Wondering how to celebrate International Women's Day in a meaningful way? Supporting female entrepreneurs and brands that impact women positively through their work makes for a tangible contribution to the advancement of gender equality worldwide. From handwoven rugs to solar lamps, we’ve rounded up six brands you can shop in support of pushing for change.
A A K S
Ghanaian designer Akosua Afriyie-Kumi created AAKS to shine a light on Ghana’s talented women weavers and provide sustainable jobs within their communities. Through the UNHCR-supported ‘Weaving for Change’ initiative, the brand gives Tuareg women artisans from Northern Mali — many of whom are living in extreme poverty as refugees in Burkina Faso — an opportunity to earn a dignified income from their craft. Each
carefully handcrafted lamp
, the result of a time-honored Malian weaving technique, helps restore the lives of these gifted women and their families.
Little Sun lamp
is much more than a pretty solar-powered LED lamp: It was created to provide clean, reliable energy to communities living off the grid in rural Africa. For every lamp you purchase, one goes to a family with no access to electricity at a locally affordable price. “I like this Little Sun solar lamp so much because it has helped me improve my school grades,” says 13-year-old Cécile, a Rwandan student who was previously using a kerosene lamp to read after dark. Indeed, the Little Sun’s impact is huge, especially for women and girls, as carrying their own light means better personal safety, extra study hours, and even better healthcare including for delivering babies at night.
Shop Little Sun
A family-owned company powered by women, Makaua produces
stunning handwoven storage baskets
. The brand employs over 100 female artisans in a low-income region of Mexico, who earn a living hand-weaving palm while staying at home to care for their families. Through this dignified job opportunity, the women feel empowered to play a full role in their community. The name ‘Makaua’, which means both ‘from hand to hand’ and ‘the act of giving a hand’ in the ancient Nahuatl language, couldn’t be more apt.
If you’re partial to underground art and/or skate culture, you will love
these collectible skateboards
with a mission to empower at-risk children — particularly girls and young women. Featuring iconic artwork by Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, each deck helps support skate schools in developing countries around the world, breaking down gender barriers little by little.
Shop The Skateroom
Searching for a
beautifully crafted, heirloom-quality rug
for your home? Here's a perfectly worthwhile reason to splurge on a nanimarquina piece: Female-founded and led — it was founded in 1987 by designer Nani Marquina and is now run by her daughter — the Catalonia-based rug company boasts a workforce consisting of 60% women. But it doesn’t stop there: the brand also proudly supports nonprofit Care & Fair’s initiatives in India, Pakistan, and Nepal to improve the lives of the artisans who craft their rugs. This includes fighting against child labor and funding healthcare and education.
Our home brand teamed up with the UN’s fair trade division, Ethical Fashion Initiative, to craft a unique line of colorful pillows with the intention to create substantial social impact for all artisans involved in the manufacturing process. From the weaving cooperative that produced the exquisite striped textiles in Burkina Faso to Artisan Fashion, the fair-trade social enterprise that took care of assembling the final product in Kenya, a team of 80% women worked on the Goodee Pillow. “I take care of my brother. The income I earned through the production of this order allowed me to cover his school fees and to buy him medicine. What I like most about my work is the team spirit that brings the artisans together,” attests Sawadogo, 21 years old.
So what are you waiting for? Shop products that
support women empowerment
around the world and help these brands thrive for the greater good today and the other 364 days of the year too. Happy International Women’s Day!