Earlier this year, some of the Collective Goods team had the opportunity to visit our partners at Ellilta Products (EP) in Ethiopia. We wanted to meet the women who were crafting the scarves and jewelry and catch a glimpse of their daily lives in Addis Ababa. We spent several days at the EP headquarters, sitting alongside the women as they made various necklaces and handwoven scarves. Let’s just say, we KNOW who made our clothes.
The women taught us how to bead necklaces, and they even taught us how to use the loom and we were able to weave part of a scarf! It was such an eye-opening and humbling experience as we all learned very quickly just how difficult it is to make just one piece of jewelry or scarf. It took one of our members around 2 hours to bead just half of a necklace!
The time spent was crucial in order for us at Collective Goods to ensure that we are conducting trade that is both fair and supportive to the women behind EP. We saw firsthand just how much time and effort goes into each piece, helping us understand their workflow and the logistics of how they run their business. By going to visit their headquarters, it also gave the women of EP a chance to meet some of the faces behind Collective Goods, a crucial part in building a partnership based on trust and mutual respect.
One of the highlights of our time at EP was being able to see products being made from the ground up. Witnessing the entire scarf making process, from dying to weaving, was incredible! Instead of writing about it here, we have put together a video to show you exactly how the scarf you are wearing was made!