Hands’ cares about the ethical, social and environmental origins of its initiatives, embracing fair trade and low impact practices, seeking only to work with people who share this commitment. We believe that a company can be profitable and have a strong conscience.
This summer, in partnership with Myer, Hands’ joined forces with the Ethical Fashion initiative, an International Trade Centre initiative, focused on creating opportunities to connect “the world’s most marginalised people to the top of fashion’s value chain for mutual benefit”. This isn’t about charity, it’s about “organizing and allocating resources in such a way that this profit is also shared with the first stages. This is ethical fashion,” explains Simone Cipriani, the man at the head of this initiative.
Most of the workers employed by Ethical Fashion are women, whose empowerment is a major driving force of this initiative, along with eradicating extreme poverty. By fostering local creativity and enabling female employment, a sense of balance is restored in communities where women have generally had little to no independence from their fathers, brothers, husbands.
These programs radically change the way fashion is planned, made and distributed. Stepping out of a mainstream mass produced market means smaller collections, longer lead times and less profit margins. However, a transparency in the process and creating a story around the product can go a long way with the growing trend of ‘conscious consumers’ and rectify the balance.
Vivienne Westwood, the undisputed queen of the English runway, has jumped on board, using the services of artisans and micro-manufacturers in Africa to produce some of her distinctive accessories for a recent Ethical Fashion Africa collection.
Hands’ is poised to have done the same with an exclusive range of summer tote bags adorned with unique patterns, embroideries and messages, all designed by some of the best Australian fashion designers (sass & bide, Fleur Wood, Jason Brunsdon amongst others) and manufactured in Kenya by a small team of Massai artisans.
Retailing exclusively at Myer this summer, these tote bags will look good while doing good. This is ethical chic at its best.