The ABLE Open Studio was kicked off with bites and drinks provided by Tin Angel with a few words from our Brand Marketing Director, Marisa, and Fashion Director, Jordan. We briefed our guests on the history of ABLE and where it all began - years ago producing scarves to help provide a safe workplace for women coming out of the sex trafficking industry in Ethiopia. And how from one scarf, an entire fashion brand was born, providing even more jobs for women around the world.
ABLE’s Fashion Director, Jordan, started the evening by sharing about the history of ABLE and where it all began 8 years ago - producing scarves to help provide a safe workplace for women coming out of the commercial sex industry in Ethiopia. She went on to show how the brand has grown from one scarf to an entire lifestyle brand, creating hundreds of jobs for women around the world. Jordan also walked attendees through the design process and gave an exclusive first look at the Fall 2018 line. She touched on the idea that we at ABLE look to trends and adapt in our own way, making it approachable and practical for our everyday woman. Each piece serves as an investment and allows you to consume less and use more efficiently.
The night proceeded with our guests splitting into two groups to learn about our separate impact fronts - Local + Global.
Barbara and Chelsie, two of ABLE's local jewelry makers, each shared their own personal stories of how they came to ABLE and what impact it has had on their lives. Attendees were delighted to watch a behind-the-scenes of the jewelry process as well - the making of a piece of jewelry from beginning to end — and then walking away with a handmade ring as a reminder of their evening!
Jen, one of the Merchandise Planners who also heads up ABLE’s impact work, shared about the partners ABLE works with globally. She included 2 Ethiopian partners via video, who each shared about their experience producing ABLE products and their journey to becoming female-run manufacturers within their communities.
Guests were reminded throughout the night of the faces and hands that make each and every one of their ABLE products - with photos from our partners in Peru, Ethiopia, Mexico and Nashville hanging throughout the space.
Barrett said, "The dirty secret of the fashion world is that the people who make our products probably can't even make their basic necessities. That is insane. We can do better than that. We should be able to figure out how to protect women around the world making our products."
We were thrilled to see the interest of those who want to help us make a change in the fashion industry by demanding greater transparency from brands. We hope this is just the beginning, and soon there will be a day when anyone, anywhere, can find out how, where, by whom, and under what conditions their clothing is made. Thank you to Fashion Revolution for allowing us to be a part of your event and be a voice for hopeful change.