Liz Alig partners with fair trade workshops and small women's cooperatives around the world. Part of fair trade is celebrating traditional textiles and sewing techniques - working with a variety of groups allows us to incorporate more of these fabrics and skills into our designs. We love the profound mission and impact each of these groups have in their corner of the world!
Liz Alig's first partner, located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Mi Esperanza is an organization that seeks to empower women by giving them opportunity to make a sustainable income through the production of gifts and clothing. Their mantra "helping women help themselves" is accomplished through skills training courses and micro-business loans. Women at Mi Esperanza produce most of our recycled t-shirt line. Liz Alig travels regularly to Mi Esperanza to be a part of the sewing skills training of women who are a part of this program. Shop for Liz Alig clothing made by Mi Esperanza.
Liz Alig works with several mamas from the Global Mamas network in Ghana, Africa. Global Mamas envisions women in Africa to be economically independent by significantly increasing the revenues of women owned business. Women in Ghana who we partner with through Global Mamas are able to increase their small sewing businesses by manufacturing Liz Alig clothing. Our clothing that is created in Ghana is made from recycled button down shirts, recycled flour sacks, and traditional batik recycled sheets. Shop for other products made by Global Mamas.
Located in El Salvador, Garrobo utilizes upcycled excess fabric rolls that would otherwise go to landfills. Garrobo is a project that supports the economic and social empowerment of underprivileged single mothers and young women through training, job skills and employment. The project establishes satellite workshops of about five women and up to 20 women in areas where jobs are hard to come by within the vicinity where they live. This enables them to earn a living close to their homes with their children nearby. Garrobo specialized in yoga and active wear garments. Shop for Liz Alig items made in El Salvador.
In 1984, KTS opened a primary school and introduced a carpet weaving training program for adults. Today the organization has grown to include a free nursery, primary school for 250 children, and vocational training program in carpet weaving, hand knitting and carpentry. These programs are funded by the sale of their high quality handmade goods. After learning to knit from this program, women can work from their own home...allowing them to care for their children while earning an income! Liz Alig designs hand woven sweaters and accessories from their high quality hand spun banana fiber, wool and silk.
Liz Alig works with a very small woman's cooperatives in the hills of Bolivia. This group was started in 2004 by an interest-free startup loan from Solidarity Bridge. Work with this group provides an income to these women and their community. Dona Augustina, the leader of the group, completed only an elementary education. Today her son is attending university!
Bolivia is home of many rich textiles. We use pima cotton jersey in the clothing produced by this group. We also work with a similar cooperative in Cochabamba that hand makes sweaters and accessories from super soft baby alpaca.
Most of the traditional women in Guatemala wear a flowing ‘huipil’ shirt and skirt made from hand woven ikat. We work with a small fair trade cooperative that makes clothing from recycled ikat fabric and embroidered huipil shirts. Our partnership in Guatemala gives women a source of income - one of the women that we work with was able to afford an expensive heart surgery for her son that she would not otherwise be able have. Her son is now doing well!
INDIA HAND BLOCKING
Liz Alig works with a charming little NGO in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Himalyan Tapestry, works to education and empower women in this community. The program has a small cafe and sewing program. Anna, the leader of this group, has been working with underprivilegedwomen for over 25 years and is a pioneer of ethical fabric production. We design garments using their traditional skills of hand block printing and weaving. See Liz Alig's hand block printed line here.
Because of the large number of factories in Cambodia, excess rolls of fabric (or bags as seen above) can be purchased at local markets. We design garments utilizing this excess fabric. Next we work with a small production facility in Phnom Penh, Fairsew. This group pays fair wages, provides health insurance, and gives as many paid holidays as Australia - these things may sounds small, but they are unheard of in most factories in Cambodia.
Village Works produces the beautiful hand-woven and hand tie dyed silk found in our Suzy Dress. Their motto shows a strong commitment to not only making beautiful fabric, but also changing people lives... "Village Works is more than handicrafts. The essence is really building the lives of the villagers. Behind every piece of work, you get the whole person and his family, more than what you see, more than the hands that made the product. Here, we invite our supporters to join us and be engaged in building lives. Your support helps the villagers break free from their poverty cycle, and find hope in life."
Kumudini Welfare Trust was started as a hospital in 1947 by a wealthy businessman who used most of his money to establish several schools and medical facilities. Today the hospital and training school are run by economic generating programs like jute press, river transportation, and pharmaceuticals. Liz Alig garments produced by the welfare trust are made from hand woven recycled cotton fibers.
Nou Hope aims to empower the people of a couple towns in rural Haiti to become more self-sustaining so that families can afford basic education and daily living expenses. One of the ways they are doing this is through economic and educational development in tailoring, pottery, and jewelry making. Liz Alig is working with this group to produce some accessories made from recycled button down shirts and incorporating some of their traditional hand embroidery skills. This groups is one of the most rural groups that we work with, they have 2 treadle (foot pedaled) sewing machines because there is no electricity in this village. Liz Alig hopes to help this group become more self-sustaining, so they can manage large orders to help their community grow.
REFUGEES IN NASHVILLE
Sew For Hope provides low cost sewing classes for refugees, in Nashville, Tennessee. The training they receive gives them a sense of worth and accomplishment while adding marketable skills that are valuable for earning an income. Liz Alig works with a couple of seamstresses who have graduated from this program giving them industry experience and an income.