Nordstrom and Me to We, an organization that provides socially responsible products, announced that Nordstrom will be the first U.S. retailer to offer the Me to We Artisans collection of original jewelry hand-crafted by Maasai Mamas living in Kenya. Select styles will be available in 10 Nordstrom stores and at Nordstrom.com.
Me to We empowers the women who create the sustainably-produced, locally-sourced accessories by paying a fair wage that allows them greater opportunities to support their families and communities. The items also support Free The Children, Me to We's charity partner, that works locally to educate, engage and empower youth to make a difference in their own communities and internationally to remove the barriers to education and end the cycle of poverty.
"We currently employ more than 600 Artisan Mamas who live in Free the Children communities across Kenya," says Roxanne Joyal, founder of Me to We Artisans. "Together, we leverage the artistic ingenuity of their traditional Maasai beadwork and style pieces into collections that are on-trend with the current and evolving fashion markets. We are grateful to be partnering with Nordstrom, working together to provide young customers with purchasing options that truly make a difference."
One of the most popular items in the line is Rafiki Friend Chain, which comes in five vibrant colorways, each representing a different cause (water, health, education, food security and alternative income). With every Rafiki (Swahili for 'friend') sold, a gift such as clean water, school supplies, wholesome meals, healthcare and sustainable financial tools is given to children and families in Free The Children communities overseas.
This modern take on friendship bracelets is part of Me to We's Track Your Impact initiative, and by using a special code on the back of the Rafiki's packaging, customers can visit a website to learn about the community they supported through their purchase.
"We love the idea of offering our customers on-trend merchandise that also provides them with the opportunity to celebrate friendship through giving back and making a difference," said Jennifer Jackson, corporate merchandise manager for BP./Kids at Nordstrom. "We hope that this Me to We Artisans collection will inspire and empower our customers to look for more ways to make a positive impact in their communities and our world."