support the makers

Fashion Revolution Week 2017

We are in the midst of Fashion Revolution Week - a time set apart for creators and consumers to join together and use their voices to call for greater transparency, sustainability, and ethics in the fashion industry. Each year, this week begins on April 24th, the same day as the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh where 1,134 people lost their lives.

The reality is that today's fashion industry says abuse of people and abuse of environment is okay because the demand for transparency on the other side of the label is too quiet to be heard in comparison to the demand for fast + cheap. Searching for cost savings is not a bad thing; it can be a burdensome undertaking to clothe and support ourselves and our families. The "bad" comes when the cost of savings comes at the cost of another's ability to survive and to be free. We believe that is too high a cost to pay. 

We began Haiti Design Co because we believe in the beauty and dignity that exist in an honorable business transaction. The consumer's necessity to clothe themselves with goods they love and the creator's passion to make new, beautiful things should be an opportunity that connects us, not a reality that divides us. And while there is much work to be done to move the needle, there is also so much hope for the future. Evidence can be found in the growth surrounding the conversation of ethical fashion: lives lost are becoming lives honored as a rising number of conscious consumers and conscious brands dedicate themselves to business that brings life and meaning. 

We are so excited to participate in the movement this week by highlighting the teams behind our products and the ethical fashion partners that support those teams. Our desire is to add light and hope to the fashion industry. Below are some photo from this week's campaign.  

You can continue to follow along this week on our Instagram and at Fashion Revolution's Instagram. And we invite you to join the movement by posting a photo of your favorite brand's label with the question #whomademyclothes? 

Mesi zanmi for your consistent love & support ❤️  Men anpil chay pa lou - many hands make the load light. 

Check out this insightful post from Anuschka Rees about 5 Ways to Build a More Ethical Closet! ( read here ) First and foremost, take care of what you already have. And if you do buy, buy pieces you truly love and from brands you respect. Building an ethical closet is something you can begin today.

Check out this insightful post from Anuschka Rees about 5 Ways to Build a More Ethical Closet! (read here) First and foremost, take care of what you already have. And if you do buy, buy pieces you truly love and from brands you respect. Building an ethical closet is something you can begin today.

Bonjour, Andre!

Meet Andre, one of the featured artisans in the SPRING 2017 Maker's Box! At HDC, we train and employ artisans with the skills and resources they need to be successful both professionally and personally. We work as a collective of artisans - with 3 in-house teams and 4 partner teams from the community that work as part of our Artisan Incubator Program. Andre was one of our first partner artisans, and in terms of our HDC family mentality, we like to think of him as our wise father figure who has a rich depth of knowledge and expertise to share with us in our efforts to create quality work, quality goods, and quality relationships.

As a highly valued member of our HDC family, we want to take a moment to share Andre's story with you!

Andre has been crafting ethically-gathered horn and bone for over 34 years. He runs an artisan cooperative in Port au Prince that trains and employs over 30 men from the community. He is originally from Jacmel, a beautiful beach town a few hours south of the city, but moved with his uncle at the age of 14. His uncle had been working with horn and bone for years when he taught Andre the craft. Andre was quick to pick it up and began expanding on the skills his uncle taught him in his hours between school. Over time, he grew to have his own business and line of products.

However, the earthquake in 2011 destroyed his original shop. With some support, he was able to build a new shop that has since grown to be a large artisan cooperative where Andre and his team create products for retailers to sell across the world.

One of the most inspiring and humbling things about Andre is his heart to empower others. He is community-minded and views his knowledge and his workshop as something beyond just himself. He is passionate about training a new generation of leaders with the skills they need to be independent entrepreneurs, claiming that his space is "a place for all the people." Their work is a beautiful showcase of the talents and designs inherent to the people of Haiti, and they seek to use their products to elevate this beautiful island in the minds and hearts of people around the globe. A few of the products we work with Andre to create are the much loved horn bangles + hoops, demi circle + drop pendant necklaces, and the horn bowls + dishes. 

Andre is featured in this season's Maker's Box alongside our in-house leather team. You can learn more about him and the leather team, as well as receive a thoughtfully curated collection of their products in the SPRING 2017 MAKER'S BOX (order deadline for spring is April 1st). Boxes are available for individual purchase or year-long subscriptions. Each season, we will release a new box highlighting our different in-house and partner artisan teams, giving you a meaningful look into the process, people, and products behind each unique craft!