I am always looking for ways to put leftover fabric to good use. For those of you that subscribe to Snippets, you might remember a tip a few weeks ago about donating leftover fabric as one solution to the eternal sewing question: What do I do with these bits that I’m not using?
I recently learned about a wonderful organization from Panama, and Cooperativa El Nido is seeking donations of your fabric pieces!
Cooperativa El Nido is a self-sustaining community of women in the hills of Capira, about an hour from Panama City. This group of 14 families has worked for 10 years to maintain control of their own farming community, producing all of their own food. But in addition to farming, these women seek alternate sources of income through their beautiful traditional needlecraft.
Sewing techniques have traditionally been passed from generation to generation. Due to low demand, some of their most precious stitch work is lost. Cooperative El Nido encourages preservation of this tradition and financial gain from it.
This opportunity to give thrills me for several reasons: (1) It’s a chance to make use of otherwise unused fabric, (2) I believe strongly in personal giving whenever we can, and (3) It is wonderful to support an intentional community working for a self-sufficient way of living.
I think those of us who sew can feel a special bond to those women trying to establish a livelihood based on handcrafts. It is hard work, but work that preserves traditions while allowing more independence for women and their families.
If you’d like to donate your own pieces of fabric, please send all donations to Kathryn, who works with these women in Panama. She has kindly provided a US mailing address for those of us here in the states:
5542 Silverleaf Court
Haslett, MI 48840
You can also email the cooperative at cooperativaelnido at gmail.com with any questions you may have.
And if you know of other organizations seeking fabric donations, please feel free to post about them in the comments!