resources to be able to work with some of the finest fashion brands on the planet. The initiative spearheaded by Simone Cipriani is also an important measure to eliminate waste and promote sustainability – the main goal of a committee established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN).
The Ethical Fashion Initiative works with a workforce of individuals in Haiti, Ghana, Kenya, the West Bank and Mali & Burkina Faso to empower and offer them employment opportunities. Talented artisans are given opportunities to work with some of the biggest names in fashion as well as non-skilled workers who are then trained to learn sought after crafts and skills so that they may work productively and support their families. Even press material support is provided in the form of professional photography and videography.
95% of the workforce consists of females so the Ethical Fashion Initiative is also an exciting way to empower women. These women are able to support themselves and their families while taking care of important necessities including education and medical expenses. Having the opportunity to work in the fashion industry is a wonderful escape from any other existing alternatives for getting by in their communities.
However, it is not only the workers who gain advantages. The partnering fashion companies that include the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Macy’s, Marni and 10 Corso Como also reap the benefits of having complete products produced by some of the most skilled artisans in the world. In fact, former Sass & Bide designer, Sarah-Jane Clarke, had this to say: “The craftswomen in Africa are amongst the most talented artisans in the world – there is a real truth about their work. The standard comes from tradition and attention to detail that is unparalleled. We couldn’t be happier with the final product.” By working with such luxurious fashion brands, the Ethical Fashion Initiative is promoting and reinforcing a
powerful message. Fair trade labor opportunities do not have to be limited to simpler products and projects. These artisans are more than capable of learning and using the skills sought out by some of the biggest fashion houses on the planet.
All fashion products produced as a result of these partnerships are created with attention to sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices. Everything is closely monitored to ensure that labor and ethical trade standards are met or surpassed and that the artisans are able to earn sufficient funds to provide for their families. The Ethical Fashion Initiative has partnered with the likes of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kenya Export Promotion Council, the Ghana Ministry of Trade and Industry.