San Francisco || USA
Three astounding women - Catherine Mahugu, Gwendolyn Floyd, and Ella Peinovich of the ethical brand SOKO - have completely reimagined the artisan industry.
After initially meeting, they realised that although the artisan craft sector was one of the largest employers in developing nations, it was also one of the most marginalised. Although there were women crafting pieces beautiful enough to be featured in an art gallery, a small customer base and greedy middlemen meant they saw little of the profits.
SOKO (which is also the Swahili word for marketplace) leverages mobile technology to give these creators access to a global customer base. As a result, artisans working with SOKO earn five times more than the average workshop, with over 11,000 artisans benefiting from the sales revenue.
They’ve recently partnered with Reformation, a sustainable fashion business, to release their latest collection. Launched by “cool girl”, Yael Aflalo in 2009, Ref is devoted to transforming the fashion industry, constantly looking for ways to reduce waste. That’s why they use eco-friendly materials during the manufacturing process (as well as reusing offcuts), take part in a carbon offset program, and use 100% consumer waste materials in all their packaging.
The Hammered Maxi Sabi Outline Earrings have been handcrafted by artisans in Kenya using traditional techniques and recycled brass. Inspired by the organic flow of branches that stretch over a steady stream, these earrings feature a forward-facing hoop an asymmetrical silhouette.
Elegant. Ethereal. Ethical.