10 years, 100 years

Fair Fabrics will soon be 10 years old, really! We are extremely proud to have reached this milestone. Despite all the recent challenges surrounding Covid-19, but also at a time when we are short of hands to actually be able to celebrate properly. Of course we have some fun moments planned, so more stories and more festivities are coming soon!

Morocco, October 2011. This photo was taken 10 years ago, during the very first artisan workshop visit.

What many probably do not know is that we have drawn up our philosophy based on a number of core values ​​that arise from the volunteer work that Karin has performed for the Melania (Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) Development Cooperation Foundation for a few years. This foundation is committed to gender equality and to improving the economic position of (underprivileged) women in Asia, Africa and Latin America, so that they can build an independent existence. Melania does this by financing small-scale income-generating projects, from a transparent and effective organization with committed and expert employees. Here in the Netherlands they are building a community of socially involved women who donate money to realize the projects.

Nepal 2006. Women of Melania’s sewing machine project proudly show Karin how their business got off to a successful start thanks to Melania’s project financing.

Working with existing initiatives and cooperatives, making the connection between the different worlds, immersing yourself in the different culture with sometimes complex circumstances, but also the drive of women’s groups within a local community have been well-considered choices for Karin to set up her social enterprise Fair Fabrics as it is now.

The portrait of Melania founder Caroline Theresia Maria van Rijckevorsel, a nurse, who traveled with her husband to the Dutch East Indies in 1921 at the age of 25 to dedicate herself to the ‘upliftment of the native woman’, has been recorded in a jubilee book. On October 10, the 100th anniversary of Melania will be celebrated in Utrecht with workshops and lectures. A total of ten women’s portraits are included in the book, of which 1 is about Karin from Fair Fabrics. What an honor!!

The booklet was written and compiled by Ceciel Bruin-Mosch, Caro van den Acker, Eliane Bavinck and Tanja Beekman. The booklet can be ordered from the better bookshops, ISBN: 9789403639468.

Melania also organizes an (online) auction where the proceeds fully accrue to Melania. Various social entrepreneurs have donated products, such as Yoni with a set of organic sanitary towels, Karen Kammeraat with her book ‘Just Good’ and of course Fair Fabrics with a hand-woven cushion set. Link to auction: https://melania.nl/15824-2/

Nepal, August 2006. Karin was not only warmly and hospitably received, but also fully dressed by the ladies of Melania’s sewing machine project. The women had to get used to those extra long meters of fabric.