Fair Trade Textiles Support Women in Africa and Afghanistan

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Fair Trade Textiles Support Women in Africa and Afghanistan

Creative Women supports creative women
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Tues Tract: CreativeWomen helps women 2 econ independence: Fair Trade/sublime textiles. #socent #Africa #Afghanistan http://bit.ly/2gyLnn


Each week, on Elegant Roots' Tuesday tracts, we will recognize one of the artisans/designers whose creations grace the pages of our website. We think you'll find the stories worthy of notice.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 12:15pm


Here's another of our weekly features on people who promote social justice through enterprise. Today we applaud Ellen Dorsch, founder of Creative Women.

Some people are blessed with a bounty of energy and intellectual verve. Ellen Dorsch is clearly one of the lucky. At 60, Ellen changed careers from the non-profit public health sector to starting her own international business. She tackled a steep learning curve and overcame some interesting bumps along the way.  Now, Ellen's Creative Women, a member of the Fair Trade Federation sells wonderful Ethiopian, Swazi and Afghan textiles throughout the USA and Canada.

Ellen has a Masters in public health, planning and developing.  Her work with a non-profit public health organization took Ellen to Africa. In Ethiopia she found an economy wracked by years of instability. She quickly recognized that the wonderful people she met needed medical support but also a better means of earning a living.  Ellen saw that many talented women were economically marginalized and that Ethiopia's exquisite hand-embroidered textiles were under-marketed internationally.

Ellen's business and humanitarian idea sprang to full life when she met Menbere Alemayehu, a fashion designer who owned an established dress-making business, Menby's Designs. Both women knew that they could make a positive difference if they were able to create more employment opportunities for Ethiopian women.  To meet that goal, Ellen partnered with Menbere to launch Creative Women. " I founded Creative Women because I love beautiful things; I want to make a real difference in women's lives; and I'm fascinated by travel. Creative Women allows me to do all three...by buying directly from women-owned businesses, by expanding markets for hand-woven textiles, and by paying fair prices for our goods." 

The heart of Creative Women remains Ellen’s well-founded conviction that long-lasting improvement in people’s lives results from commerce—job creation through viable business. Since its beginning, Ellen, with the support of her husband Bill, has used that humanitarian principle to grow Creative Women and its positive impact on the economic lives of African and now Afghan, women by forming additional partnerships in Ethiopia, Swaziland, and Kabul.

Read more: www.elegantroots.com/blog/

Keywords: Afghanistan | Creative Women | Elegant Roots | Ellen Dorsch | Fair Trade Federation | africa | artisans | fair trade | hand-woven textiles | socially responsible