needle+thræd partners with the Bebe Ravi women’s cooperative that employs 50-100 women based in Nakuru, Kenya – an area with unemployment rates as high as 40%. many of the women have been widowed by the AIDS epidemic, thus becoming the sole source of income for their families. by giving them access to revenue, not only are the lives of their children significantly improved, but the entire community is propelled forward. each woman is paid above average wage and provided with free meals.
the needle+thræd lifestyle brand was created by new york fashion editor, celia smith. inspired to affect change through fashion, smith started needle+thræd, to support indigenous crafts and provide a platform for artisans to share their story.
with fashion industry experience that spans from magazines to trend forecasting, smith sought to broaden the market for these artisans by introducing them to new homes in a chic way, and providing employment that would keep their traditions alive while sustaining their families and communities. the end result? finding a common thread in style and substance.
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