Empowering Women and Uplifting Poverty Through Sustainable Employment
The first time I spoke to Rachel Lin, founder of Mori Official was over a zoom meeting last year. We hit it off instantly talking endlessly about the challenges and also hopes for the social enterprise space. I was introduced to Mori’s functional and inspirational products handmade by urban poor mothers. I was inspired by how Rachel is making a difference by empowering women and uplifting poverty.
Rachel’s trip to Tala in Manila, Philippines during her university years led her to the idea of social entrepreneurship. She noticed that women in poverty-stricken Tala were making handcrafted reversible storytelling dolls for a living, but the dolls could not be sold. Coming from a low-income family herself when she was young, Rachel was inspired to do her part in uplifting poverty through direct, sustainable employment.
Triana (T): Can you share more about Mori Official?
Rachel (R): We are a social enterprise that employs urban poor mothers. Our functional and inspirational lifestyle products are handmade by these mothers so that they are given economic opportunities while being able to look after their children at home. We create products for the modern lady - where function meets aesthetic and meaning; and championing purpose-driven life and joy in adversity.
T: Tell us more about your social impact.
R : We started in Bgy. Apolonio Samson in early 2012 with 4 mother crafters, and now works with about 28 mothers. The mothers that we work with have minimal skills in sewing. They used to be paid peso 100 (US$2) a day to sew rags that did not require straight stitching. With Mori, they earn peso 400-600 (US$9-12) a day. Before, Mori mothers kept on borrowing through 5/6 (loan program that charges high interest rate 20%, highly accessible but resorts to shady practices) which further plunge them in debt. Now, they are able to eat better food, and cover living expenses including the college education of their children.
T : What is the inspiration behind your business?
R : I deeply believe in creating value-add to both the makers and end users. The makers should receive training and be able to have sustainable livelihoods, while end users who use the products made should find true value and use for them. Many functional products for ladies are often minimalistic or just functional looking, we hope to bring a little more joy to users with our feminine and whimsical designs, while still being really focused on the functionality of each Mori’s creation.
T : Why and how do you work with Livconsciously?
R : I had a zoom meeting with Triana (founder of Livconsciously) in the midst of the pandemic last year. We hit it off really well talking endlessly about the challenges and also hopes we have for the social enterprise space. Livconsciously supports Mori’s work by helping to sell our curated products on their website. Our products include the World’s 1st pursebook (a blend of purse and refill notebooks) and dual zip (everyday/phone) sling bag. You can mix and match with Livconsciously’s other wide selection of items to put together a unique gift box for someone special, while contributing to good causes!
T : What do you think of Livconsciously and their causes?
R : I love that Triana puts in a lot of effort in raising awareness for social and environmental issues. Sometimes, people are apathetic towards a cause because there is little awareness or knowledge for it.
T : Can you share any life mantra that you live by to keep yourself motivated and passionate with what you do?
R: There are those who sustain us, and with their love we sustain others. Not that one is greater than the other, but that Love empowers us to love others. Throughout the years, we realised that there are diverse women with different gifts and talents who are passionate in causes and missions Mori is invested in too, and we see Mori as a platform to empower women across all walks of life to create value together.
*Enjoy Mori’s functional and inspirational products. Discover the World's 1st ever Pursebook which blends the function of notebook and purse together. Organise your cards, cords, earphones, cash and handphone - all in the Dual Zip Sling bag and Organiser. Get the small Leather Pouch great for keeping keys, coins or cards. Add on the Drawstring Pouch which can keep loose items like portable charger, hand sanitizers, medicine, notebook small toiletries / skincare etc! All are available at liv-consciously.com.