Project Overview
About Dharma Life

Founded in 2009, Dharma Life is an impact enterprise and foundation working on key SDGs through the integration of last mile distribution, behavior change and consumer insights. Dharma Life’s vision is to create a world where rural communities are Rising Together from within. We aim to achieve this through a women-led Dharma Life Entrepreneur (DLE) network to drive sustainable community development, led by women and child empowerment, address the issues of awareness, accessibility, and affordability for social impact products and services & progress on key Sustainable Development Goals around health (physical and mental), climate action, livelihood creation, with an underlying focus on gender and digital empowerment. Dharma Life Labs is an incubator of research and development, using insights, analytics and technology to help improve the quality of rural life and drive inclusive progress in India. Together, Dharma Life, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development at the London Business School and Siriti, have come together to bridge the gap in our understanding of rural India to provide an unfiltered presentation of challenges, insights and opinions of the rural population with recommended solutions.

About the Project

The Jaya Alliance sets out to help rural women transcend psychological and cultural barriers, provide interactive learning experiences to build new skillsets and offer access to job and entrepreneurship opportunities. This holistic, peer-driven, personalized approach guides rural women to economic empowerment. Jaya builds on a funnel starting with sensitization, followed by individual counselling, linkage into training and later employment or starting a business – the entire process being facilitated through the Dharma Life Entrepreneur (DLE) network. Through the Jaya Alliance, we are looking to support green tailors and existing artisans in rural India to enhance their income and encourage them to adopt to green and sustainable practices to ensure a positive impact on the environment by savings in CO2, water and upcycling of waste. For artisans, we will focus on circular and green practices around material forms including silk, cotton, wool, linen and art forms including Madhubani, Chikankari, Banarasi, Block print and the tribal art from the Tharu tribe in Lakhimpur Kheri. For tailors, we will look to use waste as part of the product as well as optimise their environmental footprint.

Our Ask

We are looking for support in the implementation of sustainable interventions that lead to a reduced carbon footprint, efficient waste management and building environment sustainability into each step of the production process, following the Cradle to Cradle principles of making production more efficient and less harmful.

Project Goals
  • Introduce circular supply chain for the production process of each type of material / product using Cradle to Cradle principles;
  • Analyse and document as-is processes for each material / product supply chain;
  • Reduce carbon footprint of supply chain, supporting a circular input model to close resource loops and take waste out of processes;
  • Develop scalable interventions to embed in Dharma Life’s Jaya programme for rural women artisans;
  • Create and implement certification process leveraging existing frameworks.

Scope of Work
  • Map end-to-end value chains in terms of carbon footprint, water usage, energy usage, cost, time, logistics, processes and business model for the following areas:
    • Art forms: Madhubani handpainting, Chikankari embroidery, Banarasi weaving and blockprinting (Ajrak and other)
    • Material forms: Cotton (organic, various varieties), silk (Ahimsa), wool (organic) and linen (organic).
    • Village-level tailors
  • Create a framework to assess value chain on economic, social and environmental indicators, using analysis to identify areas where can substitute production inputs with circular alternatives;
  • Support implementation of a pilot to test impact of building circularity and sustainability into craft forms;
  • Oversee the integration of circularity and sustainability practices into the training modules, the changes needed in manufacturing processes for various artforms and the mapping of the sustainability certifications;
  • Key deliverables
    • Process documentation for each production step including mapping of workflow, practices, inputs/outputs, waste, work environment (any resources used), carbon footprint, with the linkages between the different artisans or farmers;
    • Lab testing report from field probes, including chemical analysis of steps in process;
    • Analysis document of optimisation of workflow from a circularity/Cradle toCradle perspective – including measurement of potential carbon footprintreduction, upcycling, areas where biological nutrients can be reused in the biosphere and areas technical nutrients can be reused in the technosphere;
    • Development of practices and corresponding training materials for Dharma Life to implement as part of the Jaya programme including measurement framework.

Evaluation Metrics and Criteria
  • Proven track record in implementing the Cradle to Cradle approach;
  • Demonstrated experience in material / product supply chain engineering, carbon footprint reduction and designing for material reutilization;
  • Clear breakdown of projected costs through a proposal itemized budget;
  • Proposed schedule for work with estimate of time required to complete project and different components;
  • EOIs will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Submission Requirements
  • Address each of the evaluation criteria in proposal;
  • Samples and references should be included where relevant;
  • Proposals should include a high-level financial proposal;
  • Proposals must be sent in by Monday February 21st.
  • Applicants can apply to different parts of the request if specific parts of the RFP match their experience and areas of interest.

Proposal Process
The proposal process is a 3 stage process. During stage 1, interested parties may raise any queries which they have regarding preparation of proposals as per the process set out below. In stage 2, Interested parties may submit their proposals which will be evaluated by Dharma Life, and shortlisted parties will move to the next round/stage 3, at which stage a more detailed proposal will be required.
Submission: Applicants should submit their proposals in writing (by e-mail) to Sonali Jawa ( copy to Mr. Cathal O'shea (cc: no later than 6:00 pm Central European Time, February 28th, 2022;
Questions: All questions regarding the preparation of proposals must be submitted in writing (by e-mail) to Sonali Jawa ( copy to Mr. Cathal O'shea (cc: no later than 6:00 pm Central European Time, February 18th, 2022;
Notification: Only applicants selected to move to the next round will be notified of their status in writing. Post submission of the EOI Dharma Life will engage with the shortlisted parties to develop a more detailed proposal;
Presentation: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to provide a virtual or in-person presentation;
Selection: Successful applicants will be contacted and notified to submit a detailed proposal in the second round.
All rights reserved:

Dharma Life has the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to reject any and all proposals / submissions as it deems fit, reserves the right to terminate discussions regarding the project, annul the EOI process or reject all requests/ proposals, without assigning any reason and without any liability or any obligation for such rejection or annulment, or to enter into any discussions, negotiations with any person as it deems fit, in each case without assigning any reasons thereof. The procedures, criteria that may be employed by Dharma Life to review proposals, submissions are within the sole and absolute discretion of Dharma Life and are subject to change at any time with or without prior notice. Determination of compliance with submission requirements, proposal requirements, application of evaluation criteria will be within the sole discretion of Dharma Life, and the sole remedy of any person whose submissions / proposals are not accepted or found to be unsuitable will be to withdraw from the process. Dharma Life, its officers, employees, affiliates, representations disclaim any liability for information supplied to you and no representation or warranty is made as to the accuracy, completeness of such information.

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