Batikers in Ashaiman testing the new moringa filtration system together with Mae-ling Lokko of the Ghana-based company Willow.
Fashion Can be a Dirty Business
The fashion industry is notoriously known for it’s negative environmental impact, and at Global Mamas we’re constantly having to balance out the work we do—that we know is creating a positive impact in the lives of hundreds of women-- with the industry we’re a part of. In addition to environmentally sound practices that are a required of us as guaranteed members of the World Fair Trade organization, each year by our own initiative we continue to proactively look for ways to make earth-friendly improvements to our methods.
How We Work to Improve our Environmental Impact
To date 60% of the Global Mamas product line is made of upcycled or recycled materials-- from repurposing old plastic and bottles, to crafting patchwork accessories from excess fabric scraps. Just in the past year we’ve experimented with using fungi to grow our own batik stamps (in place of using bed foam), in addition to developing a new filtration system using agri-waste from moringa processing as a flocculant to create a more sustainable process for small-scale batikers to filter used dye water. Our BIGGEST achievement this year of course, has been making the transition to organic GOTS certified cotton which eliminates unnecessary chemicals for farms and farmers at the ground level.
Are You Familiar With These Eco-Friendly Innovations We Employ?
1) The beads for our jewellery and ornaments are made from recycled glass bottles– we have an agreement with the UK and US embassies in Ghana to make sure we have a steady supply! The beadmakers also make beads from broken bead pieces and window panes that would otherwise go to waste.
2) We’ve developed a range of products, from dog leashes to handbags that enable our seamstresses to use as many of the leftover scraps of batik as possible—saving them from ending up in the burn pile. Our African animals decorations are sewn using small pieces of fabric left from cutting out garments and stuffed with even smaller scraps.
3. The lining of many of our bags and accessories, in addition to our aprons and baby bibs are made from recycled cotton flour sacks, sourced from local bakeries in Ghana.
4. As well as using local products to make our shea butter beauty range, the packaging for our shea butter soap is made from recycled water sachet wrappers. Water sachets, locally referred to as “pure water” are filtered drinking water that’s commonly and cheaply sold in Ghana—and plentifully found lying around the streets.
We love the creative challenge of working in an eco-friendly manner and being able to share it with our customers. We hope we’ve inspired you to find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in your everyday life!
New ornament samples—stitched and filled with batik fabric scraps!