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Classical Handmade Products Bangladesh

The company

The SME Classical Handmade Products (CHP) from Bangladesh makes sustainable, handmade home accessories such as rugs and baskets from natural fibers and recycled clothing.

Bigger brands as IKEA started taking notice of CHP’s products. In 2021 IKEA contacted CHP because of their rugs, baskets, coasters and place mats, and wanted to introduce them to the European market. Nowadays these are part of the IKEA collection.

Truvalu helped CHP to prepare these beautiful, handmade, and recycled home accessories  that are conquering the IKEA shelves. CHP could not imagine this to be possible. But it became possible!

The entrepreneur

MD. Tauhid Bin Abdus Salam completed his undergraduation from the BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) in 2004 where he studied fashion designing. Upon graduation, he joined a Dutch buying house (RMG) as a marketing manager, and at the same time he played the role of a lecturer at Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology and BUFT. The capital he accrued during his short career of 4 years, acted as the capital (about 20.000 Euros) to start his business ‘Classical Handmade Products’. Tauhid came to learn about the production of rugs (shotrunji) produced in the northern part of Bangladesh, as a result of his education. He planned to manufacture “grameen check” for the RMG sector, but realized that it would be difficult to produce such precise thread based designs on such a mass scale. He began pondering on how to utilize thicker threads  and around that time he started producing rugs by establishing 90 machines across 3 units.

Reason to start the company

Tahud started the business out of his interests towards rugs produced in the northern part of Bangladesh. In the early days of his venture, he met a lady who came to him searching for a job. The woman worked as a stone breaker, and received 0,4 Euros per day as remuneration. He came to know about her penurious living standards from an NGO worker. From that point on, the entrepreneur decided to create a model that would directly empower poverty stricken women through employment. With this end in view, CHP established 21 decentralized production units spread across these ultra poor areas in the subsequent years.



“We are very proud to work together with the Classical Handmade Products team and director Tauhid Salam.“- Jaap-Jan Verboom, Director Truvalu BV

Social Impact

Social impact – Local jobs and quality of life
The company is very committed to improving the quality of life for its employees, mostly underprivileged women or men and women with disabilities.

Impact figures:
In 2020, CHP employed 1403 workers: 1217 female and 186 male workers. It sourced from 1922 local producers, herewith impacting their economic Incomes. The total value (in EUR) of raw materials purchased from these smallholder farmers in that same year was 1,102,748.

The company has set itself the following targets (2022):

  • At least 120 workers are trained every quarter.
  • A minimum of 80% of the workers hired are women.
  • At least 6 people with disabilities are hired every year.
  • More than 50 workers availed some form of healthcare service in a month.
  • More than 90% of the workers who availed healthcare services are satisfied with the level of service. Monthly monetary value of raw materials purchases is USD 400,000 on average.
    10% increase in income of workers after joining CHP.
  • 15% increase in income of the smallholder farmers after starting to work with CHP. More than 40 tons of garments clippings are recycled every quarter.

The investment contributes to the creation of local jobs, the professionalization of SMEs and the concrete sale of sustainable, recycled products. It contributes to SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent work and income), SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action).

Financial returns

CHP’s revenue had a growth of 61.53% between 2019 and 2021.

Classical Handmade Products provides local jobs and a better quality of life for its employees – mostly underprivileged women “- Sharawwat Islam, managing director Truvalu Bangladesh

Future plans

CHP plans to utilize the banana pseudo stem waste and upscale the use of banana fiber in the production of home decor. The aim is to build the ecosystem and capabilities along the banana fiber value chain and establish robust market linkages for home textile and Ready-Made Garment products. The goal will be to integrate a circular economy in the  agriculture and textile sector. Another plan CHP is elaborating is to develop a craft village for its workers in order to provide higher quality housing and working environment to attract and retail skilled workers.


The challenge CHP was faced with was to professionalize a fast-growing, informal local company, so that it is able to expand to new European buyers, employ large numbers of new staff and attract working capital from local banks.

CHP is one of the companies Truvalu invests in, in Bangladesh. The Truvalu Bangladesh team monitors the investment and technically supports CHP. With the support of Invest International, Truvalu has succeeded in bringing CHP a big step forward. Together with fellow investor the Fair Factory Fund, Truvalu invested in share capital in CHP. This enabled the company to expand its capacity.

Invest International/ Dutch Good Growth Fund supported CHP with a small grant to hire the support services of Truvalu. A subsidy of € 30k leveraged €1.25M investments in equity capital and €3M additional bank loans which resulted in ~1000 new jobs created!

A good example of the power of working together: Truvalu’s private investment capital and Business Development Services (such as cash flow management, impact measurement and management) together with the financing of Invest International and co-investments from the Fair Factory Fund ensured the right result.