Anyone who knows me knows I love FashionABLE. And I am entirely, 100% biased. I’ve visited the factory in Ethiopia, I’ve seen firsthand how their gorgeous scarves are helping at-risk women rebuild their lives, I’m currently living in their Genet Scarf (oh man, it’s awesome), and I bought out half their store for holiday gifts last year.
So of course I’m so excited to let you know that they’ve just launched a whole new line of leather goods, expanding the opportunities they can provide to women.
In collaboration with the Modern Zege, a leading leather manufacturer in Addis Ababa, gorgeous chocolate-brown distressed leather has been crafted into wonderful leather clutches, a surprisingly affordable leather wallet, and a handsome leather iPad sleeve.
Holiday gifts: Check.
Click over and be sure not to miss the stories of the women who made the items, and for whom they’re named. Tigist had to start providing for her family at age 12, which often leads girls down really awful paths, but she now has a respectable career as an adult. Kalkidan started as a 13-year-old orphan raised by an abusive aunt and uncle, and is now 22, working toward a future as a designer. Fikire (at top) worked her way from unskilled stitcher to a managerial position at Modern Zege, and is now solely supporting her 3- and 7-year-old children with her work.
It’s impossible not to be moved, especially knowing what life can be like there for young girls and women with no marketable skills.
Liz with some of the women of fashionABLE.
As for the results of their hard work, I love that each item has subtle variations that really show off the one-of-a-kind craftsmanship. And I especially adore the fashionABLE stamp on each one, with “made in Ethiopia” written underneath. There’s a whole lot of story right there. More than you can imagine. –Liz