Recent decades have ushered in the importance for Fair Trade policies. You’ve probably seen Fair Trade logos emerging on coffee brands in your local cafes, or perhaps you bought a Fair Trade chocolate bar on your last trip to Whole Foods. These are amazing steps being taken toward decreasing the number of marginalized laborers around the world, and now an exiting new venue for the Fair Trade movement is surfacing in the realm of fashion!
Circle Skirt Dress: Jocelin Yagel modeling a Circle Skirt Dress ($80)
Circle Skirt: Savanna Cingilli modeling a Circle Skirt ($50) and a Camel Safari On the Go Bag ($72)
Now you can support fair economic practices by accessorizing for an evening on the town or by throwing a scarf over your shoulders. Organizations like Amani ya Juu (Swahili for “Peace from Above) are becoming official members of the Fair Trade Federation and are spreading the reach of Fair Trade business ethics across the globe to Africa. In its five locations (Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda and Burundi,) Amani trains marginalized women in sewing methods and business tactics, creating a means for these women to support themselves and their families. Each worker is paid for her work once it is completed, as is mandated by the rules of the Fair Trade Federation.* Because of its Fair Trade policy, women at the five Amani locations are becoming more independent and less likely to subject themselves or their daughters to prostitution. Their lifestyles are improving, and peace is spreading across Africa.
Folding Wallet, Camel: Jocelin Yagel carrying a Camel Folding Wallet ($22)
Long Chain Turquoise Necklace: Savanna Cingilli modeling a Long Chain Turquoise Necklace ($30), a Samburu Coil Bracelet ($18), and a Safari On the Go Bag ($72)
Robertsport Clutch: Savanna Cingilli toting a Robertsport Clutch ($28)
When you purchase something from Amani, no matter how large or small, you are actively and instantly supporting one of these women. If you could wear a stylish bracelet made from polished horns from Kenya, why wouldn’t you? But, let’s take it a step further. If you could sport the same bracelet and know that you gave something back to help a fellow human being, why wouldn’t you? In purchasing that bracelet you’re making a fashion statement, you’re supporting a woman who has never been self-reliant, and you’re ensuring her path to independence. Fair Trade is empowering, Fair Trade is honoring, and Fair Trade is now fashion. When you look at what you’re wearing, you look directly at one woman’s march to social equality and independence.
To learn more about how to Wear Fair, check out Amani’s website amaniafrica.org or our Facebook page, Amani ya Juu (Peace from Above.)
Thank you for your support in reading this blog post and stay tuned for some stylish Fair Trade tips and outfits in the blog posts to come.
kwaheri na amani,
Molly Gardner is the Event Coordinator for the local branch of Amani ya Juu, located at 420 South Willow Street, Chattanooga, Tenn. Store hours for the public are on Monday-Friday from 12-5pm. Please stop by to check out the latest fashions from Africa.
Wire Hoop Red Earrings: Jocelin Yagel wearing Red-Beaded Wire Hoop Earrings($14)
Youth Orange Bracelet: Jocelin Yagel sporting a Camel Folding Wallet ($22) and a Paper-Bead, Orange Youth Bracelet ($12)
Wrap Top: Savanna Cingilli modeling a Red Wrap Top ($38)