Posts tagged ‘india’

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?

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

Part 2 of “Fair Trade From the Seed to the Consumer”: Cloth Production & Block Printing

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 2 of our series, we will explore the second major link in the Marigold supply chain: Cloth Production & Block Printing

The organic cotton used to make Marigold products is milled, ginned and dyed by an association of over 5,000 farmers in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and then the finished cotton fabric is sent to the cooperative for stitching.

In order to make the beautiful, one of a kind products that you have come to love, we use fabrics that are vegetable-dyed and hand block printed, bringing the past into today’s fashion conscious world. Hand block printing is an age-old tradition that dates back to 12th century India, but it is a dying art form due to the trend of mass production. We believe in honoring and celebrating this tradition and so the fabrics used at the co-op to make Marigold clothing and housewares come from a group of artisans who have been block printing for generations. The work is done by hand with intricately carved wooden blocks called bunta which are pressed into the fabrics with great precision to bring you products that area true work of art.

Using a model of a completely fair trade supply chain, everyone who has had a hand in creating a Marigold product is becoming an economically self-sufficient stakeholder, and is not simply a worker.

Stay tuned for Part 3: Product Design & Production. In the mean time, what are your thoughts on using artisan traditions (such as block printing and vegetable dying) for the production of consumer goods? Is this important to you? Do you think the general shopper is concerned about the source of their fabrics?

October 19, 2010 at 5:51 am Leave a comment

GIVEAWAY: Enter to WIN a gorgeous fair trade, organic, vegetable-dyed napkin set!

Marigold Fair Trade is excited to announce a giveaway in celebration of this week’s unveiling of our new blog!

THE PRIZE:

One lucky winner will receive a beautiful handmade napkin set for 6 people!  Liven up a dinner party or enjoy a daily infusion of rich saturated vegetable-based color and traditionally hand blocked prints with an exclusive FREE gift from the Marigold House Wares collection.

RULES:

  • We will choose our favorite comment on the blog article and that person will be declared the winner
  • The winner will receive a direct email about how to collect the prize
  • Entries must be received by 5:00pm PST on Sunday August 8, 2010
  • Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

  1. Visit our online catalog and pick your favorite Marigold Fair Trade product http://su.pr/2IPgOQ
  2. Post a comment on this article about your favorite Marigold Fair Trade product and WHY (don’t forget to provide a correct email address so we can get in touch with you if you are the winner)
  3. And for a BONUS chance to win:
    1. Join our Facebook page http://su.pr/2q14yw
    2. Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/MarigoldFT

ABOUT MARIGOLD FAIR TRADE:

Marigold works with a co-op of over 300 women from the slums of Mumbai, India and an association of 500o organic cotton farmers to make fashionable fair trade clothes and household items. Our beautiful line of products are vegetable-dyed and hand block printed or organic. Your purchase helps a disadvantaged woman make herself more economically self-sufficient and supports organic farming.

Hand block printing is an age-old artisan tradition that dates back to the 12th century in India, but it is an art form that is dying due to mass produced manufacturing. We believe in honoring and celebrating the tradition of block printing to bring you clothing that is a work of art created by hand.

Marigold is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and Green America. We are also proud members of the South Sound Clean Clothes campaign- a coalition of concerned citizens raising awareness about the sweatshop industry, and challenging individuals as well as public and private institutions to create positive change by altering their purchasing practices and Washington Fair Trade Coalition.

WHY SUPPORT FAIR TRADE:

As a member of the Fair Trade Federation we follow 8 guiding principles:

  1. Paying a fair wage in the local context
  2. Building long-term trade relationships
  3. Engaging in environmentally sustainable practices
  4. Technical training and assistance
  5. Offering employees opportunities for advancement
  6. Providing equal opportunities for all people, particularly the most disadvantaged
  7. Being open to public accountability
  8. Safe working conditions

We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation, Green America, South Sound Clean Clothes Campaign and the WA Fair Trade Coalition.

August 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm 16 comments

Marigold has a new blog!

Hello Friends!

Welcome! As a pioneer in the organic and fair trade fashion world, Marigold is happy to share this brand new blog with you!  This will be a great way to keep our followers up to date with the great work we are doing with an association of 5000 organic cotton farmers, and with a co-op of over 300 women in the slums of Mumbai, India.

We are very excited and think that you will really enjoy the new features:

  • An RSS feed so you can automatically receive new posts to your feed reader (iGoogle, myYahoo! etc)
  • A category list and archive so you can easily find particular blog posts
  • A blogroll so you can see what organizations and blogs we follow
  • A search box so you can quickly find what you need using a keyword
  • Our twitter feed so you can see what we are up to each day
  • Author gravatars for each post so you can see the pictures of the people behind the scenes at Marigold
  • Our Flickr feed so you can see pictures of our products, the farmers and the women in the cooperative

And as always, we welcome all of your comments and feedback and want our blog to be interactive and as useful to our readers as possible.  If there is a particular subject you want us to cover, or a link you think we would be interested in, please let us know!  Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you back here very soon!

Sincerely,

The Marigold Fair Trade team

August 3, 2010 at 4:22 am 1 comment


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