Projects and partnerships
UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative
We are a proud member of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a Public Private Partnership between a UN program (the International Trade Centre), social enterprises and industry partners.
Artisan Fashion is EFI’s first enterprise in Africa. Together, we manage an international supply chain of social enterprises that coordinate African artisans in production for luxury brands worldwide.
In 2021, we entered a Public Private Partnership with the EFI and a collaboration with La Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana in the co-creation of an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Due Diligence System.
Artisan Fashion is the first producer in Africa to adopt this ESG Due Diligence System. By working with us, brands are welcomed into the EFI Public Private Partnership whereby they have the opportunity to: better achieve their ESG goals and be a part of sustainability conversations for the future.
Community capacity building
The West Nile region of Uganda borders South Sudan to the north and DRC to the west, which makes it a hotspot for refugees settling here after fleeing the civil conflicts in both neighbouring countries.
The people of this region are mainly employed by government organizations and NGOs due to the high percentage of refugees and the rapid increase in population over the past few years of around 4% annual growth. With this influx of refugees, the need for economic development is high.
The districts of the West Nile region, where our selected artisan groups are located, are Arua, Koboko and Yumbe. There are multiple refugee settlements in the area, with Yumbe having the biggest refugee camps in Uganda and second largest in the world.
Artisan Fashion has been working with 3 women communities (God’s Grace, Wendwoa, Kuru), all proving to be entrepreneurial in the face of many challenges, to try and improve their livelihoods for themselves and their families through handicraft.
As part of the UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative Designer Accelerator programme, we organise a full schedule of immersive workshops that covers all aspects of production.
Our training is designed to guide the brands through the entire production journey as they build samples for their upcoming collections. The designers begin the training with the foundations: getting to know the style and anatomy of the product they are designing, creating a detailed specifications sheet, and how to effectively communicate the product idea.
Inclusive of day trips and site visits to cloth mills and tanneries, the workshop covers additional topics such as design with cost considerations.
Most importantly, the workshop featured courses on incorporating sustainable practices in production. The training wraps up with the designers completing their very own prototypes for upcoming collections.
The perennial question for the fashion industry is: How can we reduce the environmental footprint of an industry born to grow, produce and consume always more? Our answer is: Converte World. Our upcycling brand.
Our circular production model uses discarded clothes as raw materials to design and make identifiable and desirable new ones. By redirecting waste back into the economy, we are reducing the energy and resource cost per garment.
By dismantling fashion’s linear economy and reassembling it into a circular model: we are creating value for our planet and our people. And we are giving customers what they want: an affordable and accessible brand that they can wear consciously.
We directly contribute to the attainment of 11 of the 17 UN’ Sustainable Development Goals and we generate social impact, by supporting disadvantaged communities in Africa.