Ceae partners with YellowBag Foundation in bringing you bags that are trendy, environmentally friendly and adds colour to the lives of women and their families who make our bags. Our bags are 100% organic cotton bags are reusable, non-toxic and biodegradable, meaning you’ll never have to reach for the plastic carrier again. Finely crafted and handmade by female artisans from disadvantaged communities in India. Produced in women-led micro enterprises by fair business practices, every bag provides vulnerable women with stable income and a dignified livelihood.
As well as being perfect for shoppers, our reusable bags are also great for conscientious retailers. Made to custom sizes with or without printed logos, you can use them for garment packaging or to replace your plastic bags behind the till.
Thousands of women in India lack an opportunity to earn. While in poverty, they miss a chance to educate their children and to live a life of dignity & respect.
YellowBag Foundation makes cloth bags from cotton, jute, and other eco-friendly materials for international brands. This creates fair earning opportunities and enhanced self-esteem for the women while facilitating the consumption of sustainable products.
Many of the women we work with are first-timers in terms of making money. They have never been to a job before. Some of them were so dependent on their husbands, that they bore the torture of marital harassment. The little confidence gained from making their own money has made a world of difference to many of them. Some of them now receive better respect from their husband and family. Some of them came out of bad marriages.
Place of Work
YellowBag creates tailoring workspaces in marginalized communities. They enable women there with the skill set and market access to make and sell cloth bags. Each of their bags effectively replaces over 50 plastic bags, making it a globally scalable action for a better earth. For the last four years, Madichiyam has been its central point for making eco-friendly cloth bags. Women in more than 40 families get benefited every month. The community has manufactured over 1 Million cloth bags so far, thus saving the planet from over 50 Million single-use bags.
Over the years, the foundation realized that the children in the community are vulnerable to early marriage, drugs, and other social malice. Madichiyam being a crime intense region, has higher school dropout rates. Many children are first generation learners and the community knows completing higher education is a lifeboat for their children to come out of poverty and improve their lifestyle.
To address this need, YellowBag Foundation has facilitated the creation of an educational support platform, “Green Slate”. Green Slate operates an after-school activity center in Madhichiyam to ensure the first generation learners avoid dropping out.
Green Slate works in nurturing responsible next generation through holistic development activities
Products to protect mother earth, made in ethical working conditions benefiting women from economically disadvantaged communities
Fabric constitutes most of our material consumption. We constantly strive to buy directly from the first level producer. By buying directly from small and first level producers, we benefit them with a reliable order cycle and help them sustain their work.
Our choice of fabrics are primarily based on its environmental impact. We truly understand even the best of naturally grown fiber leaves an impact on earth. With that understanding, we strike a balance between the intended end use of the product and the eco-friendliness of the fabric. We consider biodegradability, life span, production process, producer background, cost, and the transport carbon footprint left by the fabric.
Benefits Women in need
YellowBag Foundation enables small social enterprises led by women in vulnerable communities to produce planet-friendly production and market through larger organizations that have growth metrics to improve the local environmental and social conditions.
Your orders directly benefit women in vulnerable communities. We constantly work on skill-building and mental-readiness for women to work for social enterprises/start such enterprises.
We are rooted in our purpose of business and keep values first. Our values namely Happiness first, Transparent communication, Streamlining Processes, Honest pricing, and eco-friendly are framed to value the interest of all stakeholders.
We are curious about building an ethical business. We strive to inspire the next generation to leapfrog and build radically different institutions to make a better world.
Project Green Slate
Project Green Slate is a pioneering program of Yellow bag Foundation. In this program, children are exposed to the 8 different multiple intelligence areas, as proposed by Howard Gardner,1983. This experience, helps the children to open up to themselves and the facilitators, increasing the self-esteem of the child. Project Green Slate enables children to express their needs and feel effective. Empowering them to break their shell and fly.
Where do we work?
Firstly, there is an excessive focus on the academic performance of children in school. Every aspect of the child is measured on this scale. Unable to rise to the expectations of parents, teachers, and society, children lose confidence in themselves. Secondly, dysfunctional families. Children are directly affected by broken families. They are mostly left unsupervised and more emotionally vulnerable. Anger issues, emotional, and physical abuse are everyday stories in Madhichiyam. Peer support comes with a set of problems that include bullying, drug usage, addictions, and crime. They are found to be stuck between the two parallels. Incapable of decision-making and crippled by societal inequality. They respond to situations in fight mode (aggression violence) or flight mode (run away from the situation).
What are we doing?
Project Green Slate was initiated to help the child develop the innate confidence to neither fight nor take flight but face the reality around him/her. Strengthens them to make effective decisions to give them meaningful experiences grounded in reality.
How are we doing it?
