February 2017

1) Pictures & Videos


2) Description of Activities

A. Founder Returns to Workshop for Check-In

After three months away from the workshop, the founder returned to stay on-site for three weeks to assess operational independence and identify any areas of concern in preparation of six-months of local management. The workshop maintained its production schedule and maintained strict compliance with its secondhand materials sourcing and other sustianable processes. Local leadership was ready and felt eager to take over full-time on-site management of the workshop.

B. Meeting with Knitters & Evaluation of Knitting Program

After receiving their training during December and January, the knitters began producing knitted hats and mittens, which were evaluated at a workshop meeting. The knitters expressed concerns about not receiving enough yarn, and the manager described her challenge in finding sufficient time to produce the yarn. The meeting concluded that the workers would spend one afternoon per week on yarn along with anytime when the power turned off.

C. Research Project on Tie-Dye Filtration Methods Launched

One of the major environmental impacts of textile production is the dye run-off into the  local groundwater supply. Currently, the workshop has no way of disposing of its wastewater other than into the sand. We decided to launch a mini-research project to evaluate potential dye filtration options for the workshop as we expand. An undergraduate student at Boston College, Jeremy Espanso, with interests in physical chemistry agreed to assist us with this project. With his support, we explored and tested a number of different filtration options including researching a mechanical filtration system, which was deemed too expensive and not sustainable since it would require importing filters from abroad, filtration by orange peel, which did not filter the wastewater sufficiently, and finally, filtration by evaporation, which was too slow. Nevertheless, we pledged to continue investigating and testing new methods.

D. Application for Non-Governmental Organization Status

Given Matilda Flow Co.'s evolution into a non-profit, community-level, impact-focused project, DL and Matilda decided to register the organization as a non-governmental organization in Ghana known as the Matilda Flow Inclusion Foundation. This foundation will serve as the facilitating organization for our impact, and all of our programs, employment, and job training will occur through it.

E. Development of New Products Including Pen Cases

The workshop continued to develop new prototype designs including make-up bags and pencil cases, which they began larger-scale production of.

F. Completion of Up-to-Date Monthly Updates

Monthly updates about the workshop development and project evolution from June 2016 to January 2017 were finished and updated to our website.

G. Invitation for Sarah Bibbey to Join the MFC Board

After visiting the workshop in January to train the workers in knitting skills, Sarah Bibbey was invited by the founder and existing project advisor, Dr. Whitcavitch-DeVoy, for a role on the project as an advisor for the expansion and growth of programs and public awareness about us. Our goal was also to have her join as a third board member during the future incorporation of our organization as a non-profit in the U.S..

H. Analysis & Revision of MFC Product Prices

After reviewing the ethical fashion market, we lowered our prices, determining that prices under $40 were needed to be competitive. Price reduction was made possible due to cost-savings from locally-sourced materials rather than importing organic cotton. Our new prices were: (1) headbands and bow-ties: $7, (2) laptop cases: $15, (3) mittens & hats: $19, (4) aprons: $25, (5) trousers: $29, (6) sweatshirts and jackets: $35, (7) shoulder bags and small backpacks: $35, and (8) regular backpacks: $39. 

I. Tertiary Research Conducted on Disability & HIV/AIDS in Ghana

A literature review was conducted about the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment system in Ghana to identify gaps. We conducted several interviews with local organizations about the challenges they see for women and people with disabilities. 


3) Expenses, Materials & Products

Expenses:

  • Workshop Expenses This Month: 7934.18 GHS

Materials Purchased:

  • 320 Secondhand Cotton T-Shirts
  • 20 Bamboo Backpack Clips
  • 62 Recycled Paper Tags
  • 186 GHS (46.50 USD) Tie-Dyes & Activating Chemicals

Products Shipped:

  • 24 - Mermaids Are Real - Boxer Shorts (4 sets in sizes 1-6)
  • 24 - Bingo Parties - Shorts (4 sets in sizes 1-6)
  • 24 - Soul-Hook - Sweaters (4 sets in sizes 1-6)
  • 4 - Sourer Apple - Trousers (4 sets in size 6)
  • 26 - There's a Beat... - 3/4 Trousers (4 sets in sizes 1-5, 6 in size 6)
  • 20 - Reckless in Me - Headbands
  • 30 - Don't Be Dull - Bow-Ties (10 sets in sizes small, medium and large)
  • 20 - Radiate - Headbands

4) Sales, Sustainability & Scale

Monthly Sales:

  • Number of Distinct Customers: 3
  • Sales: 126.30 USD

Sustainability Progress:

  • Total Funds Provided This Year: 3,138.44 USD or 12,705.53 GHS
  • Total Workshop Expenses This Year: 14,362.68 GHS
  • Total Funds Provided since Onset: 20,352.25 USD
  • Total Grants Received since Onset: 3,000.00 USD
  • Total Sales Made since Onset: 1,588.60 USD
  • Financial Progress since Onset: -15,763.65 USD

Current Scale:

  • 1 Manager
  • 3 Seamstresses / Tailors
  • 1 Cloth-Maker
  • 1 Apprentice
  • 1 Taxi Driver
  • 2 Knitters / Tag-Makers