A post by Janet Wilkinson.
Following our second Ingenious Women weekend on the subject of ‘comfort with cash’ Sara suggested I added a new pair of knickers to the wardrobe – the cash knickers. Hmmmm. It was an interesting idea. However, my reaction that I wasn’t so sure that they were the kind of knickers that I’d feel that comfortable designing or writing about demanded a different approach.
At the start of our Ingenious Women journey in April we were introduced to Weaving Destination, which was established as a social enterprise in 2008 in North East India, making silk and cotton fabrics and garments. It was created to provide training, work and homes for vulnerable indigenous women. They include women living with HIV, survivors of human trafficking and female migrant returnees (who are highly vulnerable to re-trafficking and social exclusion).
Co-founder, and Ingenious Woman, Javita Narang showed us a video about Weaving Destination and talked to us to outline their work. In a humbling film that blended the distressing background of the women with their grace and delicate beauty, one of the most striking thing for me was the way in which Weaving Destination helps the women to work towards financial independence giving them self-confidence, well developed skills and their own income. It was clear that financial independence facilitates choice for those women and ergo for us all.
And so to the link with the knickers. No cash knickers. In fact, no additional knickers unless we want to buy them ourselves! We have the choice of which pair of entrepreneurial knickers to select to wear each day and the opportunity to add additional pairs to the wardrobe if we choose to or we manage our financial resources well enough to treat ourselves. This is based on the opportunities created by remuneration for our own efforts.
In a well debated session on Saturday evening our four excellent speakers tackled the challenging subject of ‘This house believes women should be educated about money’ raising further in our consciousness the questions we’d discussed earlier in the day about what money meant to us and how our money attitudes had developed. As Ingenious Women it was clear that we are all lucky enough, and work hard enough, to be able to have some choice in the way in which we earn and spend our money and time away from work. The contrast between our own lives and those of the women of Weaving Destination reinforced that for me.
As a result my reflection is that I know I have the choice not to buy new pants just ‘because I can’. However, the next time a pants shopping trip is required I know I have other choices too; to understand who made the pants and whose financial independence their purchase contributes to.
Please take time to see: http://nedan.in/weaving-destination-1/weavingDestination for more information.
…and if you have a chance take a look at the intriguing UK organisation:
Who Made Your Pants? whose online shop provides you with the opportunity to buy beautiful pants and ethical chocolate in the same purchase.