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American Apparel supports artisans in Sierra Leone
Dec '15
In a unique humane gesture expressing solidarity with people in the strife-torn Sierra Leone, American Apparel, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of fashion-basic apparel has collaborated with an artist from the West African nation to create a limited edition of T-shirts and pledged half of its sales proceeds to the local artisans who were involved in the project.

In a press release, American Apparel, Inc., said it collaborated with Massah KaiKai, a young, New York-based artist, who sought to capture an expressive and intimate portrayal of her family's homeland through a creative partnership with the US brand.

Kaikai worked on the designs whose themes were drawn from the decade-long civil war and the Ebola virus scourge. Within months, thousands of American Apparel T-shirts were shipped to Sierra Leone where a group of local artisans were recruited to create the limited edition, the release said.

Although the array of styles in the collection is similar, each shirt's tie-dye design, done by local artisans, is completely unique.

Fifty percent of the sales proceeds from this collection will be donated to the artisans who dedicated their time and talent to its design, the company announced expressing its gratitude to the Brussels Airlines that helped with the shipments and a human rights organization based in Sierra Leone that helped converting the project into reality.

"American Apparel has always been a strong advocate for fair wages. Hopefully this project will be one small step toward paving the way for a world filled with equal opportunity," said Jon Henry Szymanski, Director of Co-Branding and Philanthropy at American Apparel.

"Sierra Leone has faced some obstacles, but it's such a vibrant country where opportunity is possible for people with ideas and passion," KaiKai said. "I hope Sierra Leoneans are inspired by what we've done in partnership with American Apparel to showcase this talented community." (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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