Posts filed under ‘Women’

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today we honor and celebrate the hundreds of women in Mumbai with whom we work. We honor their determination, courage and skill. It has been an amazing journey over the past decade to have seen the co-op grow, to see how women’s lives have been touched and how their experience has rippled through their communities.


IMG_1242 woman and sewing machine at tb trainingIMG_1968

To read more about how fair trade impacts women’s lives you can visit the Fair Trade Federation whose members create meaningful, lasting change in the lives of women.

International Women’s Day has been recognized since the early 1900’s, marked by the UN since 1975 and today is officially honored in 27 countries and celebrated worldwide.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” Gloria Steinem


March 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm Leave a comment

For Mothers Worldwide

With Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day back to back it is an amazing time to honor women globally! This year over 700 events  involving more than 100,000 were planned across the country in celebration of World Fair Trade Day!

Since 2004, Marigold has worked to create opportunities for disadvantaged women from the slums of Mumbai to craft their economic independence.   We look at economic justice as a starting point to bring about the overall empowerment of women. We have been honored to work with an amazing co-op that is creating significant change in the lives women and in the lives of their children.

Shakuntala is one of the oldest co-op members. In a recent interview she speaks about how before working at the co-op she was illiterate, now not only is she literate but she has encouraged her children in school. Her eldest daughter who excelled in school, decided to continue her education once she finished her basic courses and became a teacher. Now she is teaching other children to read.

In celebration of fair trade and mother’s worldwide…Happy Fair Trade Day! Happy Mother’s Day!

Photo: pictured above is Shakuntala

May 14, 2012 at 3:28 am Leave a comment

Support Honduran Women Workers on International Women’s Day

Here is an action to take to support women today, International Women’s Day: (from the International Labor Rights Forum)

Today — on International Women’s Day — International Labor Rights Forum stands in solidarity with Honduran women workers who face forced pregnancy tests, verbal abuse, and sexual harassment on melon plantations. These women toil for long hours with regular exposure to toxic chemicals. With burned, blistered skin and with respiratory problems and stomach illnesses caused by long-term chemical exposure, their options for medical treatment are limited.

When Suragro-Fyffes and other melon companies fail to pay into Social Security, workers’ only remaining option is to seek healthcare from the company. The new, joint ILRF-COSIBAH report shows the failings of company clinics, reporting cases of pregnant women losing their jobs after visiting a company doctor and an incident of a woman who lost her finger in an accident who didn’t receive coverage for the amputation until COSIBAH mobilized pressure on the company and the Labor Ministry.

Melon workers want change in their working conditions, but they are hired for temporary contracts that severely undermine their ability to unionize. That’s why COSIBAH — a Honduran agricultural trade union — has asked us to amplify their call for respect for workers’ rights.

Please click here to sign COSIBAH’s petition!

Thank you,
Liana Foxvog
National Organizer
International Labor Rights Forum

March 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

Marigold sponsors this year’s bike commuter contest

Marigold is an annual sponsor of the Bike Commuter Contest. This week we wanted to highlight another sponsor who is also a fair trade business based in Olympia and works with a women’s co-op in Togo, West Africa to create shea butter products such as lotions, creams, hair care and now baby products! Alaffia is not only selling great fair trade products but they are also involved in a number of community projects such as the “Bikes for Togo” project. For the past 5 years, Alaffia has collected used bikes at fundraisers across the country and sent them by container full to  Togo. These bikes help girls access to education by proving means of transportation for the girls to get to school. To read more about the project , Alaffia and the Commuter Contest  visit:

May 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

Part 3 of “Fair Trade From the Seed to the Consumer”: Product Design & Production

In recognition of Fair Trade Month, Marigold Fair Trade Clothing has a new blog series entitled: “Fair Trade From the Seed to the Consumer.” Our beautiful, fashion-forward products represent a completely fair trade supply chain, and you can be assured that from the cotton seed to the finished product, your Marigold purchase is helping to transform the lives of workers and their communities. Holding true to our value of transparency, and in an effort to educate and advocate for the Fair Trade model, we are opening up, and explaining, our complete value chain to the consumer public.

In Part 3 of our series, we will explore the third major link in the supply chain, and the one that Marigold plays the biggest role in: Product Design & Production

Since 2004, Marigold has been working with a sewing co-op of over 300 women from the slums of Mumbai, India. The co-op provides an opportunity for severely disadvantaged women to craft their own economic independence by learning sewing and embroidery skills. After 6-9 months in the training program they join one of the 18 work groups which are autonomously run and coordinated by one woman whom is elected by each group.The women are also offered a number of social services including childcare, a nursery, educational sponsorship for their children, health training and a savings and credit organization.

Marigold first discovered the women’s co-op at the World Social Forum, an international conference of over 100,000 people representing the grassroots community from all over South East Asia and the World. At the time, the co-op was creating children’s toys but was interested into moving more into fashion, and as supporters of fair trade we had often found it difficult to find fashionable fair trade clothes in the North American market. We feel that meeting this group was in our destiny and saw a perfect opportunity to help grow the industry of ethical fashion by being using a Wholesaler model. The women at the heart of Marigold are in India, but Marigold helps bring their skills and traditional art forms to the North American market through the design of fashionable fair trade clothing and partnering with over 60 retailers around the country.

Unlike the traditional garment industry supply chain where clothing designers in North America only outsource production to developing nations, never meeting any of the workers, and certainly never consulting with the production staff, Marigold takes a different approach. Not only do we consult with local Indian artists in designing our housewares and clothing, we also know the names and faces of the women in the co-operative who actually make Marigold products. Instead of seeing the production phase as merely a means to an end that we should constantly strive to drive down costs and margins, we see our workers as partners and members of the Marigold family.

Rosy, one of our most tenured members, learned her sewing skills at the co-op and over the years became coordinator of one of the work groups, eventually earning the position of training center coordinator. Today she is a quality checker, responsible for making sure that Marigold’s products are made with the highest standards in mind. Rosy told us:

“It’s hard to imagine when I think back. Before, no one (in my household) was listening to me. Now if there is an issue and I am not there, they wait for me to hear what I have to say. I feel as if I am an independent woman taking care of my family and children. I feel as if the co-op has given me a platform on which to stand.”

Stay tuned for the last installment in this series, one that our readers are most familiar with, Part 4: Distribution & Consumer Purchasing. How have your feelings about Marigold products changed since you have been able to put a name and face to one of the workers? Does having this insight prompt you to question the status quo of the garment industry?

October 20, 2010 at 6:05 am Leave a comment

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