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Pulque: Aztec Drink Ferments New Economy

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Reviving traditional foods and drinks can be an income-boosting source of new economic activity. Many cultures can benefit from looking again at their rich traditions to find new ways to increase enterprise. This can be difficult at first. Big global brands have many initial advantages: they are backed by wealthy and experienced international companies and can deploy aggressive marketing and distribution power to get products into the hands of consumers. The power of Coca Cola to reach all corners of the earth is legendary.

But the case of Mexican drink pulque shows how marrying the power of an ancient taste with a younger demographic can rejuvenate businesses. This is important because many emerging countries across the South have young populations – and yet unemployment is also high among these youthful populations. Engaging the youth market will be critical to the future prosperity and development of these countries.

Pulque is also playing a part in Mexico’s tourism strategy: the state government in Tlaxcala (http://www.tlaxcala.gob.mx)has created a ‘Pulque Route’ to draw in tourists.

Having for decades lost ground to slickly marketed alternatives like beer and tequila, pulque drinking is being revived with the help of a new generation of Mexicans re-discovering a beverage that boasts origins reaching back to the Aztecs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec).

There is also another benefit to reviving ancient food and drink: alarm has been raised over the diminishing range of food products consumed by people around the world. Throughout the history of farming, around 7,000 species of plants have been domesticated. Yet everyday diets only draw on 30 percent of these plants, and even this number has been going down as more people consume mass-market foods (FAO).

Once-rich culinary traditions have wilted and left many people unsure what to do with formerly common vegetables and fruits, even if they can actually find them in markets.

One consequence has been poor nutrition resulting from the reduction in consumption of high-vitamin foods, leading to stunted mental and physical development across the global South.

Pulque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulque) is made from the juice of maguey or agave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave), a spiky green plant. It has between three and four percent alcohol content. Unlike the well-known Mexican drink tequila, which is fermented and distilled to make a strong, clear alcoholic drink, pulque is a foamy and milky beverage that is fermented, not distilled.

Made from a sap harvested when the agave is mature, it appears in the Codex Borbonicus written by Aztec priests in the 1530s.

Advocates for the drink say it is high in Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and packed with beneficial microbes for human digestion. It also has vitamins C, B-complex, D, E, amino acids and minerals such as iron and phosphorus.

Pulque had developed a bad reputation, with an image as a peasant drink lacking the class of tequila or beer. The stigma had built up over decades from its reputation as the favourite drink of alcoholic farmers, commonly depicted drinking pulque all day long.

Once pulque was available only at makeshift pulquerias: a few tables and chairs with farm animals roaming about. Portions were large, using gourds or, by the 1970s, plastic buckets. Some still sell the drink in this rough-and-ready fashion from containers hitched to donkeys.

Those behind the rebranding of the drink hope to move away from the former drinkers – largely poor, old and rural – to young urban drinkers. Pulque has taken on a “cool, retro” image tapping into a taste for connecting with Mexico’s Aztec roots.

In Pulqueria Las Duelistas in Mexico City, the young crowd like the new taste. “It is cooler than beer and a lot cheaper than Tequila,” Jaime Torres, a 22-year-old design student and computer tech for an advertising agency told the Washington Post. “It’s old Mexico.”

By 1886 a census found 817 pulquerias in Mexico City serving the residents of just 9,000 homes. By the 20th century, they had become so common that neighbourhoods would have a handful each. Now estimates place the number in Mexico City at between 60 and 100, with many closing when their owners die.

Las Duelistas is trying to buck that trend.

“This place has been in business for 92 years, and I have six as the owner, and I have totally changed the image of the pulqueria, a totally new concept, with different clientele,” said proprietor Arturo Garrido. “Most of my clients are young, and it is my way to continue giving life to the pulque.”

So, how have the pulquerias made themselves appealing to a new generation of drinkers? Music and new interior design have made the establishments more attractive to youth.

Pulque sells for 30 pesos, or about US $2.50, a litre. The most popular version is called curado (cured) and is infused with other flavours like strawberry, guava and celery to add greater appeal to a younger demographic.

“My customers aren’t old anymore. Now they’re young people,” said Nabor Martinez, the owner of another pulqueria, La Risa.

The drink is difficult to export because it keeps fermenting in the bottle or can. This makes it something special to Mexico, only enjoyed by a visit to the country.

Some, however, like Everado Gonzalez, director of the 2003 documentary “Pulque Song,” about an old-school establishment, lament the loss of the old atmosphere.

“A pulqueria is not a cantina. It’s not a bar,” Gonzalez said. “It is a refuge, or was, for the lowest classes of society. Your drink is cheap. You are not sitting at a table, with good manners. You don’t need a table. You sit on a bench, where you can do what you want, say what you want.

