Loza Foundation chooses local produce to ensure sustainable development and growth:
Sustainability and a long-term perspective in every phase and area of the organisation are extremely important to charity fundraiser Loza Foundation. The clothes and goods destined for donation are bought from local producers, as close to the aid projects as possible.
“When we were buying pyjamas for the people living at the Demir Kapija institution in Macedonia, we chose a local clothes manufacturer with only 10 employees. We want to contribute to economic growth in the countries where we are active”, says Sabina Grubbeson.
So far, Loza Foundation has purchased 230 pairs of pyjamas, 500 pairs of socks and 300 bath towels to equip their pilot project, the institution in Demir Kapija, with goods for the disabled children and adults living there. All the clothes come from local producers in Macedonia.
“The pyjamas are made at a small sewing factory in Kumanovo, the socks come from a manufacturer in Skopje and the towels are from a factory in Veles”, says Sabina Grubbeson.
Working with local producers in the different countries where Loza Foundation is active, and thus contribute to economic growth, is something that was planned right from the start.
“We want to contribute to more jobs right there in the poor region and buy from small producers with growth potential. We also hope to inspire Swedish companies to manufacture in Macedonia. They have a long history of textile production in this region and are strategically well placed at the heart of Europe. They also have a free-trade agreement, which means that goods that are exported from Macedonia and into the EU are classed as duty-free.
When a local producer cannot be found, Loza Foundation has also contacted companies in Sweden. The Varberg-based company Vagabond, for example, donated shoes to the Demir Kapija institution. But the foundation chooses local produce wherever possible.
“That also helps cut lengthy transport routes, which have a detrimental effect on the environment. When we buy a sweater in Macedonia, which will be worn by people located fairly close to the manufacturing site instead of bringing it to Sweden, we actually save a 2,500 km transportation distance. Furthermore, this purchase will benefit the local economy and create jobs in one of the poorest countries in Europe”, Sabina Grubbeson explains.
Loza will now continue their work of taking care of the different needs at the Demir Kapija institution, Macedonia. The people living there will be given the clothes they need. Underwear and trousers are in great demand. Not to mention washing machines to keep the clothes clean.
“In Sweden, most of us are fortunate enough to have clothes to wear, food on the table and a small amount of money saved at the end of the month. We need to start sharing what we have with people who have nothing and contribute to building a Europe where we look after the weakest in society.”
Next on Sabina’s schedule is a research trip to Bosnia. The aim is to reach out to ones in need and establish a connection with local producers for future aid projects.
“I do hope more people want to contribute to the work we do, so that we can give a little bit of our plethora to people who need it the most!”
Caption: Marina works as a seamstress at Greeny Collection, a small sewing factory in Kumanovo, Macedonia. There are ten employees working here on a small space. In the future, the manufacturer hopes to move into larger premises and be able to employ more people.