Unrolling the ball of red thread…

Last week brought back old memories as six C&A employees were visiting India to support some of our partners with their knowledge and experience in the textile business. The C&A employees are participating in a volunteer program, which is part of the partnership between C&A, C&A Foundation and Women on Wings, established to create jobs for women in rural India.

Meeting the C&A team
For me, this is a very special partnership, because I worked at C&A Netherlands myself many years ago! I’m curious if the six C&A employees know people that I’ve worked with… Sunday morning, Ellen, Ronald and I met the C&A team in Delhi to work on the presentations for the workshop. The C&A employees are working at the headquarters in Brussels but they come from different countries: Gijs is from Belgium, Bernd and Andreas from Germany, Maria from Spain, Caroline and Joanne from the UK. And yes, they do know people that I’ve worked with some 20 years ago…

Getting to know the Women on Wings partners and their products
Preparing the workshop also included a trip to Dilli Haat, a permanent exhibition where handicraft products are being sold. Two of our business partners that will join the workshop, Avani and Jharcraft, were participating in the exhibition. An excellent opportunity to introduce their products to the C&A team.

High expectations
Preparations for the workshop started November last year. Deciding who to invite (textile & fashion), sending a save the date, explaining the workshop, introducing ‘Europe’s leading fashion retailer’, and finding a venue that could facilitate the expected no’s of participants and accommodate the C&A team. We received many registrations only shortly after sending the save the date. The bar was set…..

The starting time of workshops in India can be ‘flexible’. Like on day 1 of our workshop… With a little delay, we started with a great exercise: unrolling the ball of red yarn that Gijs bought at Dilli Haat. We connected by throwing the ball to someone and the one holding it, introduced her/himself and shared the expectations of the workshop. At the end, we were all connected. Great start!

Ineke Bezembinder
Women on Wings India team

Photography: partly by Marcel van Mourik