Honduras Threads

For 15 years Honduras Threads has worked with up to 70 women in communities on the rural outskirts of Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.  In doing so, Threads has sold and returned nearly $400,000 to members in five cooperatives and, more important, helped to build dignity and self-respect among co-op members. Conbrio’s Managing Principal Bill Bancroft led many of helped start the co-ops and led many of the trips focusing alternately on teaching technical embroidery and sewing skills, business concepts and computer skills.  The co-ops have just won approval from the Honduran government to form one company in turn allowing members to make additional items to sell in Honduras. The action is a significant step toward sustainability. Co-op members live and work in an environment where unemployment is somewhere north of 50%, subsistence farming is the norm and household incomes average about $2,000 a year per family.  In recent projects, Conbrio worked with Threads leaders to use design thinking process and tools to imagine and prototype innovative new products to take to market.  Participants prototyped bedspreads and tote bags which are now in the early stages of production.  In addition, using a variety of processes and tools, Conbrio recently worked with co-op members to articulate company values, design the organizations leadership structure and formulate a scorecard.  Already, the efforts are leading to more efficient and effective management of the operation in Honduras.  And the cooperative enterprise decided on entering a new market…making school uniforms for young children.