Photo: Jamar Stephens

Photo: Jamar Stephens

Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Compassionate Accessories

  An ethical fashion label.  Kinabuti , 2012. Via  Guyanese Online .

 An ethical fashion label. Kinabuti, 2012. Via Guyanese Online.

Why can’t we use fashion as a vehicle to make a difference? We should lead by example.
— Caterina Borolussi, founder of Kinabuti.

As a certified yoga instructor (mind you the occasions that I've had a mat underfoot since the boys is few & far between) my love of clothes and my practice sometimes feels disjointed. So it was with particular interest that I read about Mala Collective in a package sent to me along with a handsome molten lava necklace (I love it as a bracelet!).  A fair trade jewellery line, handmade in Bali, it supports non-profit birthing and wellness centres in Indonesia. Around the same time a gorgeous Italian made scarf by another Canadian designer, Mark Holden, landed on my desk. With lovely handwritten script, the accessory screams luxe and proceeds go to Just Imagine Foundation which helps to support The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.  Thinking that I'd like to highlight these companies in a post about compassionate fashion, in researching other brands, I was then introduced to Obakki – a Canadian non-profit creative foundation that uses fashion as a fundraising vehicle. The company works with indigenous groups and I fell in love with the collection – I especially want the graphic muscle tee: two photos, taken 60 years apart, of South Sudanese cattle camps are printed on the back – a cool piece that also happens to have the perfect drape. 

Then came the tragic events in Bangladesh. I personally don't believe that a boycott of fast fashion brands is sustainable or even the best solution but it's clear that we need to do better and it's encouraging to see such beautiful product that gives back. May they serve as an inspiration. Here are my fave items:  

Compassionate Fashion.jpg

The Morning Show: Maternity Fashion

Ellie Mae Waters