Proud Mary

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Impact

We choose to partner with cooperatives, family-owned workshops, and individual artisans who are deeply talented, but may not have the resources to reach an audience wider than their village market. We’ve worked with 30+ artisan-producing groups in over 10 countries, and have a fundamental understanding of the challenges artisans and producers face around the world, and how we can make a difference.

Mexico

Process

Our process in Mexico is multi-step, with different artisans adding new value to each product. Typically, the woven material is made in a large quantity, and passed along to the sewing workshop. The last stop is the embroiderer for final touches.

Labor of Love

Each village has a different weaving style and traditional techniques depending upon what the design calls for. The amount of time it takes to produce a single item often depends on the type of loom utilized; more material can be produced on a foot loom than a backstrap loom.
It takes three days to set the warp on the loom and approximately one week to weave 30 yards of material. After the weaving is completed the products are then sewn and finished at our San Cristobal workshop. Each of our hand woven and hand crafted products from Mexico takes around two-three weeks to complete.

artisan partners

10

Community Investment 2017

$20,000

Morocco

Process

We work with women to weave the raffia for the uppers of our shoes, and then work with small cobbler workshops to complete the soles. The raffia fibers are sourced from East Africa and Madagascar and dyed in Morocco.

Labor of Love

It takes a single woman one day to make a pair of our raffia shoes. The ladies learn the techniques from their mothers and, by supporting this work, we are encouraging them to pass along the craft to their daughters. The raffia weaving takes place in Essaouira, a seaside town, and in a small village right outside of Marrakech. The women mostly do the work from home so they can tend to their children and other house work.

artisan partners

12

Community Investment 2017

$43,000

Mali

Process

We have 4 partnerships in Mali. Our indigo dyeing is done by a woman owned cooperative using locally sourced indigo. Our mud cloth textiles are created using hand-woven cloth, pagne, dyed and printed in a workshop owned by a master bogolan artisan who started the business as a social enterprise to employ local young men, offering guidance and employment where needed. We also work with with a jewelry designer in Bamako that makes our statement necklaces out of locally sourced cowry shells. Finally, we source market finds through our friends at Mali Chic, a gallery/shop in the capital city.

Labor of Love

Our longest artisan collaboration has been ongoing in Mali since 2011. While the conflict and security in the country has fluctuated, we continue to develop products and share a special connection to our Malian artisan partners. All of the textile collections are made using natural dyes, with locally sourced indigo and pigments for the bogolan (or mud cloth) found in mud from the Niger River as well as local plants.

artisan partners

10

Community Investment 2017

$7,000

Dominican Republic

Process

We partner with a formal cooperative of approximately 20 women in a small interior town of the Dominican Republic. The women use crochet skills to create bright colored bags using recycled plastic trash bags sourced locally. They know which stores use which colored shopping bags and will travel across the country to find new colors to add to their designs. The bags are cut into strips and crocheted with traditional crochet needles.

Labor of Love

The Dominican Republic has a major trash problem, and this cooperative of women have taken on this issue. They are making something beautiful out of the trash. Their story has spread, and people from all around will drop off bags at their workshop. Before working with us, the group only sold to the local tourist market, but the partnership with Proud Mary allows them to export products and expand their market access immensely.

artisan partners

10

Community Investment 2017

$4,000

Bolivia

Process

We work with a fair trade supplier and ethical manufacturer in Cochambamba, Bolivia, who has been established since 1995. They work with 300+ artisans in the area; both knitters and weavers using mostly alpaca, but also cotton and natural fibers. Our first collection with them launches Fall 2017, with both machine and hand-knitted pieces.

Labor of Love

Bolivia is has one of the most marginalized populations in South America, mostly due to the fact that it’s a landlocked country and has a very large, informal economy. Luckily, a lot of value is placed on the creative economy with a strong appreciation for traditional handcrafts passed down generation to generation.

artisan partners

12

Community Investment 2017

$19,000

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