Business Done Differently AMMA Value 2: Nurturing

Just like any other relationship, business relationships are built on mutual trust. It is the bedrock of any healthy and long-lasting relationship. For too long relationships have been treated as somehow peripheral in business. However, at AMMA we see relationships as being the most central factor of our very existence as human beings.

Unfortunately, this is not believed by the mainstream fashion industry…

The fashion industry is the second largest industry in the world. It has tremendous influence and employs approximately 60 million people worldwide. 80% of garment workers are women and it is not uncommon for these workers to face emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Workers struggle to survive on extremely low pay, suffering appalling working conditions, excessive hours and are denied trade union rights. AMMA is an uplifting voice as it fights against this system of poverty.

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AMMA is a space for our women to learn new skills and be stretched. And the best way this happens is through cultivating an atmosphere of encouragement and support. By nurturing one another.

AMMA is a maker-led community. We support skill-sharing and we encourage each other to learn and grow. We care for our workers, supporting them in their purpose and training them in many aspects of production so that they have opportunities to rise up into management positions and take local leadership.

Recently we were chatting as a team about the future of AMMA and what each of our hopes entail. It was a moment of deep kinship for our women as they shared in the vision of seeing more tea estate women employed by AMMA. Dreams of people knowing the name and work of AMMA across the island as well as internationally were communicated with delight.

“I want the entire island to see the importance of AMMA because most people don’t know AMMA. So my wishes for AMMA are that it grows, lives and is a successful business even after we grow old! I will be a role model until that happens.” – Johanna.

We have heard our team and so now we ask ourselves the question: how can we nurture our employees so that their dream becomes a reality? Our position has always been to support local communities and foster their creative ability to the point where they are the ones to take leadership in business.

Empowering and nurturing local women leaders to take action in their communities is a vital way to have a tremendous impact against poverty. We are firm believers that a business which nurtures its staff, products and customers is a successful business.

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By stating that we are an open and transparent business which treats the planet and our employees with dignity and respect, we are talking about the way we act and interact as a team. For us, this means not just announcing that “we care” on social media platforms, but it means being present for our AMMA’s. Understanding who they are, what their background is and what their dreams are for the future.

AMMA’s founder, Josie, made the decision to live and work alongside our women in the hilly tea estates of Sri Lanka. Being physically present developed a culture of business at AMMA which deeply cares for community. We embrace community care as a way of nurturing our employees during their time at AMMA.

We are on a journey of being counter cultural in how we carry out business. The current Western system wants us to be comfortable in a cycle of constant consumption, but at AMMA we want to build healthy habits and connections with our employees. We want to pursue what truly fulfils us, like community and self-connection, not an obsessive need for more. Undertaking actions which are good for the body and mind is an important way we nurture our mother makers. Creating supportive structures which empower our women helps them to also build resilience and perseverance.

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Visit our website and check out our ethically made products. All profits go to supporting our wonderful mother makers, for they are the life behind AMMA.

 

Words by Izzy Bevir

Image of Priya by Deborah Grace

Image of Nuwara Eliya by Deborah Grace

Image of Kogila by Molly