I watched this documentary recently on the Rags 2 Riches scheme which started in the Philippines. It began to help mothers who are extremely poor and were unable to provide their children with essentials such as food and water, and also education. Years ago, these mothers made their money by finding rubbish and sifting through it to find scraps of fabric which they would then make into rugs. The problem arose when businesses saw this as a lucrative, money-making scheme and began to take the materials. They then sold the materials onto smaller traders and the rubbish ended up being sold to the women for a very high price, and one which they definitely could not afford.
Rags 2 Riches gets scraps of fabric donated to them straight from the factory owners so that the women don’t have to go searching and they also don’t have to pay extortionate prices. Rags 2 Riches has also gone a step further and built up relationships with local designers who now employ the women to create material for them and then use this material on higher end garments. This creates a larger profit and also gives the women some confidence and self-esteem as they see their work in shops and boutiques.
The Rags 2 Riches scheme won the Rolex Award for Enterprise and continues to do good work in the community, as it spreads throughout the Philippines and helps more and more impoverished families.