Meet Musa - The Potter!
You may remember last month we started a new series introducing you to some of our fantastic project leaders.
And this month we're meeting Musa - a potter, entrepreneur and all-round general legend from Gambia!
All of the profits from our ethical garments are invested into humanitarian projects in Africa (read more about how this works here).
And because of this, we feel it’s important our customers get to know the people and communities who benefit from their funds.
Musa has a brilliant business in Gambia and has pioneered a new clay pot design which is super-efficient - saving his customers money.
Eco pots and stoves
Origin's first involvement with Musa came early this year, when we discovered his eco pots and stoves in Brikama, Gambia.
Traditionally families in Gambia cook on a stove, but Musa's invention of The Jambar could completely transform how things are done.
He has pioneered this new design, which makes cooking three-times as fast and also reduces fuel consumption by 70%, and when cooking for a large family in the traditional Gambian compound, this makes an enormous difference.
This means not only is Musa making cooking more affordable for the poorest households, he's also helping to save the planet at the same time.
How does The Jambar work?
Firstly, Musa buys clay from local villages, which he then shapes using tin templates and fires in a 3,000 litre stove - which he built himself!
The pots are then supplied to customers directly from his premises in Brikama.
Musa currently employs four men, but he wants to upscale his ideas, employing more people and include some female employees too. He employed four new women this month.
He also wants to reignite his education initiatives which he had to discontinue due to lack of funding from the global fund.
These help rural woman to make satellite businesses - spreading the reach of Musa's efforts to alleviate poverty.
He hopes, with time and investment, that his small business could become a medium-sized enterprise with all the jobs, and freedom benefits that come with that.
Origin became involved with Musa because we saw his potential as a skilled entrepreneur with his own ideas and plans.
We have always been passionate about investing in autonomous people, and were inspired by Musa's determination, his passion and his enthusiasm to look after those around him.
Funding from the sale of our not-for-profit garments will help Musa to reach more poor women and children, keeping them in school and training.
It will also help to create more jobs and offer collaborative 'micro-saving' - something we truly believe and have researched is a proven method that will help to break the poverty cycle.
As well as this, The Jambar provides improved nutrition and sanitation for families, as well as an eco-friendly solution for the poorest households.
And already Musa is off to a flying start with Origin's donated funds - creating eight good, local jobs for his business.
It is also helping him to include the addition of brick-making to his repertoire. A strategic investment of £833 will make 2,500 bricks, which Musa aims to sell in the first 3-4 weeks for around £1,750.
Things are looking very promising for this entrepreneur indeed!
Investing to break the cycle of poverty
Origin invests 100% of its profits in locally-led, humanitarian projects in Africa in the form of cash grants to support business models and entrepreneurial ideas.
We believe entrepreneurs are the future for developing countries and hold the key to breaking the poverty cycle.
All of Origin’s projects are carefully selected by in-country board members, and each project must meet our crucial Project Principles.
They must be locally led, sustainable for local people, have a selected social impact goal and be realistic and culturally appropriate in the local setting.
Find out more about how we fund our projects, our commitment to ethical fashion and our project principles here.