Image: A protest light pole in Cd. Juárez / Photo credit: Lise Bjørne Linnert

Image: 25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
/ Photo Credit: Mustang Jane and Laura Bustillos

Image: Juárez / Photo Credit: Erick Garcia

Image: Juárez / Photo Credit: Erick Garcia

Just by being a woman in Cd. Juárez puts you at risk. For years, women have disappeared from the city and hundreds have been found murdered in the desert. Many of Juárez's poor population works in a maquiladora (sweat-shops and factories), an industry booming after the NAFTA agreement in 1994. International companies, mostly US based, chose to produce in Mexico because of its cheaper labour for maximum profits. Workers are hired for $5 a day, 12 hours' shift, with no rights and no protection, and can be swapped or fired without prior notice or reason. The treatment of the workers helps create a society where people are perceived as disposable. Many of the murdered women disappeared on their way to work or on their way home, due to last minute changes in their working schedule, leaving them without protection from friends or family members. One can only speculate on the involvement of some corrupt employers, just like the police officers investigating the very crime committed.

The NI EN MORE studio acts in opposition to the maquiladora’s mass production standards. We will produce unique garments in a safe environment. With total transparency we share our stories from our studio and the local community, reducing the distance between the consumer and maker, exemplifying the direct benefits of ethical and fair trade. 

Cd Juárez, located on the border to the US, is a city of contrast: vibrant, yet violent and unsafe. In addition to its more than 300 sweatshops the largest imports of illegal drugs to the USA pass through Cd. Juárez. 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, the disappearances and murders have still 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 Mexican writer and director Lourdes Portillo's award winning documentary film, "Señorita Extraviada /Missing Young Woman" (2002), shares the brutal history of the Femicides in Cd Juárez.

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 leaving the 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.

Read more about gender equality at UN WOMEN.


All of us are ni en more

Photo Credit: Laura Bustillos

ALL OF US ARE NI EN MORE

Our enthusiasm and vision have drawn women into the project with a wide range of skills. Illustrators, writers, photographers and artists who are aware of the impact that women supporting each other have on growth and inspiration continue to help us grow. Hundreds of hours are donated by our founders and supporters. 

Abroad Tine Mollatt, a Norwegian designer (byTiMo), designed the first four garments, donated the initial materials, Julie L. Parisi  trained our team in sewing and developed our brand identity, and Cara Maria Piazza (NYC) shared with us her knowledge in botanical dyes.

In Mexico we have worked with Colectiva Arte Comunidad y Equidad, a non-profit civil organization located in Juárez.

But the ones that run the everyday show are our amazing team formed by:

  • Hilda, Mariquita, Candelaria, Jane, Sandra and Mary Carmen. They are in charge of production.

  • Psychologist Luccy supports our mentoring program.

  • Juarezian designer Maritza is in charge of developing designs and training the team.

  • Trainees Angelica, Karen and José Carlos, are working with us through the local government youth program.

  • Lise, Marcela and Berenice, are donating their hours,  working on sales, funding and marketing.  .

Read about the people here.


Timeframe - so far

Image: NI EN MORE'S 1st workshop in Cd. Juárez / Photo Credit: Laura Bustillos

 

SO FAR...

Thanks to a collective effort from organizations and individuals across countries and borders we have been able to:

  • Create a proper sewing studio. We started NI EN MORE in a small, borrowed room with just one sewing machine and all the dyeing was done in the backyard.

  • Become a work source for a small group of women in vulnerable situations. Before NI EN MORE their earnings could come from selling sweets or food in the streets. Now they get a secure monthly salary that cover their needs and provide for their families.

  • Train and provide new skills to our team. By teaching them how to sew, dye and interact in a creative environment we are not only allowing them to become the best at what they do but also giving them skills for life.

  • Be self sustainable by 2021


Possible IMPACT

Image: Mural from Cd.Juárez "Violence generates violence" (2017) / Photo Credit: NI EN MORE

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. 

Local: 

· 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

Global:

· 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)


OUR GOALS

Image: Color samples / Photo Credit: Lise Bjørne Linnert

Image: Color samples / Photo Credit: Lise Bjørne Linnert

1. Create a sustainable business model in Cd. Juárez for production of clothes, combining craft, needlework, international design and art to produce unique, one of a kind garments.

2. The line of clothes will spread awareness of empowerment of women, just production and simultaneously connect communities locally and internationally in the fight against violence towards women.

3. Create a self-sustained project, and a business model for economic independence and empowerment of women that can become an example for other businesses to follow.

4.  Maintain a fresh approach and develop new ideas and techniques for its design. We see involving new and young designers in the projects future creations as an interesting model for growth. 


support us

Image: Cd.Juárez / Photo Credit: Lise Bjørne Linnert

Image: Cd.Juárez / Photo Credit: Lise Bjørne Linnert

 

BUT IS A LONG WAY TO GO, HELP US GET THERE

Although we have grown from our humble beginnings in a small borrowed room, we still need to raise funds to become self sustainable. In 2019 our main focuses are raising funds to:

  • hire Maritza to work full time with us. She will develop our team’s skills and train new women in our sewing techniques.

  • expand our production team in the studio.

  • start local natural dye workshops to spread our knowledge.

  • buy needed machinery.

  • share our vision globally and improve sales Your contribution is essential; you can share, wear and make your network aware of the project. Give your support on our Instagram or Facebook accounts: #nienmore / @nienmore  

Or donate here through Paypal - no contribution is too small.

Paypal link: https://www.paypal.me/nienmore

 

Banner Film: "Against a wall"(2016) by Cinematography/editing: Harald Gunnar Paalgard (watch full film here) / Banner Image : from Upside down world - Covering Activism and Politics in Latin America http://upsidedownworld.org/