Skilled artisans in rural India work on a challenging scarf by a Finnish designer. The scarves were made for an Indian customer who gave them as gifts at an event in Boston.
BOSTON, June 30, 2011 - A pro bono team from Goodwin Procter LLP, a national Am Law 50 firm, provided crucial support in obtaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for Alba Collective, an organization dedicated to human rights protection for self-employed craftswomen in developing countries. Founded by an international collective of women in professions ranging from academia and business to law and fashion, Alba connects international high-end designers and retailers with highly skilled women artisans in India to help them achieve financial autonomy and provide education to their daughters.
“Alba Collective builds bridges between women’s work and their daughters’ futures,” said cofounder Jacqueline Bhabha. “The idea is simple -- exquisite artisanal work by rural women belongs in the world of high fashion and high price. Our start may be modest, but our efforts are rigorous. We believe that our work will bring sustainable change on a significant scale.”
Introduced to Alba Collective through Goodwin alumnus Enrique Colbert, the firm has advised the collective since 2009, providing legal assistance on initial formation, business model, strategy and intellectual property matters. The Goodwin team includes partner Jon M. Herzog; associates Jennifer Berylson Block, Robert M. Crawford, Gessingga N. Storer and Julia B. Holczer; and senior paralegal Alison Callahan.
“What is so impressive about Alba Collective is the group of women who are part of it,” said Jennifer Berylson Block, associate at Goodwin. “It is a wide and far-reaching international group of women who are all focused on the same cause.”
As Alba Collective expands its reach, Goodwin Procter attorneys continue to counsel the collective on corporate work. Currently, the Goodwin team is helping Alba Collective obtain the trademark for its Fashion Human Rights program, which enables skilled women artisans to sell their work in larger markets for significantly better wages.
“Working with Alba Collective has been incredibly rewarding,” said partner Jon Herzog. “It’s inspiring to watch this forward-thinking organization find new ways to promote human rights for women in struggling communities.”
Founded in 2009, Alba Collective is a “two-way, women-helping-women organization,” providing talented artisans with access to upscale markets. Its members are professional women from business, textile and fashion design, NGOs, and academia in the U.S., Europe and India. The collective supports craftswomen-entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses and enrich each other’s lives. For more information, visit www.albacollective.org.
About Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter LLP is one of the nation’s leading law firms, with offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm provides corporate law and litigation services, with a focus on matters involving real estate, REITs and real estate capital markets; private equity; technology companies; financial services; intellectual property; products liability and mass torts; and securities litigation and white collar defense. For additional information, visit www.goodwinprocter.com. Follow us on Twitter @GoodwinProcter.