The new African Print Collection is made from 100% cotton fabric with gorgeous African designs. I purchased the fabric from RE:LINK, an e-commerce platform where you can source authentic African products and connect to African owned businesses.
The stars aligned in my search for fair trade textiles because the first shop I discovered was the amazing Colores Del Pueblo. By purchasing this fabric we are supporting the weavers through fair wages and the continuation of cultural traditions.
I knew that fair trade fabric was out there but it was not easily available locally. My next step was to figure out how to find these communities of global artisans. I started with the websites for the World Fair Trade Organization and Common Objective.
Sourcing global textiles for me is about more than collecting beautiful fabric, it is also a way to support under resourced communities in a dignified and long lasting way. However, the beauty of handwoven textile is jaw dropping, so in my opinion this work is a win-win!
When I first started making tote bags I lived just a few blocks away from a local discount fabric store. I would often lose hours browsing and examining all of the fabric and materials. Through trial and error, I learned which fabric was most suitable for my tote bags.
I was ready to get started working on my business but I needed help. One day I overheard someone talking about on organization called Black and Brown Founders. Their motto is to start with the resources that you naturally have and bootstrap.
For the past few years I have been selling my hand-made tote bags on Etsy. Working a full-time job, combined with other responsibilities, meant that I was not able to prioritize my shop. This year I decided to channel my efforts into my business.