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Donate Design to support work of HEAL Africa during Nolcha
11
Jan '10
Bel Esprit, the international showroom of ethical fashion, will launch its sustainable business project to support the work of HEAL Africa during Nolcha Fashion Week, on February 11, 2010. The launch of the Donate Design project will open a global t-shirt contest, “for those who dream of a beautiful world,” to anyone in the world who wishes to express their vision of a beautiful world in a t-shirt graphic.

Bel Esprit the international showroom of ethical fashion, will launch a sustainable business project to support the work of HEAL Africa during Nolcha Fashion Week, on February 11, 2010. The mission of Bel Esprit is to encourage and develop ethical practices in the fashion industry by helping designers connect with ecological and fair trade resources. The use of fair trade materials and labor has not only raised the living standards of the farmers and workers producing goods, but has helped entire communities as well, through reinvestment of profits to improve living conditions and education. Fair trade cooperatives and businesses have given disadvantaged and marginalized people, particularly women, economic security and survival. As more highly skilled fair wage and trade options become available, designers throughout the world will be able to source production and materials that respect the world and its inhabitants.


To further this goal, Bel Esprit will work with the organization HEAL Africa to develop fair trade cooperatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo – Donate Design to HEAL Africa. HEAL Africa provides medical and surgical services to the victims of gender based violence suffered from the military conflict in the region, as well as treating obstetric fistula from complications in childbirth. HEAL Africa has established a network of safe houses that offer support, shelter, and provide education and teaching skills like learning to sew and make bread or soap, basic business skills, and bringing other opportunities. HEAL Africa has a training framework that can be developed further into sustainable businesses. With additional funding through micro loans and grants and industry support, this program has the potential to evolve into production cooperatives. Bel Esprit is committed to supporting this growth through fund-raising and consulting, matching international design companies to production cooperatives for manufacturing, and bringing finished product created by cooperatives to market.

To launch the Donate Design program, Bel Esprit will open a global t-shirt contest during the Ethical Fashion Preview at Nolcha Fashion Week on February 11, 2010. The theme of the contest is “for those who dream of a beautiful world,” and is open to anyone who wishes to express their vision of a beautiful world in a t-shirt graphic, with the winning design selected by a panel of judges. Bel Esprit members will launch local contests in their homelands, and Bel Esprit will also support corporate, media and retail sponsors who launch local contests in their city, state or country. The local and regional winners will be displayed on the Donate Design website and the “The Most Beautiful World Vision” will be selected by voters around the world. The winning designs will be announced at a gala fund-raiser featuring a fashion show of Bel Esprit designers, and will be produced for sale to benefit HEAL Africa's training program.

Nolcha Fashion Week


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