Talking Social Enterprise in Sri Lanka with Josie George, AMMA

AMMA Sri Lanka's Mother Makers at Workshop

This week I’m happy to be introducing you to my cousin Josie. Josie runs AMMA, a social enterprise that trains and employs mothers in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. AMMA uses colour from food waste and local plants to create beautiful, natural textiles. Read our interview below.

Molly: What led you to start AMMA?

Josie: A few different reasons. Something needed to be done about the high unemployment levels amongst mothers in the tea picking communities here. Around the same time, Child Action Lanka, the local charity we work with, was looking to start income generating initiatives to become more financially sustainable.

I wanted to build an enterprise that demonstrates a different, fairer, more wholesome way of doing business in the fashion / textile industry. This gives me the opportunity to promote natural, botanical dyes, which I believe are a much safer alternative to synthetic dyes for both our planet and our wellbeing.

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My Favourite Podcasts: Part Three

iPhone and Earphones

This is my third podcast recommendations post (click to read part one and part two). I keep finding new series to listen to when I’m travelling, washing dishes, in the bath or wherever else. If you think of any others I might like, please let me know in a comment or tweet!

18. The Debrief Podcast

With humour and good advice, Stevie and Tessa tackle topics faced by many people in their 20s. If you’re in Edinburgh this month, I’ve heard Tessa’s show is great too.

Recommended episode: How To Do Things That Scare You.

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Talking Social Impact and Style with Sarah Beckett, Co-Founder of Birdsong

The Support Your Sisters Tee by Birdsong London.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Beckett, Co-Founder of Birdsong, a London-based ethical fashion brand. Birdsong’s mantra of ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’ is one I’m definitely on board with. The team works with a range of women’s groups and young designers to create sustainable, socially impactful pieces. I’ll let Sarah share the rest.

Molly: What led you, Sophie and Ruba to set up Birdsong?

Sarah: We all did the Year Here programme in 2014. Year Here is a postgraduate programme for young people who are interested in social change. It gives you a range of experiences in the social sector and you have to build solutions to problems along the way. We all had different experiences, but shared interests. Sophie had already been involved with lots of women’s activism.

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Talking Work and Wellbeing with Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds

The Student Minds team outside their Turl Street office in Oxford.

This week I spoke to the interesting and admirable Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds. We chatted about work, leadership, mental health and self-care. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Molly: For any readers who aren’t familiar with the organisation, what is Student Minds?

Rosie: Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. We work to empower students and members of the university community to look after their own mental health, support others and create change. In the years to come, we are hoping to create a thriving higher education community.

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Talking Self Care and Startups with Ishita Ranjan, Founder of Care Package Company

Today I’m happy to be sharing an interview with Ishita Ranjan, better known as Ranj. I’ve been in touch with Ranj for a few years, thanks to mutual friends and our involvement with Student Hubs. Ranj is encouraging, helpful, intelligent and ambitious. These qualities come together in her latest venture, Care Package Company. Read on to see what Ranj has to say about starting a social enterprise, self care and more.

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January Reflections

We’ve almost arrived at the end of January – a month marked for millions by disappointment, fear and anger, as a certain someone began a certain job that he is certainly not prepared for.

Personally, this month has involved beginning a new term at work and university, adapting to a different schedule, prioritising self-care and supporting others. I’ve been quietly joyful about aspects of my own life while also occasionally overwhelmed by world events.

Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about, reading, listening to and watching during the first weeks of 2017.

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