I’m also convinced that a woman will do whatever it takes to take care of her children. Sadly, “whatever it takes,” for a lot of women means working impossibly long hours in inhumane conditions for terribly low pay. This is especially true of women working in the garment industry. Despite giving everything they have to their jobs, the wages these women make simply aren’t enough to give themselves and their children the chance to survive, much less to thrive.
What is social enterprise?
Social enterprise is not just about “doing good.” Social enterprise is about creating change. We do this by making people aware of the bad and by fighting on behalf of the women and children who find themselves stuck in the cycle of poverty.
I often explain it to people this way:
The fact that something is ethically produced shouldn’t be a bonus. I think we assume that there’s a lot of neutral ground between ethical and unethical….that there are businesses who “help people” and then there are just regular old businesses.
Unfortunately, if you looked into the production standards of a lot of larger clothing companies you’d learn that the harsh conditions I described above are the norm for the workers who make their garments.
So, making the choice to shop ethically isn't just a kind thing to do, it's the right thing to do.
Empower women, change the world
Working conditions and low pay are a huge part of the problem, but what about women who grew up too poor to get an education? These women face even greater obstacles.
Mi Esperanza has recognized the role that education plays in breaking the cycle of poverty. We like to say, "Teach a woman a skill and she will make a new life for generations to come"
I have seen it first hand. Education has not only empowered the women of Mi Esperanza themselves. The personal opportunities of these women have become the opportunities of their children, grandchildren and so on.
When we invest in women via social enterprise, we invest in a world changing strength.
Thanks for reading,
EA Lepine, Designer/Owner Arrowroot Clothing & Mi Esperanza Board Member