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Empowering Mothers in Sri Lanka Through Plant Based Fashion

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In episode #8 of the Impact India podcast, I connect with Josie Mackenzie, founder of AMMA, a social enterprise that utilizes food waste and plants to produce natural dyes to make handwoven fabrics, fashion accessories, and homewares. Amma, meaning ‘mother’ in Tamil and Sinhala, works in partnership with local NGO Tea Leaf Trust, and UK based charity TRAID. Together they train and employ mothers & young women living around Sri Lanka’s tea estates in Eliya.

Josie is passionate about finding practical solutions to the world’s big problems. Focused on developing alternative methods of sustainable production within the fashion and textile industry, she has been working amongst rural communities in South Asia since graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design with a degree in Textile Design

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In this episode, Josie dives into the history of the tea industry in Sri Lanka, the insane vision women are sold to move to the Middle East for work (leaving their children vulnerable at home in Sri Lanka), and how Amma is working with hospitality organizations in Colombo and across Sri Lanka to produce their zero waste & sustainable dyes.

Tune in to learn:

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  • How Amma trains and employs their team of young women and mothers
  • The challenges and stigma around working mothers in Sri Lanka that is also evident across the world
  • How Amma is bringing traditional weaving practices back to the fashion industry
  • How plant based fashion works.

Connect with Josie and the Amma team at ammasrilanka.com, and on Facebook & Instagram. To learn more about Tea Leaf Trust visit tealeaftrust.com.

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