In preparation for Mother’s Day, we’re highlighting a few items we think would make wonderful gifts for the mother or mother-type-woman in your life. We wanted to tell you about fashionABLE , a company that sells scarves made by women in Ethiopia who are being given a fresh start and a fair wage. We each have a scarf and today we’re sharing why we love fashionABLE.
Maggy: Speaking at a London girl’s school in 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama said: “The difference between a struggling family and a healthy one is often the presence of an empowered woman.”
But with the current global status of women, such empowerment does not come easy and real job opportunities in underdeveloped countries are precious few. But at the heart of fashionABLE’s mission is the empowerment of the women they employ – getting them off the streets, into gainful employment, and proud of their work and lives. You can read some of the women’s stories here.
This is what Africa needs, not simply foreign assistance and aid, but real opportunities for people to support themselves and their families. And fashionABLE is providing just those kinds of opportunities – and creating beautiful scarves in the process.
When you give one of these scarves as a gift, the giving is twofold: a beautiful scarf for the mother in your life and the gift of empowerment to a woman in Africa. And that’s a gift worth giving.
Sharon: I like to think I am the kind of person who cares. I care about people. I care about where my food comes from. I care about halting global warming. I care about making the world a better place. (Yeah, I am young and idealistic. I know!) And because I care, I try to do things that reflect that – buy and eat local, recycle, take public transit. Small things, I know. But I try.
The one thing I struggle with the most is finding an ethical source for my clothes and accessories. I’ve tried to buy second-hand or sustainably produced clothing, but haven’t had much success. To be honest, when you’re curvy and need to look put together, slouchy hemp pants and thriftstore gear just ain’t cutting. And don’t even get me started on the eco-bras I was looking at online the other day!
Finally, I feel like I have found a place where I can buy beautiful things I feel good wearing from a company that has a story and business model I can be proud of. My fashionABLE scarf is gorgeous, bright, and fun - nothing like the shapeless linen stuff that usually comes to mind when thinking of “sustainable clothing production.” I wore it on the airplane the other day, and no less than four people stopped me to ask about it. Glad I had a great story to tell!
Pam: I love my fashionABLE scarf because a woman in Ethiopia named Genet made it. Like me, Genet is the mother of two beautiful daughters. Unlike me, she never knew her mother. From age three she was groomed to be a housemaid. By twelve she’d had enough, ran away, and lived on the streets where she was forced into a life of prostitution to support herself.
Thankfully the story doesn’t end there. Genet overcame her addictions and past, and found meaningful work at fashionABLE crafting scarves. More importantly she’s reconnected with her daughter (and now has a second!) and has a wonderful relationship with them.
My Genet + ONE scarf is stunning — I’ve already bought two more for friends— but knowing Genet’s story makes the scarves even more precious.
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Check out fashionABLE’s line of beautiful, hand-woven scarves.