“It was a beautiful island of freedom.”

Published: September 2011

Resources

1) Teh Botol Sosro: It is a drink of cool, black, sweetened tea with a hint of jasmine. Invented by the Indonesian family of Sosrodjojos, Sosro was founded in central Java in the 1940s. Website: http://www.sosro.com

2) Just Food is a web portal packed with the latest news on the global food industry and packed with events and special briefings to fill entrepreneurs in on the difficult issues and constantly shifting market demands. Website:http://www.just-food.com

3) Small businesses looking to develop their brand can find plenty of free advice and resources here. Website:http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com

4) Brandchannel: The world’s only online exchange about branding, packed with resources, debates and contacts to help businesses intelligently build their brand. Website:http://www.brandchannel.com


Mezcal or mescal, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave (Wikipedia). In the summer of 2022 Southern Innovator was introduced to the brand Marin&Marin (https://www.marinymarinmezcal.com). Their mezcal is hand made in a traditional Mexican way and is 100% organic and Fair Trade.  

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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Avoiding Wasting Food and Human Potential with ICTs

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Creative use of information technology in the South is helping to address two very different kinds of waste – of food and of human and community potential.

In Ghana, a mobile phone-driven Internet marketplace is helping to improve efficiencies in farming and selling food. Another initiative is addressing the crisis in India’s villages by drawing on the diaspora of former villagers now living in urban environments around the world.

Finding ways to efficiently trade food is crucial to keeping hunger at bay and meeting the needs of growing populations. In a report earlier this year, the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) found that more than half of the world’s food is wasted or discarded.

“There is evidence … that the world could feed the entire projected population growth alone by becoming more efficient,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, at the launch of The Environmental Food Crisis: The Environment’s Role in Averting Future Food Crises.

Ghana is a country that has already gained a reputation as an IT leader in West Africa (www.ghanaictawards.com). Now a clever technology based in the capital, Accra, is using mobile phones to connect farmers and agricultural businesses and associations to the marketplace. By using SMS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS) text messages, information from the field is gathered and collated. This can include tracking what is happening on the farm, how crops are surviving the weather, and the status of food inventories day-by-day. All the data is collected by the TradeNet website and displayed with prices and deadlines for buyers and sellers to get in touch with each other. This reduces the time and cost involved in gathering updates from thousands of people across the country.

Launched in 2007, the service recently won the Information Communication Technology innovations contest by the World Summit Award (WAS) (http://www.wsis-award.org/about/index.wbp) of the United Nations’ World Summit on Information Society (WSIS).

TradeNet is currently collating market data from 13 countries and proclaims itself the largest SMS-based market information service on the continent of Africa. It has more than 12,000 registered users and covers 500 individual markets.

The service’s full name is TradeNet: Market Information on your Mobile (http://www.tradenet.biz/?lang=en), and it tracks products like ground nuts, sesame, tomato, maize and white beans. It offers market information from Afghanistan , Benin , Burkina Faso , Cameroon , Cote d’Ivoire , Ghana , Madagascar , Mali , Mozambique , Nigeria , Sudan and Togo.

Founded by its chief executive officer Mark Davies, TradeNet is run out of the internet start-up incubator Busy Lab (http://www.busylab.com/) in Accra. Busy Lab specializes in building mobile web solutions for companies and projects involved in rural media and computing.

While in India, villages are in crisis: As India’s economy has boomed, its small towns and villages have withered. Home to the majority of the country’s population, they are suffering declining populations and high suicide rates. India’s urban slums are where people are going; they are growing 250 percent faster than the country’s population. Yet so many people share some past connection with the country’s 260,000 ailing villages.

And while the world has become a majority urban place, it is acknowledged the future for the environment and agriculture rests in the health of villages.

The social media website Mana Vuru (www.manavuru.com) seeks to connect people living in cities with the villages they were born in, or where their families came from. It is about restoring the broken connection with the village in order to enhance their future development.

As Mana Vuru declares: “Villages form the backbone of our economy. True progress, growth and prosperity can only be realized when villages become self-sustainable.”

The site points out that “most villages are suffering from crippling infrastructure and some even lack the basic amenities like electricity and fresh water. We believe that every person who migrated to greener pastures and attained success and wealth should feel some sort of moral responsibility and do their bit for their respective villages.”

A project of the Palette School of Multimedia (http://www.palettemultimedia.com/) in Hyderabad – one of India’s technology hubs – the site lets former village dwellers register and start meeting and connecting with fellow members of the diaspora. Together they can network to help the village address its development challenges.

