MarketPlace is beginning an exciting new enterprise aimed at providing more artisans with secure employment. For 20 years MarketPlace has produced woven cotton clothing inspired by the unfitted styles ofIndia and featuring traditional dye techniques and designs. Now we are planning to expand our product line to include knit cotton garments. These new items of clothing will have a more fitted and fluid profile which will coordinate well with our current line and also offer a fresh fashion option for customers. These new styles should attract more customers and help the artisan cooperatives to stay competitive. MarketPlace also plans to enter the T-shirt market offering an attractive alternative to organizations and schools uncomfortable with purhasing T-shirts made in factories which do not meet Fair Trade standards for humane working conditions. The artisans are now preparing to purchse the specialized sewing and cutting machines needed to work with knit fabric. They will also require training in dyeing and sewing techniques for knits, as well as design guidance. The artisans are looking forward to meeting the challenges of learning new skills and taking advantage of the opportunities which they will open up.
The total cost for thie project is estimated to be $22,740. The main expenditure will be investing in the new machinery needed for working with knit fabrics. An initial purchase of 12 sewing machines, 6 for construction and 6 finishing, will cost $14,250. Three cutting machines for use with knits will cost $850 apiece. Setting up to do screen-printing for T-shirts will cost $750. A consultant, hired at the rate of $750 for a 3-month period, will provide the training necessary for adjusting to working with knits. (The remainder of the total cost covers stipends for lost wages for the trainees and such things as material and thread for use during the training period.)
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