To make fashion into a force for good, we need to address gender inequality and gender violence. So, we put the focus on gender justice in everything we do. In December 2017, started working with Asta Network in Brazil to strengthen a network of artisans and seamstresses through the project “Entusiasta: empowering artisans and seamstresses”. The initiative works in three directions to provide more autonomy to women artisans and to fight child labor:

Detecting Child Labor: undertaken in partnership with the Favelas Monitoring Center –a civil organization for research, consultancy and public action dedicated to producing knowledge and political proposals related to favelas and urban issues–, the report will investigate the working conditions of the artisans/seamstresses, with special attention given to the possibilities for placing children and adolescents in the employment environment and/or process. Following the research period, a seminar will be held with 50 artisans to come up with solutions for the situations observed in the first phase. The result of training for this work will be turned into content on the Entusiasta Platform.

Pricing Application: used to price textiles and handmade products quickly, didactically and easily. Based on basic configurations for profit and contribution margins, the user can enter the necessary information to calculate the right price.

Creation of Artisan Centers: artisans and seamstresses will be invited to set up groups for sharing experiences and knowledge. 

The main idea of the project is to empower artisans and seamstresses to keep a lack of knowledge and awareness of issues related to human rights and relations from hampering their development and autonomy.
Co-founder of the Asta Network - Alice Freitas

To support this, Entusiasta was created: an online platform made up of the Artisan Business School.  The platform hosts a training programme, based on the 12-year Asta Network experience in the handmade sector.  It also creates a connection to the market through an interface where retailers and professionals who need craftsmen for their projects find artisans/seamstresses.  In addition, the platform includes an social media function where artisans/seamstresses can share. It is estimated that by the end of 2018, nearly 1,000 artisans and seamstresses will have access to the platform. According to Alice, “the partnership with the C&A Foundation will help Asta create a methodology for training artisan networks in Brazil, increasingly strengthening the handmade economy and preventing child labor.”

 “The vast majority of the production groups that work with handicrafts and textiles are women, and research indicates that a significant part of their income is invested in the family. That leads us to the conclusion that investing in women is the best way to generate sustainable results that can be passed on to the families in the long term,” says Luciana Almeida, manager of Human Rights and Supply Chain Transformation