Friday, 7 September 2012

Raven + Lily: Empowering women through design

Best buddies Kirsten Dickerson & Sophia Lin are the brain power behind Raven + Lily, which is a socially responsible ethically natured brand dedicated to empowering women worldwide through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities. Both ladies are extremely passionate about fashion and ethical design, and so Raven + Lily was the perfect platform to channel both of those passions and change the lives of women in the process. Sometimes, fashion does find a heart.

Current collections are lovingly made by the hands of artisans all over the globe from North India to Cambodia to Ethiopia. All of the jewellery and accessories are contemporary and organic in design, eco-friendly, and reflect the unique beauty and culture of the amazing woman who made it. And each item arrives with a special gift tag attached that tells you the journey of just how that purchase has ended up in your hands, and who is responsible for putting it there.

The Ethiopia Collection is comprised of statement necklaces, earrings and bracelets crafted with handmade beads + charms from melted bullet casings and vintage silver coins. This collection empowers HIV-positive women in Ethiopia.

The India Collection features gorgeous recycled cotton papers, hand-carved wood journals, metallic leather jewellery and hand-milled natural soaps. This collection empowers marginalized women in Northern India.

The Cambodia Collection includes eco-friendly bags and t-shirts made with hand-loomed, natural-dyed, and remnant materials. These hand-printed pieces are made with love by HIV positive and formerly trafficked women in Cambodia.

But Raven +Lily don’t just create sustainable economic opportunities for marginalised women, oh no – they are firmly dedicated to returning proceeds to their partner communities to fund education, healthcare, and micro-loans. So when you purchase any of these fantabulous pieces from R+L, you are making yourself a part of breaking that poverty cycle, and transforming the lives of women and their families.

I always try to remember to tell myself that there are 3 important things in life. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. That’s all you need to remember. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Push Pull Cambodia's accessories will set you apart from the crowd

Based on the traditional art of Ikat weaving which originated in Cambodia, a man by the name of Daniel Flickinger decided to create Push Pull – a fun and luxury accessories brand that brings together a unique combination of historical handmade techniques and modern design. If you’re a fan if brights, spots and stripes, then you’re going to LOVE the designs this brand has to offer.

The idea for the company arose back in 2008 when Dan visited Takeo Province (Cambodia) for the first time, where Ikat weaving is a way of life for people – in every home you are guaranteed to find at least one wooden handloom. Takeo boasts a high number of very skilled artisans which impressed Dan and left him pondering. Deeply saddened by the sheer poverty of the region, and wanting to celebrate this amazingly rich weaving culture, he decided to put the locals’ skills to good use.

Cheu Teal Village in Takeo Province is now home to a PushPull Cambodia weaving centre where approximately 46 artisans are employed, who each specialise in different phases of Ikat. Tying, dyeing, spinning, and weaving – you name it, they do it; and all of these traditional techniques are carried out by hand creating pieces that are truly one of a kind. Push Pull’s goal is to stimulate a renaissance of Cambodian Ikat, and thus provide long-term employment and an improved quality of life for its artisans and their families.

And just a little bit more info for you: Cambodian Ikat patterns are actually commonly passed down verbally from generation to generation, so when you purchase an item from Push Pull you’re purchasing something with a whole lot of cultural value and meaning, and you’re helping to keep a beautiful age old tradition alive. 

When has shopping on the high street ever offered you that?

Take a look at a few of the gems that Push Pull Cambodia have to offer (I can feel what’s left of my overdraft slipping away already):