Bel Esprit to launch Donate Design to Heal Africa
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Bel Esprit, the international showroom of ethical fashion, will launch a sustainable business project to support the work of Heal Africa during Nolcha Fashion Week in New York on February 11, 2010. The mission of Bel Esprit is to encourage and develop ethical practices in the fashion industry by helping designers connect with ecological and fair trade resources. Bel Esprit will work with the organisation Heal Africa to develop fair trade cooperatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Heal Africa provides medical and surgical services to the victims of gender based violence suffered from the military conflict in the region, as well as treating obstetric fistula from complications in childbirth. Heal Africa has established a network of safe houses that offer support, shelter, and provide education and teaching skills like learning to sew and make bread or soap, basic business skills, and bringing other opportunities. Heal Africa has a training framework that can be developed further into sustainable businesses. With additional funding through micro loans and grants and industry support, this program has the potential to evolve into production cooperatives. Bel Esprit is committed to supporting this growth through fund-raising and consulting, matching international design companies to production cooperatives for manufacturing, and bringing finished product created by cooperatives to the international market. Donate Design to Heal Africa is also joining with the United Nations Development Fund For Women’s global campaign Say No to Violence Against Women. The Donate Design project and t-shirt contest will be an action in UNIFEM’s campaign with an action page on the Say No website.
To launch the Donate Design program, Bel Esprit will open a global t-shirt contest during the Ethical Fashion Preview at Nolcha Fashion Week. The theme of the contest is “for those who dream of a beautiful world,” and is open to anyone who wishes to express their vision of a beautiful world in a t-shirt graphic. A panel of judges will select the winning designs. In addition to an individual winner, Bel Esprit will support corporate, media and retail sponsors who launch local contests in their city, state or country. The local and regional winners will be displayed on the Donate Design website and the “The Most Beautiful World Vision” will be selected by voters around the world. The winning designs will be announced at a gala fund-raiser featuring a fashion show of Bel Esprit designers, and will be produced for sale to benefit Heal Africa’s training program.
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