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Entries in HandCrafting Justice handbag collections (2)


HCJ Gala Raises Over $10,000 Benefiting Largely Poor Communities Across Asia and Africa

HandCrafting Justice had great success this year with its spring fundraising gala, which supports handmade crafts made by artisans at fair wages that live and work in impoverished communities across the globe.

Photo from HandCrafting Justice’s spring fundraising gala taken by Kyriaki Venetis.

“Over $10,000 was raised during the event from combined ticket sales, the silent auction, and the sale of products,” said Teresa Baxter, publicity coordinator with HCJ. The vast majority of the products at the event came from cooperatives of women working to rise up from socially difficult and impoverished circumstances throughout Asia and Africa.

HCJ is a non-profit project of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd that markets over 1,000 different items through its website, wholesalers, and special events.

Photo from HandCrafting Justice’s spring fundraising gala taken by Kyriaki Venetis.

This event included hand-woven handbags made at the Euphrasia Center for Women in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, as well as in other localities in the country, including Embu and Kangeta-Meru.

In Nairobi, the center offers shelter and services to numerous poor women and girls – especially adolescents and orphans – that are often the victims of violence, prostitution, and abuse.

Today, the community in Nairobi similar to the one in Embu runs three operations: a crisis center, a training center for women, and an income-generating project for women. The crisis center also takes in women from outside of Kenya, including from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The training program at the center provides the women with courses in learning how to knit, weave, and tailor different products, including necklaces, baskets, bags, tablecloths, and clothes.

Specifically, the Euphrasian Kiondo Basket Weaving Project, located in Nairobi, Embu, and Kangeta-Meru, works to create a sustainable source of income for some of the poorest women by providing skills training, a production facility, and marketing the basket weaving.

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HandCrafting Justice Debuting New Collections of Casual & Whimsical Summer Handbags in NYC

Expanding into new styles for a younger and broader appeal, HandCrafting Justice is debuting two new ethical fashion handbag collections – Made for Change and Made for Change KIDS – which are part of the organization’s “Conscious Fashion for the Fashion Conscious” campaign.

Photo courtesy of HandCrafting Justice.

These new summer collections will debut at the 2013 New York International Gift Fair, which will run from Jan. 26-30, 2013.

“Most of what we’re going for is a fun spring and beach collection. The bags are big, and great for casual everyday shopping. They’re also great as weekend bags for short vacations,” said Katherine Leonetti, marketing manager at HandCrafting Justice.

The collections – which will include shoulder bags, duffel bags, totes, and kids’ animal-shaped backpacks – are being made as a collaboration with artisan partners in Thailand.

HandCrafting Justice works with over 3,000 women in over 20 countries around the world, working with Fair Trade initiatives to make sure that they work in clean, safe environments, and are paid fair wages.

These bags are being made by the women of the Isan Weaving Group from the Nong Kahi province of Thailand. The Isan region is located on the Khorat Plateau, bordering the Mekong River. The Isan region is one of the poorest places in Thailand.

In 1983, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd established the Isan Weaving Group to give women in the area the opportunity to globally market their traditional skills of weaving cloth, creating intricate designs native to the region, and using natural dyes.

Leonetti talked a little about the styles in the new collections saying, “Most of the prints are going to be stripped. It’s going to be a very lively spring theme, with some pastels mixed with oranges and blues, sort of beachy.

“Another thing we tried to do was play between neutrals and bright colors. There are some bags that will be neutral on the outside and have a very vibrant color on the inside. All of the fabrics are 100 percent hand-woven cotton.”

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