Monday, May 12, 2008

fashion philanthropy

The most recent stop in Bloesem's World Tour? Melbourne, Australia, courtesy of Lucy of blog The Design Files. Lucy's post today covered her favourite Aussie fashion label: Caravana. Design duo Cathy Braid and Kirsten Ainsworth have found a way to do what they love and give aid to women in areas of the world where women are generally overlooked, all at the same time.

"The pair recognised early on that they could not achieve their goals from a distance, so in 2003 they saved up some money, got on a plane to north-western Pakistan, and took up residence in a remote community in the Himalayan mountains.

The result has been amazingly successful. After facing some significant opposition initially, Cathy and Kirsten teamed up with a locally run NGO, and were able to establish work centres managed by local craftspeople. In the last few years Caravana’s beautiful designs have steadily gained popularity and international interest, and the pair now employ over 500 women across India and Pakistan, in the arts of weaving, embroidering, dying and piecing together the most beautiful, detailed garments for the Western market. The women Caravana employs are proud of their work, and are able to provide for their families in a way their culture deems acceptable. These women’s work has come to be highly valued by their families and community."
Now that's fashion forward.

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