New in the shop: a wonderful collection of leather bags, hand-printed textiles, and handcrafted jewelry from Raven + Lily. Boldly aiming to alleviate poverty among women, this Austin-based company means what it says: Raven + Lily currently helps to employ over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages, providing a safe workplace, sustainable income, health care, education, and a chance to break the cycle of poverty. As if that weren't great enough, the fruit of their labor is beautiful, a tribute to "slow fashion."
These stunning leather bags are made by hand in Ethiopia from locally-sourced leather, following fair trade standards and honoring an eco-friendly commitment. Also from Ethiopia: necklaces and bracelets hand-beaded from melted-down bullet casings, transforming what was once meant for harm into beautiful jewelry and empowering HIV+ women living near the Entoto Mountain. Hand-tooled leather earrings are made by women in Northern India; hand-woven and hand-embroidered textiles are made by women in Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Guatemala and India. Some of our favorites: supersoft jogger pants made of recycled jersey in Cambodia and a hand-screened cotton tees and tabletop accessories from in Central India.
On the topic of why they produce with artisans, not factories, Kirsten Dickerson, founder of Raven + Lily, says: "We don't work with factories and we don't mass produce in the typical "fast fashion" way. We also don't make crafty items. We make gorgeous, modern designs that reflect the beauty and culture of the women in our partnerships. I can say this because the credit goes to my design team and the women in our partnerships. They are all rockstars in the most epic way." And, to emphasize her commitment: "We are in this business to see women break cycles of poverty and develop long-term partnerships to see women empowered. If this isn't happening, we aren't interested in continuing ... and I'm not joking one bit."
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