Empowering Women: From Community to Couch

March 28, 2016

What if you could empower women, just by purchasing a cushion for your couch? Today Planet Indonesia, JMM Weaving Cooperative and The People’s Fabric signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a new partnership to expand the reach of our gender inclusion programs.

Planet Indonesia, JMM, and The People's Fabric official signing

Planet Indonesia, JMM, and The People's Fabric official signing

Planet Indonesia works with over 1,500 women in Sintang to revitalize traditional art work as a form of empowering indigenous women. But it’s much more than just increasing income…

We build local credit stocks and capital that help communities stabilize and increase their self-reliance. When each member sells a product, they must return a small amount to a revolving fund that is used to bring financial stability and resilience to local communities. Members can take out loans from their local communal business not only to further develop their products and cover damages, but also to pay their children’s education and family healthcare bills.

Additionally, our model mobilizes communities to control their own future by building self-reliance through sustainable development and governance over natural resources. Together our team has over 20 years of experience of using communal businesses and cooperatives as an organizational structure to activate community-engagement around economic, cultural and conservation issues. Our innovative model is unique in its combination of finance with capital and capacity building through sustainable business.

The People’s Fabric, founded by Ali Capp, is a social enterprise designed to take this impact to the next level. This partnership will give these women access to an international market and provide new innovations in product diversification.

We’re all so excited to formalize this partnership – it will not only ensure that we can create additional pathways for women seeking financial independence and an alternative livelihood to the destructive palm oil trade, but it will also support Planet Indonesia and the JMM Weaving Cooperative to continue working with these communities to culturally preserve the local weaving traditions
— Ali Capp, Founder The People's Fabric

This strategic partnership utilizes the skills of each organization to support the indigenous women of Borneo. The weaving cooperative works directly with the women and helps distribute funds and manage product quality, whilst working with over 40 villages to revitalize art and mobilize crafters. Planet Indonesia focuses on fundraising, grant writing and measuring the impact of the program in order to provide resources and access to the cooperative to facilitate programs and expand their member base. The People’s Fabric further supports the women by directly purchasing products and linking local livelihoods and development with an international demand for unique homeware products.

This is exactly the type of partnership we need to continue expanding our gender inclusion work. We are excited to partner with Ali and help scale-up the impact of our work. Partnering with social enterprises is an innovative way for not-for-profits, like Planet Indonesia, to build steady sources of financial income to support our day-to-day activities. Through buying products from the People’s Fabric, individuals are not only directly supporting over 1,500 indigenous women but also helping to support our not-for-profit and the continued expansion of our community empowerment programs.
— Adam Miller, Executive Director

Next time you want to redecorate your living room, buy a present for a friend or purchase a nice Mother’s Day present, why not make your purchase one that can change the lives of others? With just a simple purchase you are contributing to the empowerment of some of the world’s most marginalized communities and bringing some community to your couch.

Visit The People's Fabric