In October 2010, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood previewed a range of limited edition bags created through the Ethical Fashion Programme in collaboration with the International Trade Centre, the joint body of the United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), during the Paris Gold Label show.
The bags are now ready to hit the stores and will debut for retail purchase in February 2011.
The Ethical Fashion Programme is significantly different from charity initiative – in reality it is “Not Charity. Just Work“. Here is what the EFP shared about their mission and work;
“We work directly with those living in the world’s most challenging conditions with the aim of empowering them in a sustainable manner, through quality work that minimizes the negative impact on the environment.
We support the work of over 7000 women who live in conditions of extreme poverty, but who have a strong desire to improve their lives. Through our network, some of the poorest people in the world have access to a job and an income which benefits the entire community.
The Ethical Fashion Programme has a holistic approach that is 100% dedicated to supporting disadvantaged communities to change their lives”.
Handmade in Nairobi, the Vivienne Westwood EFP bags are created using recycled roadside advertisement banners and safari tents by marginalised communities of women such as single mothers, widows, HIV/AIDS victims and those living in extreme poverty. The bags will be produced in 3 designs – Get a Life (Banner), the Gaia Heart and the quilted Orb.
The Ethical Fashion Programme works in partnership with big distributors and high-end designers who source fashion and lifestyle products from marginalized communities of women and micro-producers in Africa. Working directly with those living in the world’s most challenging conditions, from urban slums to impoverished rural areas it aims to empower them in a sustainable manner through quality work that minimizes the negative impact on the environment. Through orders from companies such as Vivienne Westwood, some of the poorest people in the world have access to a job and an income that subsequently benefits the entire community.
The international fashion industry is becoming increasingly more involved in charitable and developmental initiatives and we are glad to say that the trend is present in Nigeria as well. In October 2010, Temple Muse organized the “La Dame La Muse”, a fashion collective in tribute to Nigeria at 50 & celebrating the formidable African Woman. The sale of the one-of-a-kind garments and proceeds from ticket sales for the event raised funds for the International Women’s Society (ISW) Home For Abandoned Children. In addition, the coffee table book – Celebrating Fashion Today by the IWS also raised significant funds for charity. We hope to see even more positive initiatives in 2011.
Source: The Ethical Fashion Programme