A NonProfit 501(c)3
Thoughtful design is the cornerstone of our organizational and production philosophy. Each garment's fabrication needs to incorporate a variety of tasks, some of which are basic enough for less-experienced artisan. Of course, the end result must be high quality and has to please the customer. Hence our chindi project has multiple layers of purpose and creativity.
Fabric waste from cutting the garments is collected, sorted, cut and sewn together into different sizes depending on their final use. The sewing of the patches has its own role in training and production: teaching new artisans. MarketPlace is growing and new cooperatives are being formed to meet increased demand. Our community workers go from house to house to recruit new members, always seeking out those women most in need. These new artisans face many challenges. While they have been responsible for their homes and children, they have not taken on any duties outside the home. They have had no experience dealing with bureaucracies such as banks. They do not already know one another. And they need training in sewing and embroidery. We must overcome their uncertainty and fears to convince them that they can succeed: they can learn the needed sewing skills, they will learn to deal with various government departments, and together they can accomplish what one woman alone could not. MarketPlace provides extensive training in how to start and run a cooperative and a business and how to develop and foster leadership skills, cooperation, financial management and production. It is so gratifying for them as they overcome each hurdle and gain more and more confidence.
MarketPlace develops its product line to include simple garments and assignments that give new cooperatives a running start. We are also including "web only" products with more flexible deadlines so that the new artisans can gain experience in production schedules.
Some of the sewn-together Chindi pieces will go to more-experienced artisans to fashion into garments and accessories.
The Chindis themselves present distinct design challenges. For one, the colors of the leftover pieces do not always coordinate. Also, it is difficult to determine far in advance the quantity of any color family that will be generated. As a solution, the pieces are hand batiked and dyed. Hand batik involves painting a pattern, such as a circle, on the fabric which will resist the dye and reveal the original colors of the chindi. This creative solution not only results in unique and interesting pieces, it has the added benefit of requiring additional labor i.e., more employment.
Piecing this all together is a feat and demonstration of our commitment to increase employment for women.