Socially Conscious Fashionistas: Meet Rachel Lin and Mitzi Uy of mori
I recently met Rachel Lin through an online women's empowerment group, and after learning more about her passion and purpose and checking out their website, I couldn't wait to share what she and Mori's original founder, Mitzi Uy, are up to with their fashion brand, mori.
In fact, top secret, I've found my new go-to gift for 2020!
How did mori start?
Mori is a variant name for “Moriel” in Hebrew, which means ‘God teaches’. Mitzi started mori with a bible and journal in her hands for a few years. As a result, she created many journals on her own, and hence birthed the World’s 1st Pursebook, a blend of purse and refillable notebooks, which is mori’s key selling product. Despite challenges, mori deeply believes that God is our teacher and will lead and guide us with wisdom and creativity to provide sustainable work for the mothers.
Originally launched in 2011, Mitzy started mori in order to help women in her native country, the Phillipines. In 2015, Mitzi and Rachel, from Singapore, met online and due to their shared interest in social enterprise, started working together.
How does mori make a difference?
We directly employ urban poor mothers in Philippines, and also champion purpose and joy to both users and makers.
Our goals are to:
1. Uplift poverty through sustainable employment of mothers who need to take care of their children at home at the same time.
2. Champion purpose-driven life and thriving in adversity; encouraging self-reflection and expression of thoughts.
3. Provide a platform to empower women across all walks of life - urban poor mothers, artists, crafters, sales advocates and even customers to create value together.
About 80% of the Philippine population are Catholics, and contraception is not widely practiced. The country's total fertility rate was three births per woman as of 2014, according to statistics compiled by the World Bank. But the poorest section of the population has a higher fertility rate of 5.2 births per woman.
The mothers that mori works with have minimal skills in sewing. They used to sew only rags that didn't require straight stitching. mori trains them until they are able to sew the products in good quality. We pay them per piece rate, at a rate higher than other manufacturing companies by 50%. We check the amount of time it takes to make the product and divide it according to the local living minimum wage. Now, they are able to eat better food, and cover living expenses including college education of their children.
We believe that a social enterprise needs to first provide value add to our end users, as much as we desire to solve a social issue!
A few mori moms at work:
What's next for mori?
We're working on growing our business to capture more of the Australian, European and U.S. markets. We are presently taking pre-orders on a few products until March 9, 2020. This helps us scale up to help employ more mothers (RBRW readers can receive 10% off all purchases using code SHARE10).