Design for Social Impact

Over 50,000 working days in 2015

Over 1,000 artisans engaged

Social Impact

In 2015, we engaged over 1,000 artisans and generated over 50,000 days of work.

Our artisans create beautiful products to the highest standards, and in return they receive a fair wage and greater economic freedom.

All our work practices and operations are guided by the Fair Labour Association (FLA) Code of Conduct. Through collaboration with the International Trade Centre Ethical Fashion Initiative and the R.I.S.E. framework monitoring, we ensure our business is socially and environmentally responsible.

International Trade Centre

The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations. ITC’s mission is to foster inclusive and sustainable growth through trade and international business development.

In 2015, the International Trade Centre formalised the collaboration of the Ethical Fashion Artisans with local private investors, Amalgamated Chama Limited. ACL invests for social impact and the wider development of the African continent. Its members include socially conscious and business-minded individuals seeking to invest in and support new Kenyan companies.

Effect Trust

Artisan Fashion contributes 2% of our annual revenue to the Ethical Fashion for Empowerment of Communities Trust, which supports skills development for artisans in poor communities.


We work with 17 communities from all across Kenya who engage an average of 20 people per group to produce hand crafted artefacts made with traditional skills and materials.

Product Passport

The Product Passport is a quick response code that can be easily read from a mobile device. The code digitally stores and presents information on Artisan Fashion manufactured products. Any customer can quickly access and learn the social impact story involved in the making of their bag.

Ethical Fashion Initiative & rise

The Ethical Fashion Initiative is a flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The Ethical Fashion Initiative reduces global poverty by linking micro-producers and artisans to the international supply chain of fashion. The Ethical Fashion Initiative facilitates dignified work at a fair wage. This is achieved by connecting some of the world’s most marginalized artisans in Africa with the fashion industry’s top talents, for mutual benefit. The Ethical Fashion Initiative collaborates with social enterprises to foster local creativity, fosters predominantly female employment and empowerment, promotes gender equality to reduce extreme poverty and increase the export capacities of the regions in which it operates.

R.I.S.E. is an Innovative scheme to enable Sustainable Trade, Social and Environmental Sustainability, Traceability and Impact. The scheme has been developed to practically apply in the Ethical Fashion production supply chain and used by all its stakeholders.

The R.I.S.E. scheme allows for a clear and objective monitoring of activities of artisans during production period. The overall outcome is to ensure the activities lead to a socially and ethically responsible supply chain. R.I.S.E. allows for assessments of compliance in social and environmental areas as well systematic data gathering and monitoring. This enables the flow of information to those interested in learning more about the products, their manufacture, stories of the people and the impact of the work on their lives.

International Trade Centre

Effect Trust


Product Passport

Ethical Fashion Initiative & rise

Social Impact Stories

Olonana Women Group

A group of women who first came together to address the plight of young girls who were dropping out of school for lack of sanitary towels. Their traditional skill is beadwork where they make a variety of Jewellery, clothing and furnishings.

Oldanyatti Self-Help Group

A group of women living in the poor rural area of Oldanyatti. It is mainly composed of Maasai women who produce beaded articles for sale.


A self-help group consisting of forty women that was formed as a result of the post-election violence in 2008. Their objective was to improve their livelihood and to develop their skills. Along with beadwork, screen printing and shoemaking they are also avid farmers and crop producers. Due to their success as a certified self-help group they are able to support local orphanages. Ethical Fashion has supported this group since its first order in Kenya.

Rangau Designers

Skilled brass casters based in Kitengela, organised under the leadership of an entrepreneurial married couple. He employs a team of 9 men each who have unique skills and knowledge on brass casting.

Bega Kwa Bega Self-Help Group

A group consisting of a majority of single mothers based in Korogocho, who came together to discuss and share their problems and how to approach and resolve them.

They have a wide variety of skills which include weaving, screen printing and beading which is their main source of income.

Satubo Self-Help Group

Satubo is an acronym of Samburu, Turkana and Borana ethnic communities. The group is a pastoralist community which began working with EFI after a drought decimated all their livestock.

The O's Group

The group offers apprenticeship to school dropouts and youth from poor backgrounds. They are currently in negotiation with the Kenyan Ministry of Education–who are interested in teaching the brass casting skill to more young people in Kenya.

Ambassadors of Hope

Ambassadors of Hope Self Help Women Group was established in 2009 and registered in 2011 with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development. The group comprises of mainly single women i.e. widows and single mothers hailing from Waithaka slums in the outskirts of Nairobi. Some of them are refugees from Rwanda, Congo and Burundi hosted by the American Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). Some members are persons with disabilities. The group comprises of 25 members which have skills in crochet and tailoring, beading, and ironing.

Mahali Pa Watoto Self-Help Group

A group of 15 women based in Nairobi, Kenya, a majority who are single mothers. They came together because their children all attend or attended the local school. Along with beading and farming they also sew all the children’s uniforms.

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