Published: August 2009

Resources

1) A video story by CNN on Tradenet. Website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6z0ywkHPPQ

2) BOP Source is a platform for companies and individuals at the BOP (bottom of the pyramid) to directly communicate, ultimately fostering close working relationships, and for NGOs and companies to dialogue and form mutually valuable public-private partnerships that serve the BOP.
Website: http://bopsource.ning.com/

3) Afriville is a Web 2.0 service and an African Caribbean social network. Afriville is a community website along the lines of the famous MySpace. Users are free to message and post profiles. The difference is that the user is able to choose how closed or open the networks are. The site features a state of the art music management system which allows African and Caribbean artists to get straight in touch with their fans.
Website: www.afriville.com

4) Business Action for Africa: Business Action for Africa is an international network of businesses and business organisations from Africa and elsewhere, coming together in support of three objectives: to positively influence policies for growth and poverty reduction, to promote a more balanced view of Africa, and to develop and showcase good business practice in Africa
Website: www.businessactionforafrica.org

5) Model Village India: An innovative concept to rejuvenate India’s villages and build economies and self-reliance. Website: http://www.modelvillageindia.org.in/index1.html

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
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ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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India 2.0: Can the Country Make the Move to the Next Level?

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

New UNOSSC banner Dev Cha 2013

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

With the global economic crisis threatening to cause turmoil in the emerging markets of the global South, it is becoming clear that what worked for the past two decades may not work for the next two.

For India, the legacy issues of poverty still need to be addressed, and the country’s impressive information technology (IT) industry – which has driven so much of India’s growth – will face stiff competition from other countries in the global South. Some argue that if the IT industry hopes to keep growing and contributing to India’s wealth, things will need to change.

Unlike China, where heavy investment in infrastructure and a strong link between government and the private sector has driven the impressive manufacturing boom in the country, in India the government has de-regulated and taken a back seat, leaving the private sector and entrepreneurs to drive the change and do the innovation.

Many believe various areas need urgent attention if India is to continue to enjoy good growth rates in the coming years. Areas in need of attention include infrastructure, healthcare and education (thesmartceo.in), in particular the knowledge to work in the information technology industry of the 21st century.

One of the founders of Indian outsourcing success Infosys (infosys.com), executive co-chairman Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, “So many people’s lives have been changed by IT in India.

“People from the middle class and lower middle class have become global employees and have the opportunity to work with some of the best companies in the world. But the challenge for India is that this industry can only create so many jobs. IT is not going to solve the unemployment problem in India.”

But the coming next wave of change in information technology is an opportunity to be seized to reduce unemployment if enough people are educated to handle it.

According to Gopalakrishnan: “I strongly believe, and it’s backed up by data, that there is a shortage of computer professionals everywhere in the world, including India. The application of computers is growing dramatically and will continue to grow dramatically over the next 20 to 30 years. We have to train and create the workforce necessary to grow this industry.”

Various media stories have called this next phase India 2.0. If India 1.0 was the highly successful information technology outsourcing industry developed in the late 1980s, through the 1990s and 2000s, then India 2.0 is the next wave of IT innovation being driven by Big Data, automation, robotics, smart technologies and the so-called “Internet of things.”

Big Data is defined as the large amounts of digital data continually generated by the global population. The speed and frequency with which data is produced and collected – by an increasing number of sources – is responsible for today’s data deluge (UN Global Pulse). It is estimated that available digital data will increase by 40 per cent every year. Just think of all those mobile phones people have, constantly gathering data.

Processing this data and finding innovative ways to use it will create many of the new IT jobs of the future.

“We are living in a world which is boundary-less when it comes to information, and where there is nowhere to hide,” continues Gopalakrishnan, “If you have a cellphone, somebody can find out exactly where you are. Through social networks you’re sharing everything about yourself. You are leaving trails every single moment of your life. Theoretically, in the future you’ll only have to walk through the door at Infosys and we’ll know who you are and everything about you.”

Unlike in the late 1980s, when India was the pioneer in IT outsourcing for large multinational companies and governments, competition is fierce across the global South. The mobile-phone revolution and the spread of the Internet have exponentially increased the number of well-educated people in the global South who could potentially work in IT. China, the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana are just some of the countries heavily involved in this area.

If India fails to meet the India 2.0 challenge, it risks seeing its successful companies and entrepreneurs leaving to work their magic elsewhere in Asia and the new frontiers of Africa, just as many of its best and brightest of the recent past became pioneers and innovators in California’s Silicon Valley.

