as part of my ongoing efforts to change the way i approach fashion, shopping, and sustainability, i'm excited to introduce a little mini series to the blog! (a very very mini series, it's just two posts total.) i'm teaming up with ACCOMPANY, one of our sponsors this year, to bring you an artisan spotlight (including a giveaway! read on for details), to give us a glimpse into the lives of the hardworking people behind the ethical, fair trade companies i've been so excited to learn about. the artists we'll feature are artists you can support through ACCOMPANY's web shop, to ensure that the efforts these artists are making to make our commerce, as well as our entire world, a better place, can continue. if that sounds cheesy i don't know what to tell you, i'm just really excited about this stuff and that's all there is to it.
our first partner is MADE UK. MADE was founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2005. each piece in their collection is handmade by dedicated local artisans, using traditional local techniques passed down from the generations.
the founders of MADE believe that trade is what will bring the most growth and stability to their war and poverty-stricken communities, so the focus of their business model is on providing training and education for the artisans they employ. MADE employs men and women of all levels of proficiency--from novices to experts--and provides them job security as well as trade skills that will benefit them, their families, and their communities, where ever they go. part of this area is Kibera, one of the world's largest slums (you can read more about Kibera here.) i lifted this next part straight from their page: "every product created by a MADE employee tells the story of life changed through sustainable empowerment."
MADE sources all their materials locally, from individuals at a fair price, to support other small businesses in the area, and uses recycled material where they can in an effort to run their business responsibly.
today we're giving away one of MADE's gorgeous handmade leather pieces, the kips whip north south tote! i've styled it below with pieces you can also find at ACCOMPANY, made by similarly ethical artisans and fashion houses. ACCOMPANY is also throwing in a $50 gift credit, which can be used anywhere on the site to build your own outfit!
to enter to win the tote, please "like" ACCOMPANY's facebook page here, then return and leave a comment! simple! entries will be closed tuesday, when our winner will be chosen and contacted privately.
i also want to bring your attention to the BRAVE bracelet--i'm running a concurrent artisan spotlight + giveaway on instagram right now, for five winners who will receive one BRAVE bracelet (in red!) from the BRAVE Collection, a group of Cambodian craftspeople from underprivileged backgrounds working to support Cambodian victims of genocide and human trafficking. you can read more about them here. to enter that giveaway, head right on over here! it would make a great mother's day gift, is what i'm thinking...
thank you all for your support, good luck, and happy commenting!