Our goal at Liz Alig is to design clothing sustainably and fairly from the textiles we choose to the production facilities we partner with.
To do this we partner with over ten cooperatives, entrepreneurs, and fair trade workshops around the world. One of our main partners in Honduras, Mi Esperanza, provides skills training to low income women. They empower women, who previously lived on less than a dollar a day, with free sewing, salon, jewelry, and computer classes so they are then able to find employment and support themselves and their families.
Each organization we partner with is helping empower women in their unique way in their corner of the world.
The reason we partner with so many different groups is because each has access to their own traditional fibers and textiles or we have trained them to recycle textiles they can easily source (which in places like rural Haiti is quiet difficult to source sustainable textiles).
We believe in the mission of each group we partner with - whether it is one women entrepreneur sewing from her home or a larger fair trade organization producing hundreds of products. Liz Alig invests in these groups by teaching them designs that will sell in a global market and improving their quality control. Our final goal is to help these groups become self-sustaining and give them the skills to launch their work in a global market.
We re-invest in these communities by giving back 50% of our profits in the form of small loans and scholarships.
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
Fair trade is an economic and social movement that aims to provide a more equitable form of global trade especially to producers in developing countries while promoting sustainability. One of the main goals of fair trade is to balance the payment scale in the supply chain. Although many view fair trade as a form of charity, it is rather a way to empower low income communities with a sustainable form of income instead of feeding a cycle of poverty.
Low wages and poor conditions are a reality for many people working in factories in the developing world.
In 1980, over 30% of textiles were produced in developing countries. Today this number is 70%. Although this is one way for these countries to enter the global market, many of its citizens become trapped in a cycle of exploitation. Fair trade is a way to empower them to have more ownership of their lives. Those using the fair trade model pursue producers in developing countries and low income areas to assist these communities with skills training and business opportunities to encourage their economic growth.
It is not merely producing clothing in a fair way, but using production to empower.