Get To Know: Yellow Leaf Hammocks
- Job Creation
Meet the Founders
WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS CAUSE?
Joe: When I tried the hammocks, I asked where they were made and began to learn about the struggles faced by the Mlabri and other hill tribes: extreme poverty, disenfranchisement and marginalization. Wanting to know even more, I convinced a cab driver to take me 600 miles to one of the villages. I saw in person how hammock weaving was transforming their lives. It was a viable alternative to slash-and-burn agriculture.
WHAT KIND OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY DOES WEAVING CREATE?
Rachel: We’ve done the math. One weaver can earn in one week what it would take a whole family to earn in one month clearing and working the fields. Weavers can see income increase as much as 650%, earning as much as a college-educated teacher. As a result, kids don’t have to work in the field, and they can attend school.
DESCRIBE THE RIPPLE EFFECTS.
Joe: By supporting weaving, we’re helping prevent deforestation and the use of toxic, unhealthy chemicals during farming. We’re ensuring that children can get an education. We’re empowering women and preserving cultural ties and traditions. We’re also implementing a microcredit program with financial training and helping the groups lobby for citizenship.