We make this possible by using the Theory of Multiple Intelligence as a tool. It is a facilitator driven model designed by us. The Model aims to expose children to the 8 different intelligence — Logical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, linguistic, anesthetic, musical, naturalistic and visual. We do not aim to help a child excel in one particular intelligence. Rather, we encourage children to explore all fields equally. This helps them fight their issues and break unexplained resistance. Ultimately, opening them to new ideas and opportunities. Each phase is divided into 8 sessions and runs for a period of 3 months. The total program spans for 1 year.
We run 1 yearlong multiple skill development program to nurture confidence in children to build them happy childhood. The children become leaders who can exhibit his skills and teach his friends. Around 100 children are currently with us in this journey, 500+ children are yet to be supported.
The education initiative explores children’s strong skills and helps them to cope with the weak ones, building exuberant confidence. This has proven to help the child make better and conscious choices for themselves. A confident child dreams to make the needed change within and in the community.
Ravishankar (grade IV) has been a shy child who avoids interacting with others. He was initially uninterested and reluctant to participate in activities. Slowly, he started engaging with his group mates. The facilitators became trust buddies. Now, he is still a quiet child, but he is eager to participate and share his opinions and ideas.
How can you support these aspiring leaders?
Through a donation of £50, one child can complete one year of skill development.
YellowBag Foundation’s education initiative will cater to 500+ children in learning centers and schools from 4 low-income communities (Madichiyam,Karumbalai , Arapalayam and Sevalaya Boys Hostel) – by supporting skill development activities we are ensuring that children complete schooling and are ready to face the competitive world.
Women Tailoring Network
YellowBag Foundation initiative
Women Tailoring Network (WTN)is a network of tailoring women from urban-slums. It works to improve the quality of their life by providing secured — livelihood opportunities. The initiative was started in 2014 by a passionate couple in Madurai who wanted to bring back cloth bags to mainstream usage. Cloth bags became our tool to create secured-livelihood for women.
With zero income opportunities for women, families are dependent on husband’s inconsistent income. Economic vulnerability is deep-rooted and manifests itself in these three forms.
- Inconsistent income leads them to debts. It dilutes the available finances and decreases the standard of living.
- The investments they make for health are greatly minimized. This not only affects their physical health, but a state of constant stress has shown to affect their mental health as well.
- It affects children’s educational outcomes. According to OECD, 63% of the children are affected by poor socio-economic background. Children grow up with a lack of quality parenting, supervision and support. This increases the tendency towards crimes, drug abuse and stagnates holistic development.
What has been done?
YellowBag Foundation believes that economic empowerment of women is a springboard for social empowerment.
So far, we have created one micro-enterprise in Madichiyam with capability to facilitate work for more units in Madurai. This enterprise makes customizable cloth bags upon bulk orders. So far, it has created employment for40+ women by manufacturing 1.5Mn+ cloth bags for 850+ customers across the world.
The unit survived the economic impact of Covid and currently creates employment for 10 women and fast-growing back.
Uniqueness of the unit;
- Women get to work closer to their homes.
- Skill training and capacity building is provided free of cost.
- Advocating decent work with fair wages
- Regular income that helps women plan their future and make choices.
- Emphasis on quality production that fits market needs from the simplest of places.
Note: In a large-scale garment unit, 1% to 3% of the garment value goes to the producer. In this model, the producer takes home 25% of the garment’s(cloth bag) value.
To create a network of women from urban slums and make cloth bags for customers across the world. This network would consist of women who work from home, women who run micro-enterprises and women who work in such micro-enterprises; all within their communities.
With a projected global market value of USD 6 Billion by 2025, cloth bag making has an undeniable scope. Creating more viable jobs in this sector can recreate a strong community from vulnerability. It aims to help women see themselves as effective agents and promoters of secured income and gender equity.
How to do this?
We are making this journey possible through a six-step process.
The approach provides creative producers a choice to work in self-owned enterprises rather than in factories that often disregard basic rights and working conditions standards. Though decentralized in nature, WTN offers the promise of quantity, quality, and reliability in products.
YellowBag Foundation wishes to achieve both economic impact (including regular work, increased wages and financial stability) and social impact (compliant, child labor free value chains, improved agency for adolescents, youth, and women at home and in their communities, as well as better educational opportunities for the next generation) through its social enterprises.
We aim to take this replicable and scalable model starting with 50 women and progressing to 1000 women in a span of 7 years.
What support do we need?
We are looking for a CSR partner/donor to fund this program. Funds will be used for;
Mobilizing & skill development
- Marketing & Customer Service
- Technology & Operations
Partner with us
Be Our Voice
The world is filled with good people. If you are interested in our work, we invite you to promote us in your country/state/business groups. As our voice, you will represent us and connect us to likely customers. The customer, you and us can co-create meaningful products.