We believe in consumer power and that the mindful consumer exists. We are using education, craft and fashion as our medium to create a political resistance and spread the message of social injustice and violence towards women - globally and locally.
Being a woman in Cd. Juarez puts you at risk. For years, women have disappeared from the city and hundreds have been found murdered in its outskirts. Explanations for the murders range from the use of women as rewards for drug cartels, domestic violence, and so-called sexual violence tourism. Although victims can come from all parts of the city's society, the majority are poor, living in areas of the city that expand into the desert without infrastructure.
Much of Juarez's poor population work in the "maquiladora" (sweat-shops and factories) , an industry blooming after the NAFTA agreement in 1994. International companies (US majority) are producing in Mexico for maximum profit. Workers are hired for $5 a day, 12 hours' shift, with no rights and no protection, and can be swopped or fired without prior notice.
The treatment of the workers contributes to an overall climate of viewing people as replaceable. Many of the murdered women disappeared on their way to or from work, due to last minute changes in their working schedule, leaving them without protection of family members on their route back.
The NI EN MORE studio will be an opposite to mass production. We will produce unique garments in a safe environment. By sharing stories from our studio and local community we reduce distance between customers and makers, thus showing the direct benefits of responsible trade. Want to know more? let's talk
HOW AND WHY it matters?
Abuse and murders of women are happening in every society around the world. One of three women have experienced either physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime. The problem is not decreasing. Economic independence plays an important role in gender equality. NI EN MORE combines empowerment of a group of women locally (Cd Juárez) with a global awareness campaign to fight violence against women.
Cd Juárez, located by the border to the US, is a city of contrast: vibrant, but violent and unsafe. In addition to its more than 300 factories / sweatshop, the largest import of illegal drugs to the USA pass through Cd Juárez, resulting in drug cartels fighting over control. The violence is met by many socio-political activist initiatives creating an energy of urgency and protest. Despite the success of recent private and public initiatives, disappearances and murders have been increasing the last six years. To learn more, please see ellastienennombre.org or Google map of registered femicides in Mexico or /and CNN's fast fact about the Mexican drug war.
The local women who participate in the NI EN MORE project live in high-risk areas in Cd. Juárez. The current conditions favor organized crime and therefore leave women vulnerable and without the necessary resources for decent housing or transportation. It is important to emphasize that these women are made vulnerable because of their gender, color and social class.
We believe that if you empower women in one local community, it creates possibilities for change and growth which can spread to other communities. And by sharing stories from the process of our production and the work within the community, these insights can reduce the distance between customers and the people behind the garments, and thus show the direct benefits of ethical trade.
Using our voices and consumer power we can contribute to social change and equal opportunities for women worldwide. Read more about gender equality at UN WOMEN or have a look at how you can contribute through NI EN MORE.
How we are doing it
Empowerment and freedom start with economic independence. NI EN MORE's business model will, although small, be economical, sustainable and safe.
All the profit from sales goes back to the new established community in Cd. Juárez, allowing them to re-invest in endeavors with positive impact on community as a whole.
The Cd. Juárez team's knowledge of their communities, persistent fight for justice and equality, and tireless work to empower women are fundamental for NI EN MORE's potential for social change.
The international team's insights and knowledge of developing a business model from small scale to global distribution are shared with the community in Cd. Juárez. The business model can be applied to create additional enterprises for further growth. Meet the community or read more about facts and figures of economic empowerment at UN women.
The artwork "Desconocida Unknown Ukjent" by Lise Bjørne Linnert is the DNA of the project.
"Desconocida Unknown Ukjent" was initiated in 2006 in response to the ongoing situation in Cd. Juárez where close to 2000 women have been mutilated and murdered the last 24 years and hundreds have disappeared.
"During the eleven years of working with Desconocida, I have stayed in close contact with activists and organizations in Cd Juárez. Many of whom will now be involved in our new collaboration NI EN MORE. I am grateful to end Desconcida's global tour in Cd Juárez and Mexico and simultaneously initiating NI EN MORE." - Lise Bjørne Linnert. Read more here
OUR multidiciplInary TEAM
The team behind NI EN MORE combines skills from art, fashion, activism and work for social change.
The combination of a multidisciplinary team from Mexico, Norway and USA, with deep connections to the local community in Cd. Juárez, gives NI EN MORE an advantage of honest and direct communication and connection.
Currently, NI EN MORE is in its pilot phase, where we are raising funds through crowd funding, for the first production batch to be produced. In the first production, we are using an eco-friendly printing and dying method.
Our priority: In addition to creating great products produced in a good working environment with fair payment, our concern is safety for the women working for us in Cd Juárez. It is still a very insecure city for women. We must ensure that our project does not set the women involved in any additional danger.
1st collaborative skill-sharing workshop: In February 2017, the international team went to Cd Juárez and met with the local team. Cara Maria Piazza, natural dyer and , joined us from New York, and taught the whole team the process of using flowers and prints to dye with, which is the expression of the first production. Read about it here and watch the film from the workshop here (Vimeo link)
The pilot phase will give us important information about the process of sewing and dying, information that will be used for best possible planning of future production. We will set up a web-shop for global sale and a plan for distribution during the fall of 2017 and have clothes out for sale as they are being produced.
Where we are now: The team in Cd Juárez is ready to start the process of training and learning about production, as well as finding the final design and look of the printing. The production mentor Elide Alvara is ready to share her sewing skills to the women involved in the project. The international team is setting up the business model and project development in a collaborative process.
Collaboration is key: In the future, we want NI EN NORE to be sufficiently run from Cd Juárez with a close-knit network of local women, where local and international designers create the season's design.
The collaborative part of the project will always be at core. If you want to collaborate, please drop us a line and we can talk. Contact us here
As a social innovation project, NI EN MORE has the possibility of generating both local and global impact and contribute with a positive socio-political change.
· Connecting three communities in Juarez, which previously would not work together
· Establish a studio/workspace where the women can commission work and work on business development
· Education, skill sharing and skill training
· Opportunity for work and fair salary
· Security for the women and their family
·All profit back to the community
· Create awareness and attention towards the political situation on femicide and violence against women in Mexico and worldwide
· Fashionable protest
· Contribute to the network of political and ethical consumers, which demand change in the fashion industry. (External link to Fashion revolution)