Hot. Humid. Dirt floors. Sounds like the perfect environment for creating smiles, businesses and, of course, children’s clothing.
The initial purpose of our trip to Nicaragua was to establish a process for manufacturing the clothing for Persnickety’s “Buy One, Give One” program. As you may be aware, for every article of clothing purchased by you in retail stores and online, an article of clothing is donated by Persnickety to a child in need in developing countries. We looked forward to arranging for the manufacturing and donation of these dresses and were pleased on arrival to have the right contacts in place that could help us bring this about.
We had a few options. We could use a “factory”-style method where we could buy the fabric inexpensively and pay less for labor costs. Or we could be more true to what Persnickety is about and do things on a smaller, more personal scale. We chose the latter option and soon realized how important it would be for the mission we have at Persnickety.
We met women who own their own sewing machines and have either worked as factory sewers or who have done custom work in their homes, but without consistent projects. These women often are supporting not only their own children, but at times grandchildren and foster children.
We recognized that it was essential that they determine the value of their labor. This created a trust relationship with these small-business owners and laid the foundation for what we foresee as being a long-term relationship.
We were excited to initiate the program with four women sewing clothing for a girls’ orphanage in the city of Chinandega, Nicaragua. The results were beautiful skirt-and-blouse sets for the older girls and cute, colorful dresses for the younger ones.
As we discussed the situation with one of our contacts in Nicaragua, we learned that our project would allow these women to increase their income about 2 ½ times what they had been making. This will allow these mothers and grandmothers to purchase better food for their family (and themselves), improve their housing situation, and to save up money to invest in their business.
And children will receive beautiful, fun, clothing. Future projects will likely involve manufacturing and donating school uniforms that all children are required to wear (and many can’t afford). All this from your support of Persnickety Clothing. We thank you. The children who are recipients of the clothing thank you. And most significantly, the families receive the business opportunities that will change their standard of living for generations thank you.