Volunteer in Africa

Textile Design Volunteer Opportunities in AfricaTextile Design


Global Mamas provides sustainable livelihoods for women in Africa by promoting their traditional skills in the production of fair trade apparel and accessories. Each year we produce a new product line which is very dependent on the fresh ideas of visiting textile designers. There are many ways in which we could put your textile design skills to use:

  • Research trends for the coming year.
  • Learn to batik the Global Mamas way to understand the possibilities and limitations.
  • Sketch, layout and develop new batik stamps.
  • Experiment with dyes to generate new color combinations.
  • Introduce our Mamas to new textile design techniques.
  • Working side by side with our Mamas, create samples and adjust patterns based on their feedback and realities of batiking in Ghana (think foam stamps and coal pots).
  • Document designs, stamps, and dye recipes in our batik library.
  • Develop and present workshops to improve our Mamas' design and technical skills.

Past Textile Design Projects

Elisenda Losantos - Product Design volunteer in Africa

Elisenda Losantos
Barcelona, Spain

Elisenda was very productive during her time in Ghana:

  • Visiting numerous seamstresses to understand the impediments to efficient production, and then developing specifications to reduce waste, improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Developing digital layouts and specifications for each of the products that assist in the ordering and production of the products.
  • Working with the production manager and other staff to consolidate the information gathered into a usable format.
  • Working on a range of new batik cloth, including the first 'Fair Trade' cloth produced by Global Mamas.
  • Creating a color scheme that the weavers in Ajumkao use to choose fabric batik scraps to produce rugs and trivets to color specification as offered in the Global Mamas catalog.

"I have never worked in such a motivated environment. The team spirit and the feeling that everyone was in the same boat: the staff, the batikers, the seamstresses, and volunteers alike, was one of the most motivating experiences of my life."