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Continuing the project started in 2020, a group of 22 seamstresses were invited to participate in a training course for developing a collection and fashion thinking in the Amazon, with the Pará stylist Marco Normando and support from the Hydro Sustainability Fund (HSF). They are part of the Travessia Barcarena project, created by the fund during the pandemic to increase the income generation of these professionals through technical training for the production of non-medical face masks to protect against the coronavirus. The initiative was crucial for these seamstresses and their families, who are now taking a new step in their careers.

With professional qualification and the formation of a production network, they develop consistent work in the local market, taking advantage of business opportunities with creativity and good taste. “In order for the project to continue, the idea arose to invite them to participate in an exciting challenge, to develop them even further and project them into the fashion market, in partnership with a renowned haute couture professional”, says Eduardo Figueiredo, Director of Sustainability and Social Impact at Hydro.

Normando is a brand that originated in the Brazilian Amazon. Born in Pará, he seeks inspiration and references in his roots to create high-quality pieces. “I am happy for the inspiration I passed on to them, a little bit of my work and for feeling up close this appreciation of the region and the local culture, the look of everyday life”, says an emotional Normando.

The workshop was planned to support the insertion of these professionals in the fashion market and, thus, collaborate so that they can expand their sales to new markets, with new techniques. The pieces produced during the training workshop were presented in a fashion show in which the seamstresses themselves were the protagonists. For many, a dream come true.

“This project was very important to me as a person and a sewing professional. I support my family with what I earn from sewing. Based on the training we received since the pandemic, I have already managed to increase my production and I intend to expand my clientele and, who knows, set up a studio at home. It was exciting to show this work in a fashion show, in which we were dressed up with makeup, hair, a whole reception and care that I would never have imagined receiving and still being able to hear people applauding you for what you created”, says Lúcia Santos, 54 years old, who lives in the Itupanema neighborhood, in Barcarena, with her husband and five children.

About Estilo Travessia

Estilo Travessia is carried out by the Hydro Sustainability Fund, with the support of Hydro, Albras and the Todos pelo Trabalho program, and executed by Sustainable Barcarena Initiative (IBS, in Portuguese). Through the exhibition of the work of seamstresses from Barcarena, it intends to reinforce the commitment to networking, driven by the work of the IBS, to praise the work of the Todos pelo Trabalho Network in order to guarantee training, employment and income for the population of Barcarena and boost even more the work of the seamstresses benefited by the Travessia Barcarena project.

“Training business women has a lot to do with the objective of this project and with the materialization of what the Sustainable Barcarena Initiative represents. In this fashion show, we saw powerful women, showing pieces produced by them with added value acquired through the training they received since the beginning of the pandemic. They believed, gained knowledge, developed their creativity and improved sewing and clothing”, concludes Eduardo Figueiredo.

About the Travessia Barcarena project

The project was created in 2020 to offer the opportunity to generate income for families facing financial difficulties in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Barcarena. The initiative was articulated by the Hydro Sustainability Fund (HSF) together with funding partners, implementing partners and local partners, and consisted of two fronts: generating income for family farmers whose production was purchased and converted into food donations for the population; and another front focused on making face protection masks, which were also distributed free of charge to the communities most affected by the contagion.

Travessia had its actions and instruments in line with the development strategy of the Todos pelo Trabalho program, whose objective is to contribute to initiatives to support and promote employment, work and income in Barcarena. The integration of the action with the Sustainable Barcarena Initiative was also a desired solution, since the gathering of citizens and organizations from society focused on debating and building solutions for development would enhance the scope of the project, in terms of mask distribution.

Among the objectives achieved are the enhancement of the entrepreneurial initiatives of the seamstresses; consolidation of a network of seamstresses with an impact on the context of clothing and sewing in Barcarena and education and training in practices in the universe of clothing and sewing. The Fund's investment was around BRL 2.5 million, with 1,350 families and approximately 6,750 people benefiting from food donations; production of 168,000 non-medical masks; remuneration of 73 seamstresses and around 70,000 people benefited from the donation of masks.

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