Monday Start-Up: Bringing Work to Africa and Style to America

by Rachel Yeomans | March 5th, 2012   

Africa is coming to the United States – through fashion. In this month’s issue of Marie Claire in the “Feel-Good Fashion” column, the writer interviewed Deborah Lloyd, the Creative Director at Kate Spade. The focus of the interview was Lloyd’s travels to Africa to find items and materials to for its partnership with Women for Women International (WFWI). I had no idea about this, but Kate Spade has partnered with the WFWI since 2006! Through the program, the companies focus on working with artisans in former war zones.

WFWI Monday Start Up: Bringing Work to Africa and Style to America

The program not only includes health and life-skills education, but the WFWI also trains the local women to make one-of-a-kind handicrafts that are then designed and sold by Kate Spade. Check out the designer’s latest sale through the WFWI, which sold out days after being announced on March 8th of last year. This endeavor not only provides a very philanthropic voice to the company, but it provides women in these countries education and independence through work and a living wage. Kate Spade and the WFWI bring work to Africa, and style to America.

Kate Spade and the WFWI Monday Start Up: Bringing Work to Africa and Style to America

Fast forward to yesterday when I read in about the website Heritage1960 launching. According to Racked:

Today, in website launches: Heritage1960, a curated online shopping site that delivers African and African-inspired clothing and lifestyle products. The company’s founder, Enyinne Owunwanne, traveled to places like Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria and Johannesburg and Capetown in South Africa to source local designers, and each week she’ll be introducing a new one onto the site. Head here to check out what’s currently available, which includes ready-to-wear from J. Label and iPad cases and yoga accessories from Indego Africa.

Heritage1960 Monday Start Up: Bringing Work to Africa and Style to America

News and endeavors such as these greatly inspire me and really excite me to know that we are working with other corners of the world to boost economies and causes. In the world of working, it’s not just about us. The age-old saying is that it “takes a village”. I’ve always been a very strong believer and proponent of teamwork. This takes teamwork to a whole new level, and it warms my heart to read about it.

Aside from purchasing these goods, you can also contribute $30 a month by joining the WFWI and help a fellow woman in a war-torn country.