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 mission and impact each of these groups has in their corner of the world!
Honduras - Recycled T-Shirt Collection
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. Shop for Liz Alig clothing made by Mi Esperanza.
Ledy lives just outside the capital of Tegucigalpa in a two room house with her three daughters and husband. She graduated from the Mi Esperanza sewing program in 2007. And went on to work for a few small t-shirts companies as well as sewing for private clients from her home. In 2013, Ledy was trained to oversee production of our recycled t-shirt collection at the Mi Esperanza production house. From there she went on to earn her high school diploma and graduated from nursing school - which had always been a dream for her. Now she works part time with our production at Mi Esperanza. We are thankful for her attention to detail and kind spirit.
Ghana - Recycled Flour Sacks
Betty has been overseeing our small production in Ghana for several years. She makes our collection made from recycled flour sacks there - if you have one of our Louissa Dresses, she probably made it. Betty has been recognized for her leadership abilities in her small network there in Ghana. Along with our production, she also sews for clients in Ghana - making school uniforms.
Bolivia - Pima Cotton and Hand Knit Alpaca
Dona Augustina is our main seamstress in the foothills of the Andes in Bolivia. She has worked for several years for other small companies producing small runs of clothing from the high quality pima cotton that is sourced from her area. We have enjoyed working alongside this women for several years! Although she does not have a background in design and understandably gets very confused when we use terms like 7/16 an inch, she is eager to learn and get more orders so she can employ and teach her neighbors. Augustina, who herself only has an elementary education is now able to see her son attend university.
Guatemala - Recycled Traditional Cortes and Huipils. Recycled Denim
We have been working for several years with Gladys who lives just outside Antigua. She producers our collection made from recycled ikat and the traditional embroidered huipils that she gathers at the local markets. Gladys has two children, the younger son had a heart problem for several years. When we met her and talked about the possibility of partnering together, show mentioned her situation and was so excited about the possibility of using the income to pay for heart surgery for her son. Her work producing for Liz Alig has allowed their family to afford open heart surgery for him - a few summers ago he underwent the operation and is now doing well! We are thankful to Gladys for her strong work ethic and her skills!
India - Hand Block Print and Handwoven Cotton
Liz Alig works with an NGO in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains that works to educate 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 underprivileged women for over 25 years and is a pioneer of ethical fabric production. We design garments using their traditional hand block printing and handwoven textiles.
At age 14 Preethi had been sold to an old man, three times her age. She was sold by her father to pay off a debt their family owed. She was severally abused by him - after enduring a year of abuse, she manged to escape and return to her parent's home; however, her parents sold her again to the same man. She managed to escape again, but was forcibly sent back to the man a third time. Again she escaped and found her way to the house of a human rights lawyer, who brought her to a shelter. At the shelter she received counseling, emotional support and care. She also received sewing training from our partner organization and worked there for two years. Over this time, she became a women who had an understand of herself and more importantly regained her self-respect. She met her husband during this time. Now they live in Delhi with their daughter and both work for an NGO.
Cambodia - Recycled Overstock Fabrics
Because of the large number of factories in Cambodia, excess rolls of fabric can be purchased at local markets. We design garments utilizing this excess fabric. Next we work with a small production facility in Phnom Penh. 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.
Haiti - Recycled Button Down Shirts
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.