Mexico City, Mexico | Apparel / Accessories / Textiles
Company: Comercializadora Fábrica Social, S.A de C.V
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Industry: Apparel / Accessories / Textiles
Fábrica Social is a Mexico City-based design cooperative that partners with non-governmental organizations to employ indigenous textile artisans in rural communities throughout Mexico. They use traditional handcrafted materials to make creative apparel, accessories, home goods and toys that are sold at boutiques in Mexico, the United States, Japan and United Arab Emirates, as well as in museum gift shops, such as MoMA in New York City and the Louvre in Paris.
Fábrica Social offers a unique model that combines an itinerant school with a high-end apparel brand under which it sells the goods produced by the artisans. By maintaining a strong control of the entire value chain, the company ensures top quality products, highest social standards and full transparency of its extensive fair trade practices, such as high wages, true collaborative design and 100% local production.
Since all products are handmade, each piece is unique and directly reflects the work and personality of the woman who made it. The objective of Fábrica Social is to help indigenous women earn a stable and just income from the practice of their traditional trade. Since its founding in 2007, Fábrica Social has offered training to 180 women from 10 rural Mexican communities and currently sells the products made by 130 of them. By selling their products to Fábrica Social, these women have more control over their life projects, and now make an hourly salary 400% higher than before the training and 262% above the local minimum wage.
Overall, Fábrica Social created 18,000 hours of work for women artisans in 2012. At the sector level, the company promotes fair trade standards by spreading awareness about the impact that production and sales of their products have on the lives of artisans.
Dulce Martínez de la Rosa, Co-Founder and Design Director
Dulce studied Industrial Design at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and at the Instituto Politécnico de Valencia in Spain in addition to gaining a master’s degree in Comfort Ambiental in Escola de Disseni i Art (EINA) in Barcelona. After working in Hector Galván’s interior design firm Omelette, she worked as a design consultant for product development projects grounded in artisan processes in the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, Oaxaca and Puebla, as well as in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Her experience with these project collaborations led her to co-found Fábrica Social with Emilienne Limón in 2007. From 2008 to 2011, she earned a master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the Universidad Iberoamericana where she developed her thesis around the role of the artisan craft as a device for autonomy for Mayan women in a community in Yucatán.
Paola de la Rosa Argarabel, General Director
Paola studied Law at the Universidad Iberoamericana. From 2006 to 2007, she served as a volunteer in the Human Rights department of the Centro de Derechos Indígenas (Center for Indigenous Rights). In 2007, she founded the Arroz con Leche foundation where she worked as the general director through 2010, collaborating with groups of artisans from Puebla and Chiapas in order to drive the formation of artisan cooperatives. In 2010, she joined the Fábrica Social team as general director, where she oversees product sales and commercialization.
Daniela Gremion Urdiain, Project Director
Daniela majored in Anthropology with a focus on Mesoamerican Archaeology at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla. Her academic work focused on Ethnoarchaeologic studies of Yucatecan artisans and artisan techniques, which led to her work in Muna, Yucatán from 2006 to 2008. From 2007 to 2010, she also collaborated on the creation of the Arroz con Leche foundation, for which she carried out project management, direction and coordination with groups of artisans in the states of México and Puebla. Since 2010, she has served as project director for Fábrica Social.
Proceeds will be used as working capital to increase our inventory in both our own store and for special event sales. Currently we hold a total inventory of approximately 20,000 dollars for both distribution channels (store and events). However, we believe that in order to truly capture our full sales potential of Fabrica Social´s distribution channels we need to double inventory levels to approximately 40,000 dollars. We believe that doubling of inventories could result in a significant increase in sales. Current projections estimate sales growth of 14% and 20% in both 2013 and 2014. Although this inventory increase is not included in the projections, we estimate that by adding 20,000 dollars in inventories, sales could accelerate to an expected growth rate of 30% in 2013 and 40% in 2014. This in turn, will result in increased profitability from our current net margin of 6% in 2013 and 8.5% in 2014 to an estimated 8% in 2013 and 10.5% in 2014 and also will result in increased income for our artisans.
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