest collection of gold jewelleries from the house of Aarong, are the ultimate shows stopping haute-couture pieces. Innovative designs blended with perfect cuts have created a gold collection that is sophisticated sojourn with perfection. Each piece is timeless, combining gold with brilliant semi-precious gemstones such as Rubies, Emeralds, Garnets, Sapphires and Pearls. From classic bridal gold ensembles, fusion to contemporary styles, the Aarong Gold Collection signifies everlasting elegance and élan. The newly launched gold jewelleries from Aarong are guaranteed to be 21karat, which are checked for its purity through the Gold Check Karat meter machine. Aarong has also introduced buyback facilities for its gold jewelleries.

This season, indulge yourself in a handcrafted masterpiece of exquisite design and breathtaking brilliance from the gold jewellery collection of Aarong.

Terracotta Products



Bowls and Platters

Dining ware


Hot Plates



Plant Accessories

Bamboo/Leaf Products



Photo Frames

Dry Decorative

CD Racks

Floor Mats



Napkin Holder


Place Mats







Metal Products


Photo Frames

Magazine Racks

Candle stands




Jute Products



Photo Frames


Personal Accessories



Ceramics Products


Plates and Saucers

Bowls and Platters

Mugs and Cups


Nakshi Kantha Products


Wall hangings

Christmas decorations






Bed Covers




Tea Cozy

Table Cloth/Napkin


Personal Accessories


Optical Cases

Paper Products



Wrapping Paper

Wood Products


Photo Frames

Wall Hangings

Candle Stands



Shelves and Racks



Bowls and Platters



Napkin Holders

Glass Products


Glasses and Cups



Export: Terms and Conditions



66 Mohakhali C/A, Dhaka 1212


Tel: 880-2-9885424, 880-2-8824180

Fax: 880-2-8828576, 880-2-8823614

Payment to

L/C at sight or 50% Advance* with order & 50% before shipment by T.T. to

BRAC Bank Limited

1, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212,


Tel: 880-2-8824501;

Fax: 880-2-8813543

Account # 150180010606

Account Name: BRAC – Aarong


Between 60 to 120 days, depending on volume of order, on receipt of L/C or advance BT T.T.

Port of Dispatch

By Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport, Dhaka

By Sea: ICD Dhaka for Full Container Load (FCL); Chittagong for Loose Container Load (LCL)


Fragile items are packed individually in 3 ply carton boxes and madter packing in 5 or 7 ply carton boxes. Other non-breakable items are packed individually in a ploy bag and master packing in 5 ply carton boxes (20/25 kgs. in a box.)

Freight and Insurance

Freight and Insurance to be covered by the importer which varies from port to port.

*Advance: If 50% is paid in advance against the ordered value, then the documents will be sent to the importers directly. Otherwise the documents will be sent to the bank for collection against bill of exchange

Export Product Pictures



Home textile:



Nakshi Kantha:



New Collection of Aarong

To celebrate the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, Aarong, a leading fashion house in Bangladesh arranged a gala evening of scintillating fashion displaying their new apparels on Wednesday, August 27, at the Radisson Water Garden Hotel.

The show presented a sneak peak of Aarong’s Eid collection for children, women and men. All the outfits presented at the show, and more, will be available at Aarong outlets across the country during the month of Ramadan. This Eid collection is based on different themes and accessories with fabulous jewellery and shoes.

The show began with a brilliant ensemble of kids wear in suits and elegant silk dresses. Male tots with white shirt, black pant and coat and female tots with white and red colored dresses amused the spectators.

Dribbling with a basketball on the ramp, the men’s collection was introduced, with military styled Punjabi and boots with stripe. The colour and design of the basketball expertly displayed the power of Aarong’s signature. ‘Play punjabi’ gave an active look for the modern youth and also added boldness and bravery to traditional idea of pubnjabi.

With a very exciting theme ‘Flower Power’,a refreshing line of silks and creative floral paint in saris for women was displayed on ramp, radiating with the talent of Aarong designers in the use of natural dyes and the texture.

On stage, the audience was treated to songs rendered by Arnob, with Andrew Morris on the saxophone. Arnob’s rendition of traditional songs paid fitting tribute to Aarong and its members who have worked tirelessly through the last thirty years to do creative and innovative work.

To announce the ending of the mega gala, Tamara Abed, director of Aarong, Ayesha Abed Foundation and BRAC Dairy came to the stage to thank the event partners which included media partners NTV and Radio Foorti, makeup and hairstyling partner Farzana Shaki Makeover Salon and Hospitalit Partner Radisson Water Garden Hotel.

Chapter: 6

Aarong & its Career

Aarong in London

Aarong sell an assortment of own brand formal and casual wear for both men and women in London. Although Aarong sell its own products but the show room which in London is little bit different from our local shop. Because of the demand of the customers of London.

