Want to know more about where Hope Sews products come from?
Well, you’re in the right place.
We source our fabrics from Vlisco, the premiere global vendor of wax prints. You might be thinking, why does Hope Sews source African wax prints from a Holland-based company? Well, the provenance of wax printed fabrics is actually a complicated knot of cultural influence and appropriation, colonization and reclamation. If you want to learn more about the history of wax prints, click here to view our detailed article.
TLDR; the wax prints we know today as symbols of African culture and heritage were first made by European business-people seeking to mass-produce Batik style fabrics popular in Java, Indonesia. The European-made wax prints didn’t catch on in Indonesia, but they did catch on in West Africa. The European (primarily Dutch) sellers pivoted their focus to West African markets. The vibrant and beautiful designs we know and love as African prints today were inspired by West African aesthetics and scenes of daily life. Learn more about Vlisco and their design process here.
The fabrics we have chosen arrive at MasterG, an all-women production house in New Delhi, India founded by Gayatri Jolly (who, just like our founder, is a Babson College alum!). MasterG has reimagined what a factory can be. We have chosen Master G as our production house because we share values: we both think beyond norms and convention to create a new way of doing business, ways grounded in good ethics and empowerment. MasterG has training centers in low income areas to teach women sewing, pattern-making, and business skills -- skills commonly only accessible to men. MasterG also employs seamstresses, providing fair wages and safe, respectful working conditions. MasterG places emphasis on dignity, quality, and empowerment. You can learn more about the mission, impact, and practices of Master G here.
At Master G, seamstresses use our fabrics to create the beautiful garments Hope Sews is known for. We work closely with the seamstresses to revise and develop our designs so that our products are beautiful and functional. The garments are outfitted with their tags and shipped to our fulfillment center.
At the fulfillment center, our garments are packaged up and shipped off to our customers (you). We ship our products in compostable poly mailers from NoIssue, an awesome company which prioritizes sustainability. (Learn more about NoIssue and what their poly mailers are made of here).
We use poly mailers to ship our products because they take up less space than boxes, which reduces emissions (if more items can fit in, say, a truck, less trips are necessary to transport them all. Neat, huh!). We ship through (shipping carrier).
HOPE SEWS ON YOU
Not only are you empowered by your new pieces, but you’ve just contributed to our microfinance program!
We have partnered with Accion, an organization which specializes in granting microfinance loans to individuals in developing communities. With the logistic expertise of Accion, we can ensure that our microfinance loans are fulfilling their purpose: empowering women to become successful entrepreneurs.
(PS: if you think the #HopeSewsRippleEffect is as cool as we do and want to make even bigger waves, donate directly to our microfinance program.)