Editor’s note: Feelgood Style is part of the Important Media Blog Network (IM), and this week we’re having a network-wide celebration of women’s rights. This post is part of IM’s Women’s Rights Week.
How can fashion help women live better lives? It’s all about voting with our dollars. When you shop at the big box store, you’re voting for mass-produced items, sweatshop labor, and often questionable materials. Instead, you can shop at companies that are making a difference, like The Nakate Project.
The Nakate Project started back in 2010 when the company founders met a seven-year-old girl named Cossy who was HIV positive and had bounced from family member to family member, suffering from abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, in the poorest parts of Africa, stories like Cossy’s are all too frequent for young girls, and the Nakate Project is all about changing that by empowering African women to support themselves by creating beautiful shoes and accessories. But the ladies at The Nakate Project tell this story better than I can:
As we delved further into Cossy’s village, we realized there were hundreds of women with stories born out of tragedy. And, here they were, laughing, full of life, of expression and of inner power. Here they were maintaining the kind of vision and strength we knew we wanted to do business with, and be around, as we grow older.
So, we brought home a sack of necklaces from these women we wanted to partner with, and we started the Nakate Project. That was our piece of Africa, our way of beginning to carry Nakate with us into our every day lives – so we wouldn’t forget Cossy, or the way she had shown us to carry life and power inside of us, regardless of our circumstance.
Not only does the jewelry that these women make help them support themselves and their families, but they source sustainable materials, too! You can find their whole line over on The Nakate Project website.