I have written a few times about organizations that assist women in other countries by employing them to do crochet work at a fair wage. Same Sky and Escama Studios are two of the organizations that I’ve written about. And now I’ve got another to add to the list: Jishike Social Couture. It has a similar business approach as the other two businesses I’ve written about but it’s especially special for me because the items made are very obviously crocheted. (The other two businesses also use crochet work but because they are jewelry and aluminum pop-top accessories they don’t have that easy-to-recognize crochet look that this business’s products have.)
The Jishike Social Couture Story
Here’s an excerpt of the story from the site:
“Wanting to have a long-term impact on the lives of the children she was teaching, Sinead decided the best way to accomplish that was to work directly with their mothers. After spending two months interviewing all the mothers, Sinead learned what their needs were, what their skills were like, and what kind of help they really needed. From there, Sinead taught the women how to crochet and sew in order to create a line of handmade women’s accessories. Combining her two true loves of fashion and business along with her passion for making a difference in the world, her company officially launched in 2009 and from its inception, Jishike, a Swahili word meaning ‘hold onto your strength’, used opportunity to help women empower themselves to fight poverty.”
Summary of the Business
The business currently works with more than two dozen mothers in Tanzania. They are taught how to crochet and sew in order to create beautiful handmade items. They are compensated fairly for their work, increasing their household income considerably and allowing them to do things like adding electricity to their homes for the first time and get adequate healthcare for their kids.
Here are some samples of the items that I like from the site. Of course the items are one of a kind and range in price from $50 – $300.
What do you think of these organizations that sell items hand-crocheted in Africa to people to support the independence of women in other areas of the world?