69 Vallance Rd Kingdom+44 20 72477727

London, E1 5BS, United

Career in Aarong

Aarong is committed to providing its staff with an environment in which they can flourish. We look for people with energy, creativity and commitment and give them the tools they need to fulfill creative and ambitious goals, whilst striving to attain the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity.

To apply to join the Aarong team, please submit your resume to HR Manager, Aarong HR Department at hr@brac-aarong.com.

Contact Us

Aarong Corporate Office

346, Tejgaon Industrial Area


Phone: +88 02 8832139
Fax: +88 02 9898267

Email Information

Ayesha Abed Foundation aaf.aarong@brac.net
Accounts accounts.aarong@brac.net
Customer Service customerservice.aarong@brac.net
Human Resources hr.aarong@brac.net
Export export.aarong@brac.net
Marketing marketing.aarong@brac.net
My Aarong Rewards Program myaarongrewards@brac.net
Textile textile.aarong@brac.net


After our 15 days working period we really feel that we have learned something about marketing and marketing segmentation. This assignment was fully related with the consumer & buyer behavior and marketing activities and that is our Major in BBA. We went to the consumer directly in different retailer shop and watched their shopping. There were different age’s people, and every people there were a different ideas, choice, activities, and purchasing ability. We found that Aarong has a very strong brand loyalty to its consumer. Almost every consumer knows about Aarong which will help to capture market for the Aarong. We are very much glade to informs that, “The Nakshi Kantha has a huge market there as well as foreign market”.


Improve the way of advertising that they can get the minimum knowledge about the products, for example, the Eid Collection products would attract new consumers to purchase This product under the Aarong as a brand name.

Also the fact that price are being forced to fall should prove to be an opportunity for Aarong to sell to the people, who previously may have not purchased a product because of higher prices.


“Established in 1978, Aarong is a fair trade organization”. < http://www.brac-aarong.com/index2.php>

“BRAC & Aarong” < http://www.brac-aarong.com/aboutus.php>

“A fair trade organization” < http://www.brac-aarong.com/aboutus.php>

“Artisans” http://www.brac-aarong.com/artisans.php

“Artisans: Karim Mia’s Story”< http://www.brac-aarong.com/artisans_cs.php>

“Aarong Retail Outlets”, <http://www.brac-aarong.com/retail.php>


“Export: Terms and Conditions”, <http://www.brac-aarong.com/exportterms.php>

“New Collection of Aarong”, <ttp://www.bracnet.net/default.aspx?si=default&debug=&xid=1519&m=web>

“Aarong in London”, <http://www.visitlondon.com/attractions/detail/265702>

“Career in Aarong”, < http://www.brac-aarong.com/contactus.php>

“Contact Us”, <http://www.brac-aarong.com/career.php>



AAF – Ayesha Abed Foundation: The Ayesha Abed Foundation (AAF) started its activities at Manikganj in September 1983. The objectives of the centre were to institutionalize the capacity of providing services to new and existing small scale women’s producer groups which would create employment and income generating activities.

There are twelve egg-rearing (grainage) centres in Dinajpur, Noagaon, Bogra, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Mymensingh, Gazipur, Manikgonj, Pabna, Rajbari, Magura, and Jessore. BRAC has five silk reeling centres in Manikganj, Jamalpur, Atghoria, Sherpur and Taraganj. There is a silk weaving centre at the Gorpara area office, in addition to weavers contracted in Kumarkhali, Shajadpur and Ullapara. There are six AAF centres in Manikganj, Gorpara, Sherpur, Jamalpur, Jessore and Kustia. Other sericulture activities are located in all the programmed areas.

BDP- BRAC Development Program: BRAC develop their program by doing following his work…

– Micro finance

– Employment and Income Generation (e.g. Poultry & livestock, fisheries, social forestry)

– Social Development, Human Rights & Legal Services

– Health

– Education

IFAT- International Federation for Alternative Trade: international organizations and non-governmental organizations with the country or region in which their main or international office is based. Other organizations are listed on the page for standards organizations.

MCC- Mennonite Central Committee: MCC was founded in Chicago, Illinois, and held its first meeting on September 27, 1920. Its original goal was to provide food for Mennonites starving in Ukraine. MCC soon realized that it could not help only their Mennonite brothers and sisters and began to help anyone in need. MCC (Canada) was founded in 1963.



A fair trade organization; 5

Aarong Production Centre (Ayesha Abed Foundation); 10

Aarong Retail Outlets; 13

About the Organization; 2

Artisans; 7

Artisans: Karim Mia’s Story; 8

BRAC & Aarong; 4

Carrere in Aarong; 27

Contact us ; 27

Export: Terms and Conditions; 20

Export Product Pictures; 21

Freight and Insurance; 21

Goals; 11

New collection of Aarong; 24

Organization’s Profile; 3

Press release; 6

Products; 15