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r.e.a.l Travel diary \\ Korogocho: The Invisible City.

Last month, our founder Virginia Bruce travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with some of the inspirational people behind the Ethical Fashion Initiative and Ethical Fashion Africa. 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.

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.

06.05.14 – Korogocho : The Invisible City.

On Monday I walked through ‘Korogocho’, one of Nairobi’s slums.

We were greeted there by a group of 6 or 7 children, between the ages of 5 and 9 – joyful, mischievous, inquisitive, laughing, giggling, smiling – all wanting their photos taken while they practiced their English.

“How are you ?” – these three words were chanted throughout the slum by almost every child that we passed. Clearly they had been taught to be considerate and to …

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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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COFA students design for maximum social impact.

In Australia, the month of March marks the start of a new university year. To us, this means a fresh batch of students and projects to mentor through our REAL Social Impact Design Initiative.

Run in conjunction with the College of Fine Arts (COFA), The REAL Social Impact Design Initiative invites Design students in their final year to conceptualize and realize a product, artwork or program which must answer to one condition: create a positive social change.

A team of mentors made up of established industry professionals provides tailored workshops, one on one mentoring and a pathway to production, marketing and distribution, providing emerging designers with a rare access into the highly competitive creative industry.

Over the last 4 years, we have been delighted to help bring several extraordinary projects to life.

Some of our most successful projects include Santina Ingui’s ‘Life in Parts’ which raises awareness of mental illness with a series of exquisite but fragile ceramic vessels, embodying our own vulnerability.

Visala Wong’s ‘Take a Walk in My Shoes‘ aims to create opportunities for the …

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Supporting the R.E.A.L. Foundation with a spring garden luncheon.

A few weeks ago, We met Mickey Robertson (owner of Glenmore House) and her daughter Clementine. As we had been treated to a fantastic lunch where each ingredient came straight from the incredible seasonal garden, we thought it would be wonderful to share this culinary experience with some of you, and were we right!

Last week-end we visited Mickey again and seized this opportunity to host a successful fundraising event for the R.E.A.L Foundation. The focus of the foundation is to empower individuals to reach their own potential through tailored and innovative mentoring programs, through the Hands That Shape Humanity social enterprise.

We were joined by a group of like-minded friends and sustainability enthusiasts to enjoy a frolic in the garden and a springtime luncheon specially created by r.e.a.l.’s executive chef and long-time friend Eon Waugh.

Head-chef for a day of our little pop-up restaurant, Eon created a succulent menu of spring soup and tart, which we served in our Hands That Shape Humanity ceramic bowls and plates, while Garden teas and organic coffee were …

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