We’re standing at the workroom table going over a Meridian Lee bag design. My focus is on clean lines and function. You know, important things like how many 3 oz TSA approved bottles does it take to hold a bottle of wine. Hmmm.
Hanna, one of our bag makers, is leafing through a book of swatches. Her hands come to rest on a kinda loud, metallic blue pattern. I’m not reeeeally feeling it. But she probably knows something I don’t know. So I force myself to pause and consider it. Isn’t collaboration about respect? Isn’t it about the ability to make choices and have a voice?
She teases me for choosing a ‘boring’ slate colored canvas that we’ll have waxed for the outer. We settle on a charcoal metallic for the lining and add a secret interior pocket she designed. Our partnership is the secret to our success.
It’s estimated that women make up 70% of the world’s poorest people yet own only 1% of the world’s titled property, according to the U.N. This inequality is slowly but surely correcting itself (I have some theories on this that I’ll explore in another post).
We see first hand that as women are able to use their skills and voices to create economic stability, they lift up their families and neighbors. This is one of the benefits of direct trade. By working in homes and small workshops, our partners make a living wage. Half the Sky Movement estimates that women re-invest 80¢ of every dollar they earn back into their families. Families and communities thrive when women have economic opportunity.
Hanna and I designed the perfect overnight duffle. I’m rewarded with her beautiful off to the side smile and the ripple effect she is having in her family and village.
Best To You,
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