Fashion & Political Activism Merge to Help Women in Juarez
In the Spring of 1994, upon getting home from a visit to Juarez to see my grandma and aunt, my mom received a call. My mom was informed that her cousin had just been shot at the corner of the street, a victim of a drive by shooting. While authorities believed that my mom's cousin was an innocent bystander in a gang retaliation shooting, her story is told in a book titled "The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border."
Growing up on the border, I'm no stranger to the words "ni una mas" or "not one more" in English. The killings of women in Juarez was always a constant worry for my family and for many people in the borderland. Which is why when I heard about Ni En More I was instantly filled with hope.
Ni En More (which according to their website is a blend of the Spanish, Norwegian and English words meaning “Not one more") is a non-profit organization founded by artists Lise Bjorne Linnert of Oslo, Norway and Jane Terrazas of Juárez, along with Human Rights activist Veronica Corchado also of Juárez. Essentially a sewing studio, Ni En More not only empowers women, but offers a safe environment, fair wages, education and training to women living in vulnerable conditions.
While not a fashion brand, Ni En More operates out of two studios where ten women are employed in the main studio and six women and trans women are employed in the second studio. Together, they learn pattern cutting, sewing, quality control, shipping, and plant-based dyeing for the manufacturing of earthy colored frocks, peasant blouses, shoulder bags, and, in a recent addition, fabric masks. All their garments are dyed one by one with plants and flower from the Chihuahua district.
Their main goal is to become self-sustainable but for now, are looking for financial help from others in the community. You can find out how to donate by clicking here. In the end, the main goal is to engage more women and spread the seeds of change that will improve conditions for women in Juarez and create opportunities for their children.