11th December 2015
Location / Country / Region
Ayvalik – Balikesir, Turkey
The project started in 2008 and it is still running
Cop(m)adam is an organization that offers opportunities to women who have never worked for pay before, utilizing their hand-craft skills to make useful and stylish items out of throw-away materials.
Unite İletişim (www.unite.com.tr), Sabancı University Public Relations Department
Our participants – 60 women – are members of the community. We operate next door to a male-dominated tea shop, so the men there see the positive side of our work. We are a known enterprise in the community, familiar to children, schools, and other businesses.
Relevant links, websites, etc.
Links with national / regional priorities
More knowledge of operating a business; more efficiency; greater environmental awareness in practice.
Political and Economic dimensions
Women’s population comprises 49% of the whole Turkish population. The employment rate is also very low in Turkey. Only 1 out of 4 women is into the official work force, which is equal to 25% of the women population in Turkey. The rate of undeclared work is very high in the country, reaching at 75% which means that all the women working are not under a social security scheme.
Our mission is to create high quality fashion without the exploitation of workers and the environment that is too often present in our industry. We set-up our own manufacturing facilities in Ayvalık/Balıkesir and Diyarbakır (in cooperation with KA-MER www.kamer.org.tr) in Turkey to leverage the artistic talent embedded within the Turkish culture and to provide opportunities for women in impoverished communities. We care for each and every one of the çöp(m)adams.They are the ones that put their skills and love into making the products. To make a çöp(m)adam bag, it takes from ½ to 5 days.
1. DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The majority of our products are hand-made from recycled materials, with a focus on design. This in itself makes for a pleasing combination that works well for the vast majority of our products. All of our products carry the unique trade-mark logo and a small note with the name of the lady who produces it. As a customer of ÇÖPMADAM, you can be sure that any product that carries our logo has been produced in an ethical way.
According to the data from the Turkish Ministry of Environment, in the year 2005, only 27% of the plastic waste was recycled. The total amount of plastic waste produced in the same year reaches at 500.910 tons. In İstanbul alone, 10.000 tons of waste are produced everyday. In a year the number reaches at 3,5 million tons. The rate of recycling of this amount stays only at 18%.
Much of the work focussing on women is either for domestic violence (though little is done at the ground level); we are also using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, recycling with a focus on style that is marketable.
Key Success Factors
Çöp(m)adam is a company that has a soul. We are not just selling products, we are doing something that is making a positive change in the world.We practice fair trade.
All of our women are working in healthy and hygienic surroundings and are paid a fair wage. The fact that we are in a position to guarantee regular employment means that our women are able to make significant contributions when it comes to providing sustainability for their families and communities.
Contributions to LLP Policy
We offer regular work to around 100 women in Turkey, who have a real passion for their work and are highly committed to Çöp(m)adam.
3. LESSONS LEARNT
Regarding the building of a shared definition of LLL in LLL-Hub
Their legal certificate: by giving them certificate and take control over the process.
Regarding the possibilities of having practices in LLL which evolve and become more innovative
We are proud to pay fair and meaningful wages, (they are paid per item) not the minimum wages that dominate the industry, while offering our products at reasonable prices. We are proud to offer a clean and safe working environment and a job opportunity that lets mothers spend time with their families.
Regarding the key actors, their roles and activities in LLL
The centre point are women themselves, achieving self-confidence and success.