Be truthful with yourself. How often do you think about where your gear comes from? Sure, we all like to talk a good game and do ethical things from time to time but when we’re trying on a cool-looking jacket is the first thing we think a) “this jacket looks good” or b) “this jacket was made by a real-life human being; I must find out more about what’s going on with them.”
If you answered “a)” to this question, you’re honest. If you answered “b”, you’re either an absolute saint or a liar. A blinkered view of the world, and the less fortunate, is something that, no matter how hard we try, we can all slip into from time to time without even realising (and that’s alright, it doesn’t immediately make you a bad person).
“The partnership, which began in 1992, gives valuable opportunities to vulnerable women at risk of prostitution and drugs”
With all this in mind, let’s discuss Paramo Clothing‘s great working partnership with the Miquelina Foundation in Bogota, Colombia. The partnership, which began in 1992, gives valuable opportunities to vulnerable women at risk of prostitution and drugs. It provides them with training, employment, homes and childcare. It’s, in short, a very good thing.
Over 80% of Paramo’s current annual production occurs at Miquelina (including all of the brand’s iconic Analogy waterproof garments), and every item produced there now comes with a World Fair Trade label. Like we said already, this place, this partnership… it’s a good thing.
To find out more about the Miquelina Foundation, check out this ‘Q & A’ with Mireya Castelblanco. Mireya has worked in partnership with Paramo for 27 years.
What has the Miquelina Foundation done for the Bogota community?
Creating the Miquelina Foundation has enabled us to support the women who were forced into prostitution and teach them many transferable skills. It has meant that these women are able to send their children to school, and build a Multiactive Cooperative which has resulted in 140 members getting homes. It has attended to the community needs, and become an integral part of the wider Bogota family.
“To see these women thrive and in many cases set up their own businesses after the training we give them is inspiring”
How much have women been helped by the Miquelina Foundation?
Starting the Miquelina Foundation has always held the upliftment of local women at its heart. To be able to get these women out of prostitution and a life of misery will always be the most rewarding process ever. To see these women thrive and in many cases set up their own businesses after the training we give them is inspiring. It has allowed them to earn money, feel secure and leave a legacy for their families. The Miquelina Foundation has reconciled a society.
How many women are employed by Miquelina at the moment?
In 2019, we have 120 women employed with us.