‘Ethical Fashion’ Changing Lives in Africa
A model presents a creation during the Festival for African Fashion and Arts (FAFA) 2012 “Fashion for Peace” show in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, November 17, 2012.
The muddy streets of Kenya’s crowded Korogocho slums are a far cry from the fashion boutiques of Paris, Milan, New York or London.
But beneath a tin roof, workers from some of the country’s poorest communities sew buttons and stitch cloth for top international designers, part of a not-for-profit “ethical fashion” project.
“Before Ethical Fashion, I couldn’t educate my children,” said Lucy, sitting in a circle of women, needles in hand as they deftly sew white seed beads to the surface of smooth, chocolate-colored leather.
“But now I can educate them, and provide for them anything they need,” said the mother of four, in her late 30s.
From Korogocho, accessories like the cuffs the women sew are sold in high-end international boutiques, stamped with the labels of international fashion houses like Vivienne Westwood, Fendi and Stella McCartney.