India’s IT sector contributed 1.2 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998; by 2012, this was 7.5 per cent (Telegraph). The IT industry employs 2.5 million people in India, and a further 6.5 million people indirectly. IT makes up 20 per cent of India’s exports and, according to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (nasscom.in), the industry has revenue of US $100 billion.

India is now the IT and outsourcing hub for more than 120 of the Fortune 500 companies in the United States.

Out of India’s 3.5 million graduates every year, 500,000 are in engineering – a large pool of educated potential IT workers. India produces the world’s third largest group of engineers and scientists, and the second largest group of doctors.

IT has become a route that catapults bright Indian youth into 21st-century businesses and science parks and to the corporations of the world.

One visible example of the prosperity brought by IT services in India is the booming technology sector based in the city of Bangalore (also called Bengaluru) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangalore).

Reflective of the contradictions of India, Bangalore has 10 per cent of its workforce now working in IT, but also 20 per cent of its population living in urban slums.

The nearby Electronics City (elcia.in) is considered “India’s own silicon valley and home to some of the best known global companies.”

To date, aspects of India 2.0 are already taking shape.

One company is called Crayon Data (crayondata.com). It uses Big Data and analytics to help companies better understand their customers and increase sales and deliver more personal choices.
Edubridge (http://acumen.org/investment/edubridge/) is helping to bridge the gap for rural youth with varied education backgrounds and long-term jobs. Edubridge trains youth for the real needs of employers to increase the chances they will get a job. This includes jobs in the IT business process outsourcing sector and banking and financial services.

Infosys is working on innovations for the so-called “Internet of things,” in which smart technologies connect everyday items to the grid and allow for intelligent management of resources and energy use. Infosys is developing sophisticated software using something called semantic analytics – which analyses web content (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_analytics) – to sort through social media and the Internet to track customer responses to products.

Elsewhere, former Infosys Chief Executive Nanden Nilekani is involved in a Big Data innovation to address the problem of social and economic exclusion of India’s poor. Called Aadhaar (http://uidai.gov.in/), the government-run scheme is gathering biometric data on every Indian to build the world’s largest biometric database. After being enrolled and having fingerprints and iris scans taken, each individual is given a 12-digit identification number. So far 340 million people have been registered with the scheme, and it is hoped 600 million will be registered by the end of 2014.

The idea is to use a combination of access to mobile phones and these unique ID numbers to widen access to all sorts of products and services to poor Indians, including bank accounts for the millions who do not have one. Many people, lacking any identity or official acknowledgment they exist, were prevented from engaging with the formal economy and formal institutions. Being able to save money is a crucial first step for getting out of poverty and it is hoped information technology will play an important role in achieving this.

Published: March 2014

Resources

1) India 2.0 by Mick Brown. Website: http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/india2.0/part-one#top

2) Electronic City Bangalore: Regional information portal for Electronic City, an industrial technology hub located in Bangalore South, India. This portal is becoming the most favourite haunt of ECitizens living and/or working in Electronic City. Website: http://www.electronic-city.in/

3) Electronics City Industries Association: Welcome to the Electronics City, India’s own silicon valley and home to some of the best known global companies. Located in Bangalore, the Electronics City was conceived way back in the mid-1970?s as an Industrial Estate exclusively for Electronics Industries. Today the industrial estate boasts is an oasis of large, medium and small industries spanning software services, hardware; high end telecommunications; manufacture of indigenous components; electronic musical instruments, just  to name a few. Website: elcia.in

4) Godrej E-City: Situated in Electronic city and connected through NICE road and the elevated expressway, Godrej E-City brings your workplace and other major conveniences within your immediate reach. Your travel times become shorter and hassle-free. You have more time for your family and yourself. It’s time to move closer to happiness. Website: https://www.godrejproperties.com/godrejecity/overview

5) Infosys: Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions. As a proven partner focused on building tomorrow’s enterprise, Infosys enables clients in more than 30 countries to outperform the competition and stay ahead of the innovation curve. Website: http://www.infosys.com/pages/index.aspx

6) Tech Hub Bangalore: partnering with the UK India Business Council to establish TechHub in Bangalore.TechHub is a community and workspace for technology entrepreneurs with 1000’s of members, building the most exciting startups in Europe. We have physical community spaces in London, Manchester, Bucharest, Swansea and Riga and have members from over 50 countries.The Bangalore site will be part of a wider scheme in partnership with other British firms such as Rolls Royce, ADS, Bangalore Cambridge Innovation Network, BAe and PA Consulting with the aim of forging stronger links between the UK and India. Website: http://www.techhub.com/blog/techhub-expands-to-bangalore/

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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New Swimwear for Plus-size Women in Brazil

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Brazil is well known for its stylish swimwear, with styles usually targeted at young women and those with more conventional, media-friendly body shapes. But now a company is making visiting the beach more comfortable and empowering for plus-size women.

