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How FASHIONABLE started...

While living in Ethiopia, Rachel and Barrett Ward saw firsthand how extreme poverty forced so many young girls and women to make awful choices for money. Lacking meaningful resources and a sense of hope, many women resort to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and their families. Rachel and Barrett wanted to figure out a way to give women another choice – one that would provide an opportunity to earn a living, rather than establish a dependency on charity. For this purpose, FASHIONABLE was conceived.


About - Jobs vs Charity | FASHIONABLE
Charity is critical. Its importance lies in giving relief to those who are in great destitution from what are often unbearable circumstances. However, giving food, medical care, clothing, and other charity to the poor is just the beginning point to solving the issues of poverty. It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty, two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women. This is the gap that FASHIONABLE wants to fill.

To be clear, FASHIONABLE is not a social model of business that gives something away. We believe that the end to generational poverty will come when people are able to provide for themselves. We believe that social businesses whose aim is to alleviate poverty should use their business skills to create job opportunities for the poor, not give them more charity. What we seek to “give” to those living in poverty is opportunity by purchasing goods from them, and helping those businesses grow and employ more.
About - Jobs vs Charity | FASHIONABLE
Our business model is not creating goods in a strong economic country, selling those goods in the West, and then giving charity to developing countries. This still leaves the developing country out of the opportunity for economic growth, and keeps them in a cycle of dependency. We believe in doing the manufacturing in the communities we wish to impact, creating jobs along the way. Although it often creates a unique set of challenges, trade with developing countries is an empowerment model that we are committed to.