In Haiti, “Men Anpil, Chay Pa Lou” means “Many Hands Make The Load Light.”
And that’s exactly the motto of Haiti Design Cooperative‘s Leather Team, who named themselves “Ekip Solid,” translating to “Solid Team.”
One of Ekip Solid’s most recent projects was none other than the beautiful Tribe Alive vegan leather wrap bracelet featured as a one of our FabFitFun Spring Add-Ons (available through tonight at 11:59 p.m. PST!). You may remember Tribe Alive from the beautiful glass beaded bracelets that were featured in our Fall 2015 FabFitFun Box. This incredible company works with with artisan partners all over the world to employ impoverished men and women at fair trade wages and give them access to a safe job, sustainable income and a chance to determine their own future.
The Haiti Design Cooperative is a nonprofit running an artisan cooperative and business incubator program in Port au Prince, Haiti. Launched in 2014, the cooperative does in-house leather work, jewelry making, and sewing. Partner branches do metal work, shoe making, tailoring, and beadwork.
But even better than that, is that the HDC provides skill training with an emphasis on modern design and quality, as well as health care, educational seminars, savings programs, counseling services, and business mentorship for their partner branches. “They are like a family and push each other, encourage each other, and take so much pride in the work they create,” said founder Chandler Busby.
“We believe working together as a team, and by partnering with customers in the US, we are able to work together to lighten the load of those around us. Every leather product is cut, sanded, edges painted, conditioned, and sewn by hand,” she explained.
One of the leather workers, Emmanuel told FabFitFun what the work means to him,
“I pay a lot of attention to detail when I work. I know if we work with our hearts and our heads and send beautiful products, that people will want to continue to purchase from us. If people continue to purchase, then we can always give more people work. When people have work we are able to provide for our families, pay for school for our kids, always have food and pay for our house. We won’t just be sitting at home, but we are able to come and work to make beautiful things.
“Since coming to Haiti Design Co-op I have learned so much and can say I am a professional leather crafter. I can create bags, wallets, bracelets, and I know every step of the process. I take pride in my work and want to always send the best products that I can.”
Now that’s fashion you can feel good about.
xx, The FabFitFun Team