In celebration of women around the world, Liverpool has partnered with Mercado Global whose mission is to transform the lives of indigenous women and their families in Central America. Together we have created a chic limited edition tote and matching makeup clutch, each handmade by caring artisans. These beautiful pieces are available for purchase in support of International Women's Day and Women's Empowerment Month, March 8. Proceeds from the sale of Liverpool x Mercado Global will directly impact the women who weave these collections...and inspire the women who wear them.
About Mercado Global
Mercado Global considers the assistance it provides as a hand-up as opposed to a hand-out. The organization not only works to provide rural Indigenous women with work opportunities through its International Market Access program, but also prepares women with both the knowledge and tools to successfully start their own local businesses that function completely outside of their work with Mercado Global. Mercado Global is a nonprofit that helps women artisans build their own businesses and break the cycle of local poverty. The organization does this through a three-pillared model.
How Does Mercado Global Work?
PILLAR 1: Community Based Education
Mercado Global also provides community based education classes in local languages to artisans involved in their programming. These classes focus on a wide range of things including, nutrition, leadership, business development, finances, entrepreneurship, amongst others. These classes provide the women with the knowledge they need to create their own local businesses and run them successfully. There is no charge to artisans for this service.
PILLAR 2: International Market Access
Mercado Global connects women-run cooperatives with international retailers to allow them to earn two to three times more per day than what they could otherwise earn locally. This income allows them to send their children to school, often for the first time, and provide nutritious foods and healthcare for their families.
PILLAR 3: Asset Development
Mercado Global's asset development work helps to provide artisans with the tools they need to not only produce goods when they work on orders for Mercado Global, but also when they are producing goods for their own local businesses. The artisans are gifted these tools and have ownership over them. Mercado Global also has a savings incentive program to help support artisans in building their individual and group savings.
CREATING INTERNATIONAL LOVE
Together we have created a chic limited edition tote and matching makeup clutch, each handmade by caring artisans. These beautiful pieces will premiere in shops across the country and at Liverpoolstyle.com in conjunction with our International Women's Day Celebration, March 8. Proceeds from the sale of these bags will directly impact the women who weave these collections ... and inspire the women who wear them.
Get to know the women who champion empowerment and are empowered by this incredible organization.
MARTA JULIA COJITÍN
What do you love most about your work?I love the people I get to work with - both our staff and our partner artisans. It's wonderful to get the chance to work in partnership with people from all over Latin America, with such varied professional backgrounds, who have all come together to do this work. At the same time, it's exhilarating to have the chance to work in partnership with the women artisans, and to see the impact of our sales and programming in real time. I love that everyone is here for the same reason - that we have such different backgrounds and life experiences, but are united by our shared commitment to our mission to help our partner artisans create a better future for themselves and their families. It's truly a privilege to get to do this work.
What does women’s empowerment mean to you?To me it means recognizing and ensuring that women have the ability and support needed to create the type of life they want for themselves. It is central to our ability to tackle the problems and challenges we face as individuals and as a global community. Women's empowerment is tied up in the solution to so many social justice problems we face as a global community: poverty, economic exclusion, a need to strengthen our democracies, the migration crisis, and of course global warming. When women have the ability to advocate for themselves, to earn their own income, then all of the sudden so many other things are more achievable, and the future is brighter not just for her, but for her whole family and for her community.
How are women’s lives being transformed as part of your work?It is unbelievable how a woman's life can change when she has a chance to earn her own income. It is exciting to see how things change for our partner artisans within a year or two of partnering with Mercado Global. At a very basic level, many women change how they carry themselves. When women have not had the chance to go to school or have a say in their family's finances, and when they have dealt with pervasive discrimination based on their gender and race their entire lives, their self esteem and belief in themselves can be very low. It is exciting to see how things can change as our partner artisans progress through our community-based education and business development programming, and as they have a chance to sell to major international fashion brands such as Liverpool LA and earn the income they need to send their kids to school themselves. They change how they hold themselves. So many of the women we serve are such talented entrepreneurs and leaders - they just needed the training and market access support to be able to achieve their potential.It's exciting to get to be part of this.