Fashioning a Change in Third World Development.

21 Nov

As flashy, superficial and glam as the fashion world may appear; some designers have tried to inspire a positive change within the economy of third-world developing nations- by partnering their talent with locals from developing nations.  As an exchange for the local’s work/talent, not only do individuals earn a decent income, but funding is invested into the countries sustainable livelihood of farmers, neighborhoods and investment in clean water.

For example, Edun is a fairly new fashion line that focuses on getting their manfucaturing done in Kenya and Uganda. For Kenya, Edun partnered with  Made Africa to produce a series of tees that bring to life hand drawings made by children from the Bidii School in Kibera, Kenya.  Kibera homes a large portion of Kenya’s population; it is also one of the worst slums in all of Africa.   Edun used One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of these tees  towards basic needs such as lunch, supplies, healthcare, and development projects at the local schools.  In Uganda, Edun had created The Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI)in order to help facilitate sustainable farming in communities and provide a fair trade market for their cotton.

In another example, Cathy Braid and another famous Australian fashion designer had traveled to Chitral, Pakistan (Northern Pakistan).  There, they had worked with many local women- seeking inspiration in fashion.  They had set up work stations for the local Pakistani women. As a result, around 400 women from Chitral and other surrounding rural areas had started earning similar salaries to teachers, and sometimes more depending on the dates around fashion shows etc.    “I am the only wage-earner,” says Gul Nisa, a widow who works as an embroiderer for Caravana. “I have four children and if I didn’t have this work, we would be dependent on my brother who already has 11 people in his house.”

To read more on this story, please visit:  Pakistan’s remote fashion centre

(Image below) Fashion designers concepts were/are inspired by the locals of Chitral.  Check out the Usmania-stitch:

(Below) Suddenly an investment on Edun’s $600 dollars fall coat doesn’t look that scary… Don’t get me wrong, personally, I probably wouldn’t buy it… But If I was earning  more, it wouldn’t be such a bad investment.  Especially if a good portion of that money would go towards a good cause.


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