The Eldorado Textile Collective facilitates training in textiles and sustainable fashion for approximately 40 women and young people from the disadvantaged community of Eldorado, Sao Paulo, giving them a safe space to work, support from the ACER community centre, an opportunity to earn an income and to widen their personal and professional horizons, find meaningful employment and contribute to the local economy.
Eldorado is a marginalized community in Diadema, a densely populated satellite town of Sao Paulo with a history of poverty, drug dealing and violence. Local employment is largely informal, giving rise to exploitation and job insecurity, and Covid-19 has reduced job opportunities at the same time as the cost of living has increased. Under these conditions, children are vulnerable to neglect and violence and young people easily drawn into addiction and crime.
Since 2017 the Eldorado Textile Project at ACER Brasil has provided textile skills to local women and in 2020 we set up a second vocational group for teenagers with an emphasis on sustainable and ethical fashion. A collective will allow participants to share skills and work individually or in groups on commissions or products for sale, giving the women a chance to earn an income that increases their independence and self-esteem and the young people meaningful employment and career opportunities.
The creation of a textile collective in Eldorado Diadema will promote a supportive, sustainable textile community, encourage creativity, widen horizons, empower women, ensure that craft skills are passed on from the older generation to young people, upgrade the local economy, and ultimately help to transform a disadvantaged area.