Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh have partnered with two women’s sewing cooperatives in Ghana, BaBa Blankets Social Enterprise and Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative, to produce a line of socially responsible and sustainable clothing integrating West African textiles with Western design.

Maryanne and Molly work directly with the West African garment workers who produce the clothing. Each seamstress is payed by the piece, constructing each garment from start to finish and completing the piece in her own time. The seamstresses negotiate prices with Osei-Duro based on their needs, the time the piece takes to complete, and relative to previous work done. This ensures that the women are paid fairly for their work, which is completed with the highest attention to detail.

Here, the women of BaBa Blankets:

Most of the fabrics used for Osei-Duro’s designs have been grown, spun, woven and printed in West Africa. The printing and dying is either done by the local print houses, Akosombo Textiles Limited and Ghana Textile Products, or artisan dyers who work in small batches and specialize in processes such as tie and dye, block printing, marbling and a sew and dye technique similar to shibori. The designers also buy handwoven cotton made by traditional weavers, and are excited to start collaborating with a small Ghanaian family business doing hand crochet pieces using light cotton rope commonly used to make fishing nets.

And here, the women of Dzidefo Women’s Cooperative:

To read up some more about the sewing co-ops, check out the Osei-Duro website or each of their respective websites, babablanket.com and villagevolunteers.org.

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