Stella McCartney has created a range of hand-made recycled canvas tote bags in collaboration with the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative. The program goes beyond charity and aims to generate economic independence for participating artisans. By providing work and training, sustainable livelihoods are being created within the most disadvantaged communities in Africa.
Our bags are created by hand in Kenya from printing to stitching and our production has now reached 160 people in poverty stricken areas, having a considerable impact. We are proud of the difference this project has been able to make. In December 2012, 93% of artisans questioned stated that they were now able to educate their children due to their earnings from the project. It has also empowered the women involved with 85% noting that they are now involved in household decision making due to their new economic input into the family. The project has raised nutrition standards with 85% of artisans believing their diet has improved and environmental awareness has also grown with 79% now having knowledge of sustainability issues.
This is a project that Stella McCartney passionately supports, “To have the work in Kenya is important — not only to support women and give them a much-needed income, but also to encourage this line of industry for small communities.” It is an initiative which encourages independence and long term opportunity for artisans who receive training and grow their skills, as Stella McCartney notes, the experience is “a two-way street — everyone feels valid.”