çöp (m)adam -- pronounced "chope madam" -- is a play on words in Turkish, translating warmly to "garbage women". Namaste has partnered with çöp (m)adam on their mini-line called "Green Bird" because they feel strongly about the çöp (m)adam cause, their mission, and their attitude.
çöp (m)adam is a social project in Turkey, created by an American/Turkish woman named Tara Hopkins. Tara designed the project to provide opportunities for women who have never earned a living while promoting awareness of environmental responsibility. The workshop is located in a small coast village in Turkey called Ayvalik, where many women don't have the chance to earn a salary of their own.
Except for the threads and zippers, all raw materials used in the production of the çöp (m)adam handbags and accessories consist of non used waste materials or materials that have been used, cleaned and sterilized. For example, çöp (m)adam and Namaste are currently producing bags that are hand crocheted entirely out of plastic bags with an interior lining made of flour sack material. Other materials that Namaste is using in production with çöp (m)adam include recycled billboard material and grain sack material.
Namaste and çöp (m)adam believe that everyone has the right to an opportunity of living in dignity. We also believe that everyone has a responsibility to the well-being of the planet. Each çöp madam product from Namaste includes a personalized card signed by the actual woman who made the product with her own hands. Unheard of!
The Namaste team has been fortunate to visit the çöp (m)adam workshop on various occasions and have been personally overtaken by the energy within. Instantly there is a sense of unity, comradery, and sisterhood that exists between the women in the workshop. It's clear from spending time there that this insitution has become much more than it's original impressive intentions. These women gain support, independence, and smiling faces as a result of being involved with çöp (m)adam. Who would have imagined that a small room full of "garbage" could bring to life such a powerful force.
Namaste & çöp (m)adam