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June 10, 2014
Fair Trade Seminar
June 10, 2014
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  • In 2010 45% of Timor’s 1.1 million people were under the age of 15
  • One in five girls over 15 attend high school nationally and in rural areas it’s less than 3%
  • Our research shows on average women receive 30% below the National Minimum Wage, with some earning as little as five cents per hour
  • Approximately 90,000 women rely on weaving textiles as source of income’

Illiomar Statistics

LO’UD Cooperative hails from Iliomar a remote region in the Southeast where, most indicators place the remote region well below national standards.
  • Population: 7,200 (3,440 men and 3,760 women)
  • 8 in 10 families engaged in subsistence farming
  • 96% of families still cook with firewood
  • Only 23% have sanitation
  • No hospital and very few public services
  • 50% of families have no cash income
  • 47% of women have never attended school
  • 1 in 4 women are illiterate
  • Only 3% of girls over the age of 15 attend high school
  • Only 19% of women are engaged in economic activity

FF_Campaign_Winding Closeup2_Marcus 2014

The truth about TAIS.

Imported, chemically dyed cotton, endangers traditional knowledge & skills.

Traditional textiles known as Tais embody women’s contribution to cultural and social life in Timor-Leste. However a high proportion of Tais are now woven using chemically dyed, imported cotton. As a result, only a few older women in each community now hold traditional knowledge of techniques and natural dyes used for centuries in Timor-Leste. A high percentage of women in Timor-Leste rely on hand weaving as their main livelihood however they remain unprotected and vulnerable. Women are made poorer by these practices as production or cotton costs are often not covered by the selling price.


Since introducing the first fair trade pricing framework for Timorese textiles in 2012, members of the LO’UD Cooperative now earn 60% more than other weavers in Timor-Leste.


Photography Marcus Salvagno | May 2014

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