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REAL Social Impact Design // Virginia Bruce on design & social enterprise.

The R.E.A.L Design for Social Impact mentoring program has once again partnered with COFA, one of Australia’s leading design institutes, to turn ‘ordinary’ designers into budding social entrepreneurs.

Through a staged process, the program offers mentoring, guidance and connections to industry professionals, and for the selected designers, a platform for distribution and marketing through The R.E.A.L Store.

Bridging the gap between ideas and reality, ‘R.E.A.L Design for Social Impact’ builds a professional pathway for emerging designers to use their own set of skills towards a positive and tangible social impact beyond the classroom.

Virginia Bruce, founder of the R.E.A.L Group, shares how she helps students to realise their own potential as ‘impact designers’, what it takes to make it onto the shelves of The R.E.A.L Store and how simple it really is to make a difference.

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Travel Diary \\ Ethical Fashion Africa : Not Charity. Just Work.

Last month, our founder Virginia Bruce travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with some of the inspirational people behind the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) and Ethical Fashion Africa Ltd (EFAL). A part of the International Trade Centre, the EFI has been a key player in poverty alleviation by using the fashion industry as a vehicle for some of Africa’s most disenfranchised communities.

Through the Hands That Shape Humanity social enterprise, the REAL Group has already collaborated with EFAL on a range of summer tote bags designed by prominent Australian designers and produced by a small team of Massai artisans.

From walking through a slum in Nairobi to visiting the EFI workshops and the people she met along the way, Virginia shares some of the highlights – and surprises – from her journey.

05.05.14 – Ethical Fashion Africa Ltd : Not Charity, Just Work.

I had only been to Africa once – and that was to Cape Town to meet with the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation and our partner and founder of Hands – Garth McIntosh. …

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Ayusha in Katherine's studio

REAL Social Impact Design: Katherine Mahoney on Mentoring.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller.

A design, a cause, a campaign: they are all crucial components of the REAL Social Impact Design Program but on their own, they are unlikely to effect a measurable social impact.

There is no perfect formula for success but we firmly believe that every successful social enterprise is above all a collaborative process between people – designers and mentors, entrepreneurs and social activists, manufacturers and consumers – who are all indispensable links in the chain towards positive change.

Over the next few weeks, we will ask each of the people involved in the REAL Program how they are helping to shape a new generation of social enterprises. Today, we start with one our mentors, Katherine Mahoney.

Katherine Mahoney is an established potter based in Sydney, NSW. Her hand-thrown pieces are both sophisticated and practical, perfectly at ease exhibited in galleries or cherished within the home. Parallel to her own ceramic practice, Mahoney is a respected teacher and mentor who guides her students with a steady …

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