The fashionABLE mission is to create sustainable business in Africa.
We believe that the solutions to ending poverty lie in creating economic opportunity, and that lasting change happens when we move beyond charity and focus on producing jobs that promote dignity.
So our strategy is two-fold. We work with women to help them start small business cooperatives, and we partner with and require manufacturers to also employ women with fair wages & fair hiring practices.
Every fashionABLE product is named after one of the heroic women we work with. That means every product has a story behind it. The women so carefully and lovingly weave and craft our items are now ABLE to do something because of your purchase.
Who makes your stuff matters. How it’s made matters. Join us and #livefashionABLE.
Our First Partner
In Ethiopia, prostitution is often linked with deep levels of generational poverty and financial hopelessness. Lacking meaningful resources and a sense of hope, many women resort to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and their families. These women are often desperate to leave the sex industry but remain trapped by a lack of opportunity and rehabilitative support.
“Women At Risk” is an organization on the ground that rehabilitates former sex workers. This work requires not only getting these women off the streets, but also providing them counseling and helping them find alternate means of income. And this is why we created fashionABLE. WAR now has it’s own scarf-weaving business, Ellilta Products, which trains women coming out of their program and offers them a new choice and opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. Our ultimate goal is to help these women become healthy and productive members of society.
Headquarters for both scarf and leather production began in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. We now also have partners in Nairobi, Kenya, as we look to expand and grow our business. Our products are made by women in the businesses we’ve help start, as well as other Ethiopian sources that include women and men, to help meet demand. While being supported by those sources, fashionABLE is continually funding the training of more women in order to employ as many women as demand will allow. All the while, we are meeting the mission that your purchase of a fashionABLE product continues to create sustainable business for more women in Africa.
How We Began
Barrett Ward founded Mocha Club in 2005 – a new generation of activists giving up the cost of a few mochas, or $9 a month, to fund relief and development projects in Africa [themochaclub.org]. A few years later, Barrett moved to Ethiopia for a year. While there, he ran across Women at Risk, a group that works with women exploited in the sex industry. After seeing their effectiveness and the dignity restored in these women, he learned that one of the biggest challenges to keeping these women off the streets is gainful employment. For this purpose, fashionABLE was conceived.
Barrett resides in Nashville, TN with his wife, and 3 beautiful daughters.
Not only do we want you to feel good about your purchase, but we want you to look good too. And that means your product is a quality product that you love wearing. At fashionABLE, we are committed to excellent products. If for any reason you don’t love your product, contact us and we’ll make it right. 100% Satisfied – we’re not ‘til you are.