Marie Alexandrine Rasoanantenaina

In Madagascar in the 1980s, Alexandrine Rasoanantenaina started out selling handmade clothing door-to-door. Within a few years, she was able to hire women to help with sewing and embroidery. As the business grew, she experimented with dyes and alternative materials based on Madagascar’s abundant natural resources. By 1992, Rasoanantenaina founded a cooperative, Tahiana Creation, to produce natural-fiber textiles using dyes derived from indigenous bark and fruit pits. Tahiana produces wall hangings, tablecloths, and placemats, as well as baskets made from vétiver, a sustainable local crop. In her lecture, sponsored by the AFLCR, she talked about her mission to build community through her sustainable enterprise.