Prior to the arrival of plus-size swimwear, women turned to over-sized tshirts and baggy shorts to hit the beach. Now, Brazilian companies are pioneering fashionable and sexy swimwear for women of all sizes.

Brazil has a well-known beach culture – a culture celebrated over the years in popular pop tunes like ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_from_Ipanema). The country has successfully turned its alluring beach culture into lucrative businesses,including fashion enterprises that have become global brands. The global hit brand of beach flip flops Havaianas (havaianas.com) is a good example.

Lehona (lehona.com.br) makes ‘Moda Praia’ – plus-size – swimwear for women. The swimsuits are specially designed to flatter larger body shapes and give women the confidence to go back to the beach. It is seeking to end the discrimination inherent in beach culture that favours the “thin, the rich and the chic.”

Body shapes have been changing in Brazil – as they have been across the world and the global South. While one cause is the global obesity crisis -ballooning as diets change with rising prosperity – there is also another, more positive cause: greater access to nutrition and increasing consumption of milk and meat tends to lead to larger body shapes. This has happened across the world and in many countries irrespective of the racial and ethnic background of the people. Norwegians in Northern Europe were once some of the shortest people in Europe and suffered from poverty and malnutrition. But, as food security increased and nutrition improved, they have over time become the second tallest people in Europe behind the Netherlands (The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition,and Human Development in the Western World since 1700).

For Brazil, malnutrition was widespread until recently. Records show 10 per cent of the country’s rural northeast in the 1970s was considered underweight.

The Brazilian statistics institute has found the past decade’s economic boom has had another consequence as well as lifting many millions out of poverty. It has found 48 per cent of adult women and 50 per cent of adult men are now overweight. This compares with 1985, when 29 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men were overweight.

Diets have changed in the intervening years. Rice, beans and vegetables are now in competition with potato chips, processed meats and sugary soft drinks.

And apart from nutrition and diet changes because of increasing incomes,there is also a cultural change. While the wealthy are more used to lifestyles with plenty of exercise, newly prosperous people do not necessarily have the fitness habit. One study found just 10 per cent of Brazilian teens and adults exercise regularly.

The Lehona brand has become a quick hit and receives many telephone calls and emails from would-be customers, its owners claim.

The Brazilian cultural expectation for women’s beachwear is skimpy, showing more rather than less. This prejudices women who do not have slim body shapes or who are not under 30.

Started in 2010 by clothing designer Clarice Rebelatto and run by her son Luiz Rebelatto, Lehona was started out of personal need.

“Honestly, the problem went way beyond just bikinis. In Brazil, it used to be that if you were even a little chunky, finding any kind of clothes in the right size was a real problem,” said Clarice Rebelatto, a size 10, to The Associated Press.

“And I thought, ‘I’m actually not even that big compared to a lot of women out there, so if I have problems, what are they doing?’”

The approach to the swimsuits is counter to many other brands targeting plus-size women. They are bold and emphasize the shape rather than try to cover it up and hide it.

The brand sells itself through specialty stores for large and tall women in Brazil. A bikini sells for around 130 reais (US $66).

“Some brands, they don’t want their image to be associated with chunky women= Only the thin, the rich and the chic,” Luiz Rebelatto told The Associated Press.

“We’re working from the principle that bigger women are just like everyone else: They don’t want to look like old ladies, wearing these very modest, very covering swimsuits in just black.”

The plus-size market has even been taken up by conventional Brazilian swimwear manufacturer Acqua Rosa (http://www.acquarosanet.com.br/site/). It released its plus-size line in 2008 and claims sales now account for 70 per cent of their total sales.

One woman frequenting Copacabana beach copacabana.info) in Rio de Janeiro is Elisangela Inez Soares. She is happy and confident with the new swim suits.

“It used to be bikinis were only in tiny sizes that only skinny girls could fit into. But not everyone is built like a model,” concludes Soares.

Resources

1) Start a Fashion Business: A website packed with step-by-step advice on starting a fashion business. Website: startafashionbusiness.co.uk/

2) A website compiled by an American fashion expert on how to run a fashion business for profit. Website: http://fashionforprofit.com/about-us/

3) The catalogue for the Lehona swimsuit line. Website: http://www.lehona.com.br/pdf/lehona_moda_praia_plus_size.pdf

4) Miss Brazil Plus-Size Beauty Contest: Website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHLflIgXqgM

“I think you [David South] and the designer [Solveig Rolfsdottir] do great work and I enjoy Southern Innovator very much!” Ines Tofalo, Programme Specialist, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022