International Women's Day 2015


All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. "This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. (This year's platform) focuses on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination." ( source: UN women ) MINKAxFASHIONALBE - the Hibret Zippered Pouch We couldn't think of a more appropriate day to launch a product we've been working on over the past year with our friend Minka Kelly... In the summer of 2009, Minka traveled to Ethiopia and Kenya with our founder Barrett Ward and his wife Rachel, and it was a group that worked with women coming out of the commercial sex industry that captured her heart.  What became apparent was that what these women wanted was a new opportunity and to have dignity in their work. About a year later, fashionABLE was launched in the fall of 2010 and Minka lent her voice.  What began with one scarf design quickly grew to many, as the idea of creating beautiful products that also carried a story of providing hope started to spread.  We helped the women start their own weaving business and they now employ over 30 women. And the fashionABLE mission has expanded, too.  We now have multiple partners in Ethiopia and in Kenya, with a focus on empowering women from diverse backgrounds.  The product line has grown to include leather, jewelry, and home goods in addition to the scarf collection. Minka wanted to see the growth for herself.  So last summer she and Barrett traveled back to where it all started.  She was able to visit the original group of women she met, as well as an additional fashionABLE partner who produces most of fashionABLE’s leather line.  And during her trip, Minka was inspired to design a new product, with the goal of ultimately creating more opportunity in Ethiopia. The result? The Hibret Zippered Pouch. MINKAxFASHIONABLE - the Hibret Zippered Pouch “Hibret” (ሕብረት) in Amharic, the traditional language of Ethiopia, means collaboration. In that spirit, Minka brought together our skilled scarf weaving partners to line the inside with a beautiful woven pattern, while the zippered pouch itself is crafted by our leather artisan partners. Touched by many hands, and impacting many lives, this product ensures that those employed are ABLE to have opportunity, dignity, and hope. We hope this fashionABLE product will be a beautiful addition both to your style and to the story of real impact that you are telling with your purchase. Join us as we continue to do our part to ensure "that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe, and rewarding” on International Women's Day and every day. MINKAxFASHIONABLE - Hibret ZIppered Pouch MINKAxFASHIONABLE MINKAxFASHIONABLE MINKAxFASHIONABLE - Hibret ZIppered Pouch *Africa photos by Esther Havens *Minka styled photo by Ben Cope *Product photos by Micah Kandros