Monday, August 23, 2010

Sewing Project in Liberia Creates Fair Trade Jobs

In the basement of his family's building in Liberia previously occupied by warlord Charles Taylor, marred by bullet holes from a 14-year civil war, Chid Liberty has set up a business called The Liberian Women's Sewing Project. The initiative is a fair trade business, emphasizing good-work practices, high wages, and transparency. Liberty has a large table for open discussions between himself and his employees, a prayer room, and regular opportunities for the women to sing. He currently employs 32 women, but by the end of the next 18 months he hopes to employ over 500, with 370 sewing machines and a capacity of about two to four million t-shirts per year. "The truth is that something as beautiful as The Liberia Women's Sewing Project can come out of something as broken and decrepit as this building and conflict was," Liberty says, "We just hope to always be a metaphor for Liberia, that yes, this building has been completely broken down and yes there are bullet holes here, but as we heal the building, we are also healing ourselves."

- Clara Hill