I recently joined a small group of folks who are making a big change in the life of women in developing countries. This group is called Ubuntu at Work and its mission is to transform women into entrepreneurs and escape poverty. The idea is simple but has large impact. One group of women in a village near Bangalore are being trained by experts to create silk bags that are then sold by us on their behalf. For every bag they make, they are given a few dollars and a few dollars are placed in trust in their name - they can use the trust money to purchase their own sewing machine or rent space for their work. It is amazing how talented these women are! Take a look at this mac sleeve that the women designed by themselves - all they were shown was the inside of a laptop and this is their interpretation!
Our founder, Vibha Pingle, is right now in Bangalore, getting several samples of bags made for me to market here in the U.S. The best part of the bags is that they are all natural materials, local to the area where the women work (read no fuel wasted to transport materials) and are designed by top designers who are giving us their designs for free! Some of our clients are companies that are giving out jute bags made by our women with their company logos on the jute bags.
I can't wait to meet these women in person when I get to visit them later this month.