This Non-Profit Clothing Company Is Employing At-Risk Women In the Femicide Capital of Mexico
Photo: Manny Jorquera
The women of Juárez, Mexico refuse to be victimized. In the femicide capital of Mexico, feminist activists are taking their socio-economic power back.
Artists and activists Jane Terrazas, Lise Bjorne Linnert and Veronica Corchado have created a company called Ni En More, a not-for-profit clothing company aimed at providing jobs for at-risk women.
The goal of Ni En More is to create jobs for women that will “provide dignity” and a “sustainable and fair income” but will also “create confidence and skills that contribute to long-term financial independence” for the women they employ. As of now, the company employs a total o f 16 women across the city.
Ni En More’s philosophy isn’t just lip service. The non-profit employs an array of Juárez women, from Indigenous members of the local Raramuri community, to women who have been subjected to domestic violence, to transgender women.
The women who work at Ni En More make bags, dresses, blouses, and most recently, face masks.
They are trained in the ins-and-outs of the commercial apparel business, from pattern-cutting, to sewing, to quality-control, to shipping. According to the company’s website, their hope is that empowering women through ethical employment will have a ripple effect, spreading confidence “like seeds” across the town of Juárez.
“Ni En More cannot alleviate the systematic social problems and the violence, but we can create better conditions for development and change,” Terrazas told Vogue. “We believe that economic independence for women is the first step in giving them the freedom they need to make decisions for themselves, thereby helping them face and defeat the challenges of abuse and violence.”
The city of Juárez’s violence stems from its status as a border-town riddled with drug lords and cartels.
According to local El Paso news, 1500 people were killed in Juárez in 2019–an average of 4 people per day. The violence in Juárez is pervasive, and women are at the receiving end of a very particular kind of violence: gender-based crime.
Like Susan Chavez Castillo, a poet and activist whose work inspired the company’s name. Chavez Castillo is widely credited as coining the slogan “Ni Una Menos”. She was actively outspoken about the plague of femicide that was crippling her city as well as her country. In 2011, she was murdered.
“What’s strange is that we’re fighting to eliminate femicide in Juárez,” her friend Linda Meza told the Denver Post at the time. “And look, she died that way, in the hands of criminals.”
But even as feminists are martyred for the cause, the fight to end femicide wages on. And sometimes, the biggest changes come from the places you’d least expect–like a not-for-profit clothing company.
“We are not a fashion brand,” Terrazas told Vogue, explaining that the apparel they sell are “symbols” in the larger fight against gender-based violence. “Our garments are conceived in order to create awareness, fairness, and hope.”
Buy from Ni En More and support the fight against femicide here.
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