Dsenyo Fairly Traded Textiles

apron napkins potholder

We are pleased to introduce Dsenyo, a new fair trade line from Malawi. From their website:

Dsenyo, a growing company in the ethical fashion industry, aspires to empower a generation of African women and artisans eager to address the challenges facing their communities.

Dsenyo makes every effort to use low-impact dyes and sustainable fibers like jute, hemp and organic cotton where possible. We reduce waste by composting organic scrap material, and we re-purpose textile remnants for use in other products.

Where is Malawi?

Malawi is a small, densely populated country in Central Africa.  It is located at the southern tip of the Great Rift Valley and is bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania.  Some facts about Malawi:

  • 14 million people
  • 14% of the population living with HIV/AIDS
  • Life expectancy only 43 yrs
  • 80% of the population live as subsistence farmers
  • Multi-party democracy since 1994
  • Former British protectorate (not colony)
  • National languages are Chichewa and English
  • 1 in 10 children are expected to die under the age of 5
  • Women have six children on average
  • Malaria is still the #1 cause of death
  • Only 50% of females are literate compared to 76% of males

Hope is written all over Malawi

  • Fair Trade offers a real opportunity for marginalized people to get access to resources and viable markets
  • Malawian women are creative, extremely hard working and eager to learn new skills
  • Gender equality is making progress (Malawi has a female Vice President along with several female Members of Parliament)
  • Awareness about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and how to prevent infection is increasing
  • Knowledge about family planning is improving
  • Families increasingly value education for their daughters, wanting to send them to school and are only limited by lack of financial resource
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